Best Practices for Managing Risk in High Hazard Industries

Despite many improvements over the last century, serious injuries, work-related fatalities and property loss remain a significant global challenge in different high-hazard industries. Improved risk identification, control and management can reduce risks to employees, facilities and the surrounding area.

Our latest Expert Connection session, Managing Risk in High Hazard Industries, is designed to examine the elements of risk management, particularly in high hazard industries, and the technologies being used to mitigate risk. Panelists include Debra Koehler, Director, Solution & Industry Marketing, Intelex Technologies ULC; David D. Wagner, Director of Applications Engineering & Product Knowledge, Industrial Scientific; and Michael Wegleitner, Corporate Director of Health & Safety, Hecla Mining Company. They will review:

  • The elements of risk management, particularly in high hazard industries.
  • How risk is determined and measured.
  • The technologies being used to mitigate risk.

The live session is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2, 2021 … Read more...

Intelex Experts Examine How the Construction Industry Is Flexing its Technology Muscle

The construction industry has been engaging more and more in technology solutions for challenges such as regulatory compliance, safety analytics, training tracking and more. Join our panel of experts for our latest Expert Connect session, “Construction Builds Technology Muscle” on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, from 10am-10:45am EDT

Chuck Pettinger, Ph.D., Process Change Leader – Implementation for Predictive Solutions Corp., will be our moderator. Chuck has over 30 years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating culture step-change initiatives. His major interests include developing large-scale corporate behavior change initiatives, assessing industrial safety cultures, using advanced predictive analytics to develop leading indicators and conducting organizational leadership workshops.

Chuck will guide our experts through a discussion about some of the technologies being used by world-class companies in the construction industry to protect workers and the business. Existing challenges like compliance and safety have been compounded by new challenges brought about by economic … Read more...

EHSQ Professionals Are Using Technology to Teach New Tricks to Old Tasks

As a Gen Xer, I’ve seen the evolution of consumer products through the years. When looking at consumer audio devices, the transition from records to CDs to the audio streaming apps used today has been nothing less than astonishing. While I’ve grown accustomed to playing the game of catch up every few years, I suspect that the pace of this will accelerate even more in the coming years. 

The same is true at work. Access to new and improved technology allows me to work from home, stream video conferencing calls, view dashboards that track business performance, use my phone to instant message coworkers and much more. As an EHSQ professional, what technology do you use at work that have enhanced how you perform your job tasks?

For example, are you utilizing:

PPS and sensors to keep remote workers and their managers connected and notify teams of the potential exposure to Read more...

Mitigating Threats and Uncovering Opportunity: Learning About the Complexity of Risk

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the concept of risk-based thinking to worldwide attention. The global scale of the pandemic and the indiscriminate way in which the virus is transmitted mean that risk experts must consider a vast number of risk profiles when calculating the threat.

Consider this: COVID-19 can be transmitted from anyone to anyone, which means every single person on the planet is at risk. Yet the nature of the virus and the different contexts in which people live mean that not everyone shares the same level of risk. Elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions are at very high risk of serious complications from COVID-19, while young, healthy people are at a much lower level of risk.

The economy is facing an extreme risk from the disruption to the labor market and mandatory isolation of consumers who would normally be out spending money, yet fully digital enterprises like … Read more...

Why Risk-Based Thinking Should Be Part of Your Quality Management System

While the concept of risk is easy enough to understand, figuring out how to apply it to your organization can be somewhat more complicated. Learning how to manage the effect of uncertainty in such a way as to determine the impact on how value is created and sustained requires a deep understanding of your organization’s processes. Many organizations are tempted to avoid these difficulties by ignoring risk management altogether, which can lead to cost overruns, time delays, waste, rework, or even to more serious problems that have an impact on health and safety or the environment.

Fortunately, ISO 9001:2015 for quality management systems (QMS) can provide some much-needed guidance on how to make risk-based thinking the cornerstone of your QMS. ISO 9001:2015 incorporates risk-based thinking throughout to help your organization make better quality decisions that anticipate and prevent process problems. It also incorporates the high-level structure of Annex SL to … Read more...

The Campbell Institute Releases Strategies for Injury and Fatality Prevention

Organizations that pursue strategies to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities have reached a level of maturity in their safety management systems that allows them to identify the most serious risks to workers.

The Campbell Institute, the global Center of EHS Excellence at the National Safety Council, has released a new white paper, Designing Strategy for Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention – the second in its series on this emerging safety trend. The report shares the perspectives of 11 Institute member and partner organizations on a variety of topics surrounding the development of their serious injury and fatality (SIF) prevention strategies and long-term goals, including metrics, tools, communication, and performance.

“We’re finding that organizations pursuing SIF prevention strategies have reached a level of maturity that goes beyond focusing on near misses and injuries to identifying the most severe risks,” said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute. “Organizations working on SIF … Read more...

Don’t Let Your Incident Management System Sink Like the Titanic

Ask a group of people what caused the Titanic to sink and most will say, “An iceberg.” In reality, the Titanic tragedy was caused by a series of events—management failures, poor-quality construction, employee errors/lack of training, poor planning, and either failure to track incidents or the inability to analyze incident data in a meaningful way—that ended with the sinking of the ship.  

As explained in the new Insight Report, The Five Things You Need to Know about Incident Reporting and Management,” safety and environmental disasters rarely occur because of a single event or incident, which is why it’s critical to adopt an incident management system that identifies root causes and protects your business from future occurrences.  

Workplace incidents can be painful for injured employees, the environment, and your organization’s bottom line, but incident management and reporting doesn’t have to be a pain point for you. 

Effective incident reporting and risk management … Read more...

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...

Risk-Based Thinking: Where to Begin

What is Risk?

Risk can be defined as “the effect of uncertainty on outcomes” (ISO 31000) or, alternatively, as “anything that can prevent an organization from achieving its objectives” (Kendall, 2017). Managing risk means taking responsibility and exploring uncertainty. Successfully addressing risk means making decisions that further an organization’s mission and goals. This framework is fundamental to ensuring effective quality management.

Hazards and threats are sources of risk. Hazards, which are situations with the potential to result in injuries, damage or harm, can be physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, psychological, political or social. Hazards can become threats if (and when) they are activated. For example, a virus (computer or biological) may be a hazard, but it only becomes a threat if you might be impacted by it. The likelihood and severity of that impact on a particular person, place or thing determines the risk.

What you can do to effectively manage

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4 Best Practices for Life Science Manufacturers to Manage Risk

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Managing risk for life science organizations is often seen as simply a way to achieve and maintain industry compliance, and not as a means to improving operational performance.

That’s far from the perception in other industries, where effective risk management also supports continuous improvement and competitive differentiation.

Industry leaders in risk management are committed to continuous improvement programs, which drive down risks on existing products. The reality today is that the changing nature of risks requires adopting effective strategies to properly prioritize and mitigate them.

Arguably life science manufacturers should adopt a similar approach that takes advantage of best practices from across industries.

To that end, manufacturers should focus on:

Using a single unified framework for risk management

A unified framework allows the ability to compare risks, and execute continuous improvement measures. Many possible risk models exist, such as failure modes/failure effects/causes/controls/verification, or hazards/harms/controls/consequences. A unified model allows manufacturers to … Read more...