The Ultimate ISO 45001 Checklist

Demonstrating performance of environment, health, and safety (EHS) initiatives is a challenge. There are the obvious legal compliance and established safety policy obligations, but to truly optimize an EHS management program, there also must be a management-led culture of a commitment to safety, inclusive and open communication among employees, and demonstrated continuous improvement of risk management. The purpose of ISO 45001, the Occupational Health and Safety Management Standard published by the International Standards Organization (ISO), seeks to provide employers of all sizes worldwide a tool that will enable them to proactively identify and manage EHS risks and specifically evaluate the performance of EHS programs.

Although ISO 45001 is an effective way of enhancing EHS performance, it can be a cumbersome task to fulfill its requirements. This checklist will audit your conformance with the evaluation components in section 9 of the standard. Even if you are not seeking official ISO 45001 … Read more...

How to Sell EHS Software to Your IT Department

As all successful marketers know, to win over your target audience you need to: one, know what your audience cares about, and two, speak their language. Trying to get IT approval on your EHS software initiative is no different. Identifying how your EHS software initiative will improve your IT department’s pain points and understanding the key terminology they use will go a long way to securing their approval.

So, what does your IT department care about?

  1. Resources (Time & Funding)
    Each system in your organization needs to be maintained. That can include adding users, managing permissions, updating software to more secure versions, or paying renewal fees. The more software a company uses, generally the bigger headache for IT. Therefore, consider looking at fully integrated EHS management systems over point solutions. It’ll be easier and more affordable for your IT department to maintain. Ever better – showcase how your proposed EHS
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The ROI on EHS Process Automation

As an EHS professional, your responsibilities include safeguarding employees from deadly workplace hazards and managing the potentially paralyzing mountains of regulations and paperwork that go along with them. But just as technology has revolutionized so many things, from assembly lines to transportation, it can also revolutionize your ability to manage workplace hazards, regulatory compliance, and all those reams of data.

Here are ways that automating your EHS processes can improve your productivity and help achieve your EHS goals:

Staying Compliant

  • Identify and keep up-to-date with the EHS regulations you need to keep track of, across various locations, job types and industries
  • Simplify compliance reporting requirements
  • Automate and track training schedules
  • Organize and streamline document control

Anticipating Hazards and Managing Incidents

  • Standardize your incident management process so that required information is captured and can be turned into prescriptive insights
  • Standardize job safety analysis processes so that they are the same regardless
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HSE Prioritizes High-Risk Industry Inspections in 2019

The U.K.’s Health and Safety Executive is making inspections in high-risk industries a priority for 2019, along with the completion times of investigations and subsequent decisions, according to the body’s 2018-19 business plan.

The recently released document provides an overview of what the HSE says it has accomplished in the 2018 and a full list of where it intends to focus its energies in the coming year.

The HSE will carry out 20,000 proactive inspections and increase its use of campaigns that focus this work on “specific issues and activities found in high-risk industries.” This will include a sustained focus on health risks associated with occupational lung disease (OLD) and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

As part of this targeted effort, the HSE will deliver five major inspection campaigns, each with at least 500 inspections in the following sectors: metal fabrication; agriculture; waste and recycling; food manufacturing; construction refurbishment (one that … Read more...

Suspended Loads and Respecting the Fall Zone

In almost every industry, a load of some kind is being lifted, manipulated, lowered or carried in a way that poses risk to workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are more than 50,000 “struck by falling object” recordable injuries every year in the United States. That’s one injury every 10 minutes caused by a dropped object in the workplace.

Understanding the Fall Zone

The fall zone as defined by OSHA is “the area including, but not limited to, the area directly beneath the load in which it is reasonably foreseeable that partially or completely suspended materials could fall in the event of an accident.” OSHA goes on to state that standing under a suspended load is prohibited and that “while the operator is not moving a suspended load, no employee must be within the fall zone, except for employees (who are): engaged in hooking, unhooking or … Read more...

