Compliance at the Speed of Risk

I recently read that risk management begins and ends with decision making. Perhaps this is right, but I believe not in the sense that this statement was originally made. Risk management is more than just identifying the value at risk and deciding which is the best option. While this is important it is only half of the story.

Every plan, every project, every business endeavor operates in the presence of uncertainty and this uncertainty creates the opportunity for risk. This affects decision making, of course, but also affects how a company is organized, structured, the systems and processes that are put in place, and the culture it needs to contend with uncertainty as they make progress towards their goals and mission success.

Unfortunately, up until now, many companies build their defenses around disparate management systems implemented across functional silos and reinforced by reactive behaviors. This creates the possibility for risk … Read more...

EPA: Existing Owners of Upstream Oil and Natural Gas Facilities Can Perform Self-Audits to Return to Compliance

EPA offers a new temporary program in an effort to improve compliance, environmental outcomes.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has temporarily expanded its voluntary self-audit and disclosure program for upstream oil and natural gas facilities by giving existing owners the opportunity to use EHS audits to find, correct and self-disclose Clean Air Act violations. EPA believes this self-audit program will motivate facilities to participate and start making the necessary changes to their equipment to address violations and return to compliance, improving air quality in surrounding communities.

“Upstream oil and natural gas facilities sometimes can have numerous emission violations. By temporarily expanding our self-audit program to existing owners, we expect more facilities to return to environmental compliance. This incentive to identify, correct, and self-disclose violations will provide additional public health and environmental protection in the surrounding communities,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Susan Bodine.

EPA is making … Read more...

The Intelex Quality Top 10 for 2019

Intelex provides tons of posts, webinars, and insight reports every year to help you figure out how to manage EHSQ better. Here’s our Top 10 resources on quality, all in one place!

It’s time to celebrate the Top 10 most popular or insightful blog posts, reports, or webinars we’ve brought to you in 2019 on quality-related topics! We picked these results based on feedback and interest and hope that they’ll help you learn more about the critical role quality plays in EHSQ. See you in 2020!

#10 – A Digital Transformation for Voice of the Customer (VoC) (Blog Post – September 17, 2019): This quick story shows how Fuji Xerox used their digital transformation initiatives to improve Net Promoter Score (NPS) from -4 (bad) to +35 (very good). To do this, the implemented a VoC data collection and management system.

#9 – Quality Failures Can Leave You In the DarkRead more...

Documentation and Disaster: The Importance of Documented Procedures for Any Organization

In October 2018, a Boeing 737 MAX flying with Lion Air from Jakarta crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board. In March 2019, another Boeing 737 MAX, this time with Ethiopian Airlines, crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board. Each plane had been delivered to the airlines only a few months earlier, making them the latest and most technology advanced aircraft in the world. At first glance, there should be no reason that these aircraft crashed under such similar circumstances.  

During the investigation, the root cause of these disasters began to become clear. In 2010, Boeing had begun a redesign of the 737 aircraft to remain competitive with Airbus, which had recently announced the introduction of the upgraded A320 to compete with the 737. To ensure timely delivery of the 737 MAX and avoid losing competitive advantage to Airbus, Boeing presented the 737 MAX as being similar enough to the … Read more...

GDPR Consent: Legally Managing Data about EU Citizens

If you collect data in the European Union, you’re well aware of GDPR and potential for steep fines if you are not compliant. Find out which consent rules are key.

It’s been well over a year since the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. Proposed in 2012, the regulations were approved in 2016 to provide consistency between data privacy and protection regulations across EU member nations.

The cornerstone of GDPR is consent: information about a person belongs to that person. If your organization is collecting data thatin any way relates to a citizen of the EU, that person should be informed about how you plan to use that information and kept informed as your organization’s data management strategy evolves. It doesn’t matter where the individual is located — universities who have even one student who is a citizen of the EU must also comply.… Read more...

