Lessons in EHS History: Constructing the Olympic Games

The Olympics have grown tremendously in size over the years since they first began. In the present day, preparing for the Olympics is a massive undertaking for any host country. The construction required to host the Olympics includes building sports venues, hotels, roads, and other major infrastructure – all for several weeks of Olympic sports. With the world’s eyes on that country, and the pressure to outdo previous host countries on everyone’s minds, the stakes are high, the projects are complex, and the timelines are tight. All of these factors pose a potential threat to worker safety and good EHS practices. In this month’s edition of Lessons in EHS History, we take a look at the evolution of the Olympics and its environmental, health and safety record.

The Origins of the Olympics

The first modern day Olympic Games were held in 1896, when less than 300 participants (all of … Read more...

Lessons in EHS History: OSHA’s Origins and 2014 Regulatory Outlook

As we toast to a Happy New Year, many of us will turn our thoughts to our resolutions for 2014. Typically the resolutions that most people make are related to personal goals: workout more frequently or spend more time with family, for example. But what kinds of resolutions might you make in your workplace? After all, estimates show that the average full-time American employee spends anywhere from 1,700 to 2,000+ hours at work each year.

You may want to look at OSHA’s “resolutions” for the upcoming year, to help guide your own workplace priorities. Not too long ago OSHA released its Fall 2013 regulatory agenda, which details the agency’s plans for new and revised regulations. In the words of the agency itself, “It is vital for an organization to know its past in order to successfully move itself forward into the future.” Let’s take a look at OSHA’s past, … Read more...

Lessons in EHS History: Salmonella and the Food Industry

We all know that the effects of salmonella poisoning are not pleasant: infected persons usually suffer from diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that begin 12 to 72 hours after exposure and symptoms will last anywhere from four to seven days. In the case of vulnerable people, such as children or the elderly, the symptoms can be far more serious and can even lead to death.

Salmonella has certainly been a hot topic in the news lately in the United States and around the world, but how well do you understand where it comes from, how the food industry combats this threat, and how you can protect yourself?

The Origins of Salmonella

Dr. Daniel E. Salmon, an American veterinary scientist, is credited with discovering the first strain of salmonella in 1885 (in fact, it was his research assistant, Theobald Smith). Simply put, salmonella is a bacterium that causes intestinal infection. So … Read more...

Lessons in EHS History: The Secret to Creating Positive Change

ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000…for many EHS & quality professionals worldwide, these are management system standards they refer to on a daily basis. But chances are there’s a lot you don’t know about the organization behind these standards, or the secret to its success.

Each year the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) selects a theme for World Standards Day, celebrated on October 14. This year’s theme is “International standards ensure positive change.” In honour of World Standards Day, let’s take a look at ISO’s history and the kinds of positive changes its standards have inspired.

The Origin of ISO & World Standards

On October 14 in 1946, 65 delegates from 25 countries gathered in London, England and agreed to form the International Organization for Standardization. The organization would become known worldwide as ISO. This acronym is widely rumored to have been derived from the Greek word isosRead more...