Walking-Working Surfaces and Pedestrian Safety: Assessing the Risks – Part 1

Working alongside a wide range of material handling equipment, on ill-prepared work surfaces and dealing with elements like weather, congestion and poor illumination are, in many cases, part of work for many. Added to this is the reality that we now deal with the distraction of things like cell phones, creating a perfect storm of substandard conditions met by an increase of substandard behaviors.

Pedestrian safety is not an issue to be overlooked. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that on average, slips, trips and falls cause nearly 700 fatalities per year. OSHA reports that as many as 30,000 forklift accidents occur annually in the United States and close to 20 percent of those accidents involve a pedestrian being struck by the forklift. Of these forklift events, 35 percent resulted in the pedestrian’s death.

Fall injuries also have a considerable cost, with workers’ compensation totals estimated at $70 billion … Read more...

UK’s Health & Safety Executive Focuses on Engagement, Risk Management for 2018/19

As 2018 enters the final straight and we gallop into 2019, it seems it is only natural that we take a few moments to consider plans and preparations for the coming year. Regulatory agencies like the UK’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are planning for the coming year as well.

In particular, some industries should pay close attention as the HSE lays out where some inspections will be targeted (see below and Pages 8 & 9 of the report).

HSE’s Business Case for 2018/19 

Planning is as important for the regulator as it is for our own organizations. A particularly good source for a birds’ eye view on the priorities the HSE in the UK has identified and prioritized is the regulator’s business case for 2018/19.

The business case outlines the action that will deliver on its unwavering mission statement:

“At the Health and Safety Executive, we believe everyone has Read more...

Notes from NSC: Is Heinrich’s Safety Triangle Wrong?

A new report from the Campbell Institute recommends a redesign of Heinrich’s safety triangle, which states that for every major injury (the point of the triangle), there are 29 minor injuries and 300 non-injury incidents. The triangle treats minor incidents and near misses as if they had potential to be fatalities or serious injuries.

The report, Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention: Perspectives and Practices, notes that despite gains in safety in the past 20 years – the total recordable incident rate dropped from 8.5 incidents per 200,000 hours worked in 1993 to 3.0 incidents per 200,000 working hours in 2016 – fatal incidents and serious, life-altering injuries have not decreased. The National Safety Council reports that worker fatalities are at an eight-year high, with 5,190 workers dying of fatal injuries in 2016.

“Companies in our report know that safety is a work-in-progress with the goal of continuous improvement,” said … Read more...

True Engagement Starts with Speaking Digital Natives’ Language

I attended a great conference in 2017 at the spiritual and literal home of England’s national rugby team, Twickenham. The event was the Verdantix EHS European Summit. I was lucky enough to be invited to participate on a panel that generated audience questions about the under-leveraging of Health, Safety and Environmental metrics and whether more data is desirable if organizations were already struggling to handle and gain meaningful insight from what they had. This was a solid topic and it played into one of the key conference themes of Big Data.

All was going to script, and then it happened… a senior director said the following, or something close to it:

“It’s all well and good this discussion of data, systems and associated metrics, but if we don’t find better and more innovative ways to engage our people in safety, nothing is going to change! Our performance depends upon it!”… Read more...

Neglect Corrective and Preventive Actions at Your Peril

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that “all systems tend towards disorder.”

It’s interesting to me to think about actions (corrective or preventive) in the context of a management system in terms of energy and potential chaos. The reasoning for this is that without energy introduced into the system, there is a predictable outcome, which is a net loss to the system and inevitable tendency to disorder, possibly chaos. This helps me frame why paying lip-service to a management system is potentially worse than not having a management system in place at all. For some businesses, not having a management system at all (certified or not) can or will kill their ability to win contracts, operate in some markets, and ultimately identify opportunity, never mind have continuous improvement within their grasp.

Companies with management systems and those that manage actions well have an advantage over those that do not. These … Read more...