Define Systems of Record to Boost Performance

Quality depends on data because effective decision making depends on data. As a result, successful business and process outcomes will depend on building a culture of quality around data. This includes creating and following management processes to make data accessible, available, and accurate.

One strategy for improving process quality through data is to identify master data and decide which system of record will hold each type of master data. This is similar to knowing who the experts are in your company, knowing how to find them when you need them, and getting assurance that they will provide you with accurate, up-to-date information. For example, your Environment, Health, Safety & Quality (EHSQ) system may be your system of record for emissions, incidents, exposure data, and quality events, providing a single source of truth for these processes.

Master Data

Master data is some of the most important data your organization has – … Read more...

Next Generation Quality: It’s All About the Data

As early as 2015, McKinsey’s “Digital America” report projected that adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies in manufacturing alone was expected to increase domestic GDP by over $2 Trillion by 2025. This estimate, developed from expectations surrounding productivity enhancements, waste reduction using methods from lean manufacturing, and new business models enabled by technologies like 3D printing and practices such as remanufacturing, is on track to not only be met — but exceeded.

Manufacturing is Being Revitalized

All of these sea changes are happening because of data – and the software used to collect, manipulate, and understand it. While traditional manufacturing jobs have relied on physical and mechanical skills, new manufacturing jobs require additional cognitive skills. As a result, manufacturers are scrambling to identify and roll out technology training for workers that will best support these emerging needs. At the same time, organizations recognize that institutional memory remains critical. Job shadowing … Read more...

Statistical Process Control Turns Potential Problems into Valuable Opportunities

Imagine how nice it would be if you could predict the future, if you could make decisions with the confidence that you knew exactly what their consequences would be.

Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future. But we can get greater insight into the hidden patterns in processes and information that exist right now, and that can give us a much better idea of how to respond to potential problems before they become a reality. When we put what we learn from these insights to good use with an integrated EHSQ (environment, health, safety, and quality) management system, we can also unlock the potential for incredibly valuable financial opportunities.

Statistical process control (SPC) is a method traditionally associated with manufacturing. However, it can provide deep and valuable insight into any business or production process. SPC is a mathematical technique developed in the 1920s to monitor random processes and provide alerts when … Read more...

Close the Loop on CAPAs with Verification of Effectiveness

In addition to meeting compliance requirements for many ISO defined management systems, corrective and preventive actions (CAPAs) serve another critical role: to be the backbone for your organization’s continuous improvement efforts. CAPAs help you keep track of problems that are observed, problem solving processes used to investigate them, and resolutions. Additionally, the CAPA process provides a way to trace exactly how a quality management system evolves and matures through business processes.

In ISO 9001:2015, the emphasis has shifted exclusively to corrective actions (CARs), since a risk-based approach (which includes continuous risk assessment, and regular dispatch of actions to mitigate or otherwise manage risks) should theoretically accomplish the same goals as preventive actions did in the past.

Despite the value that can be driven by a robust CAPA process, it can also quickly become overwhelming and unmanageable. Not every quality event has to be immortalized in a CAPA — some don’t … Read more...

How EHSQ 4.0 Is Set to Supercharge Your Organization

When people think of Industry 4.0, they might think of connected factories and smart manufacturing. Yet the methods and tools of Industry 4.0 extend far beyond manufacturing. Soon, every organization will be able to benefit from Industry 4.0 methods and practices as they adopt more flexible and connected networks of people, data, and machines to improve efficiency of assets, quality of products and services, and process flow.

The approach of Industry 4.0 is poised to supercharge the world of EHSQ. For several years, the EHSQ community has been using integrated management systems to consolidate ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 systems, an approach that ISO has recently made easier with the introduction of the High-Level Structure (HLS). As EHSQ assimilates the tools of Industry 4.0 to become EHSQ 4.0, it will move from being a way to record incidents and track quality events to one of bridging multiple disciplines … Read more...