Knowing When to Buy EHS Software

At what point does the cost of purchasing and implementing new software become preferable to the cost of maintaining your existing organizational software? It’s an important question, especially when you consider that as much as two-thirds of the cost of the new software is probably going to come from your EHS budget. Like just about anything else, software has an expected service life. For most well-designed systems, their useful life cycle can be as long as six to eight years; for systems that are less well designed or for applications that evolve very quickly, the useful life of business software can be as short as three years.

To maintain workplace safety you need a tool that will provide software solutions for a wide variety of services like compliance management, risk management, safety management, incident management, audits, document control, training management … the list goes on.

According to a 2017 survey … Read more...

An Insider’s Guide to Buying Safety Management Software: Part I

With an array of competitive vendors, seemingly complicated technologies, and solutions of varying scope and quality, purchasing enterprise safety management software can seem like an overwhelming process. However, understanding the inner workings of the safety software industry is not as difficult as it may seem.

Further, learning how to maximize your organization’s return on investment (ROI) by choosing the most appropriate software solution for your business needs can be a straightforward process.

The intent of Part I is twofold:

  1. Explain why Safety Management Software can help your organization ensure employee safety and comply with regulatory and legislative standards.
  2. Demystify the software industry, particularly as it relates to safety management software, and provide the questions you need to ask potential providers.

In Part II you will learn:

  1. How to maximize ROI by implementing a safety management software solution.
  2. How to develop effective business proposals that communicate the ROI potential of safety
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Safety Management Systems and Improving your Organization’s Safety

What is a safety management system?

A management system is the playbook on how an organization manages its moving parts. It provides guidelines to achieve your operational goals and create a culture of safety. The level of simplicity or the complexity of such a system is entirely dependent on the size of your organization, documentation requirements, the business functions needing control, various stakeholders, the business sector and even legal obligations. Most organizations require more than just a checklist or safety manual to make sure they are doing more than just complying with regulatory requirements. You need help managing the human factors, promoting safety awareness, providing guidelines to your employees and working towards accident prevention.

Specific to safety, a Safety Management System (SMS) is a strategic, systematic approach to ensuring a culture of safety within your organization. It is not just a set of rules based on regulatory standards such as … Read more...

Passing the Test: How Good Is your Safety Management System?

I talk a lot about management systems and why a good one is imperative to sustainable business success.

A management system, simply put, is the playbook in how an organization manages its moving parts to achieve its goals. The level of simplicity or even the complexity of such a system is entirely dependent on things like organization size, the business functions needing control, the business sector and even legal obligations, just to name a few.

Specific to safety, a Safety Management System (SMS) is a systematic approach to ensuring safety. What it is not is a set of rules based on regulatory standards such as OSHA or the HSE. The SMS is a collection of management elements that are identified and evaluated to develop and execute plans to gain and sustain control within a process framework. While organizations will decide what features the Safety Management System needs to control, the … Read more...

6 Keys to a Great EHSQ Software Implementation

During a panel discussion at the recent 2018 EHSQ Alliance conference in Austin, Tex., Tim Wolf and Greg Oickle from Arcadis – global design and consultancy experts that implement Intelex software for clients – offered their top six keys to successful implementations:

  • It’s important to establish and stay focused on a long-term vision. “It’s about making decisions today that aren’t going to prevent you from doing things tomorrow or two years or five years from now,” said Oickle. “It’s also about considering where you want to be five years from now. Today you might want to do incident management, which will let you enter incidents and figure out what’s happening, but maybe two years from now you might want to assess risks and figure out how you can actually reduce the number of incidents that are reported. So designing with the future in mind is important.”Added Wolf: “There is
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6 Reasons Why Quality Professionals Support Integrated Management Systems

On February 8, 2017, I delivered a presentation to 138 attendees on Integrated Management Systems (IMS) at the monthly ASQ Toronto section meeting. To learn more about IMS, read The Case for EHSQ Integrated Management Systems. The audience consisted of a broad range of experts including CQEs, CQAs, CQIAs, CSSGB, CSSBB, management consultants, auditors, among others.

As part of the introduction, I asked the audience how many people have either heard about or were already familiar with Integrated Management Systems and I’d say about 40% of the audience raised their hands – which is a good sign! I was actually only expecting about 10 to 20 people to raise their hands. This definitely demonstrates that Integrated Management Systems is of interest to quality management professionals.  The concept of an IMS becomes even more important because of the harmonization of standards due to the recent changes in ISO 9001:2015, ISO … Read more...

Learnings from Safety Professionals: Issues Involved in the Gathering of Leading Indicators

 In December, 2016, our EHSQ Community had several Leading Indicator Mastermind sessions with Dr Vince Marchesani and Tamara Parris to discuss the use of leading indicators in our community members industrial workplaces.

During our sessions we learned of the 56 participants, currently 34 members are collecting leading indicators as part of their safety data gathering efforts. Interestingly most people, 26 members, are using manual methods to collect their data. When asked, who do you share the data with the majority, 28 members, reported they share it at safety meetings with their whole team. Which we found surprising because in past conversations consultants often elude that this data is shared with the Executives who establish the policies and budget that guide safety programs.

During the two sessions we noticed four reoccurring conversational themes:

  • identifying strong leading indicators to monitor
  • collecting quality data
  • creating a “No Blame” work environment
  • value of incentive
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The Case for EHSQ Integrated Management Systems

Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to manage your organization’s management systems using an Integrated Management System?  Silos and disparate systems should be a thing of the past.  Between the Quality Management System (QMS), Safety Management System (SMS), and Environmental Management System (EMS), there is abundant opportunity to eliminate inefficiency and duplication of activities especially in more complex organizations with multiple business units.


To learn more, watch this webinar hosted by ASQ (American Society for Quality) where Peter-Elias Alouche discusses:

  • The importance of the customer’s perspective
  • Why businesses should integrate their management systems
  • What is an EHSQ Integrated Management System anyways?
  • What are some of the opportunities to start integrating management systems today
  • The importance of culture

Whenever you assess or improve the effectiveness of your organization’s management system(s), you need to think about your customers and what they want. It’s easy to get caught up … Read more...

AOPL Releases New Pipeline Safety Statistics & Strategies

This month the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) released their 2015 annual report on liquid pipeline safety in the United States, its reported numbers now entering a debate that has been making headlines in recent months. At the heart of the debate is this question: how safe are our pipelines?

Recent Pipeline Leaks Gain Attention

In the U.S., two major pipeline leaks in January 2015 have shone a spotlight on pipeline safety concerns, a topic that is already near the forefront of public consciousness as the Keystone XL oil pipeline continues to dominate the news.

The North Dakota pipeline spill on January 6 leaked approximately 3 million gallons of brine, which is a salty and toxic byproduct of oil and natural gas production. The spill polluted two creeks and saltwater contamination reached the Missouri River; the full environmental impact is still unknown.

Eleven days later, a Montana oil pipeline … Read more...

EHS This Week: Ontario Inspection Blitz Uncovers Thousands of Youth Safety Violations and More!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • NTSB’s “Most Wanted List 2015”
  • FAA Now Requiring Safety Management Systems for Airlines
  • Ontario Inspection Blitz Uncovers Thousands of youth Safety Violations

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • NTSB’s Most Wanted List 2015. Click here
  • Ontario Inspection Blitz Results. View them here.

[audio: 2015/01/EHSTW-011615.mp3]… Read more...