Safety First: Boosting Your Organization’s Culture of Safety by Steering Clear of Seven Dangerous Mistakes

Safety Management Program

As they say, “invest in tomorrow by practicing safety today.” While that may seem to be a very commonsensical statement, common sense is not always common.

With safety being a key component to most post-pandemic business continuity plans, there has been a re-focus on the culture of safety. Most organizations that have a safety-first mantra have put a strong focus on creating effective safety observation programs. According to Chuck Pettinger, Process Change Leader for Predictive Solutions Corp, these programs “bolster employee engagement and provide a great repository for leading indicator analysis.”

While the focus of any safety program is to incorporate best practices and learnings to ensure that your program is founded on foolproof methods, there is also a lot we can learn from their failures. Put another way, we can identify additional opportunities to further test and optimize.


How Multi-Faceted Safety Programs Can Effectively Drive a Strong Safety Culture
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OSHA Safe and Sound Week: Using Data to Make Decisions

It is a pivotal part of the safety process to have everyone involved, and more importantly, have them engage.

As we celebrate OHSA’s Safe and Sound Week focusing on the theme of management leadership, finding and fixing hazards and increasing worker participation and engagement, I recognize that at Intelex, we are closely aligned in this mission with our software platform.

At Intelex, our clients are experiencing great success in protecting their employees by using data to make decisions that help keep the work environment safe. Fundamental concerns like auditing, training management, risk assessment and reporting safety hazards – along with being able to prioritize, track and eliminate such issues – can now be controlled within an electronic centralized safety management system.  

With that said, there’s a side of safety management that OSHA called out in this year’s campaign that has long been elusive for some: worker participation. As a … Read more...

Being a safe employer pays off: Ontario announces program to reward excellence in health and safety

The Government of Ontario has announced that it will provide $140 million in WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) rebates over three years for employers who successfully implement occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS) in the workplace. The program is open to any employer regardless of sector or size, and while it will recognize existing safety management systems, it will also encourage organizations that don’t have safety management systems to create them. 

This program is the first of its kind in Canada. The incentive is part of Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers, a voluntary program that recognizes employers who are working towards lowering the accident and injury rate among Ontario workers. The program is accredited by Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) under the authority of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development with the goal of promoting health and safety in the workplace and encouraging continuous improvement in existing safety management systems. The program has … Read more...

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

Navigating the world of buying Safety Management Software (SMS) can be quite a daunting task. To help you understand the ins and outs as well as the potential benefits for your organization, we got the facts from an industry expert.

In the first part of this guide we explained how SMS can help your organization ensure employee safety, comply with regulatory and legislative standards, and finally demystified the software industry so you felt comfortable asking the necessary questions so you can make the right decision.

Now in Part II we’re going to walk you through the fee structures and benefits of using software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology, how to maximize your ROI by implementing an SMS solution, and finally how to develop an effective business proposal.

Using the information in this whitepaper, as an EHS professional you will be equipped with the tools and information you need to secure the best solution … 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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What Can Your Organization Learn from the Deepwater Horizon Disaster?

By Scott Gaddis and Graham Freeman

The Deepwater Horizon disaster has left an indelible mark on the field of health and safety. The images and footage of the massive oil rig engulfed in flames and slipping under the water are both emotionally powerful and a searing indictment of the mechanical and organizational failures that led to the tragedy.

The mechanical failures at the heart of the explosion are well-documented. A surge of hydrocarbons overwhelmed the malfunctioning blowout preventer (BOP) and travelled 18,000 feet to the rig, where they ignited and caused an untameable fire that killed 11 workers and injured 16 more. The open well dispersed approximately five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over the next three months, leading to one of the worst environmental disasters in history. By 2017, British Petroleum (BP) had already spent approximately 62 billion dollars working to mitigate the impact of … Read more...

Drive Engagement in Quality and Safety Management with the Help of Technology

“If only I could get my organization to a state where our quality culture is embedded as a norm in every leader, contributor and partner. This would alleviate our constant trouble-shooting and reactive-stance dilemma. We’ve invested, stopped to ‘sharpen the saw’ multiple times, and while we have seen initial improvements, it’s very challenging to sustain.”

“We’ve made all the right ‘traditional’ moves by putting in place a mentoring program, defining accountability, consulting stakeholders, holding events, providing support and putting training programs in place. It seems though, that we experience diminishing returns and even I can’t remember the last time I took notice of the multitude of posters (some of which I sourced) dotted around the workplace.”

Sound familiar? If you’ve said it, thought it or heard it, maybe it’s time to think differently about quality culture and, more specifically, engagement in the context of quality and/or safety management. Engagement is … Read more...

The Connected Worker Brings Many Benefits

Connecting workers to electronic systems from their actual place of work allows companies to monitor their performance, health and safety and make real-time decisions to help them work as effectively as possible. The concept of the connected employee can take many forms, from giving workers devices that wirelessly connect to an EHSQ system to outfitting them with cutting-edge clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) with embedded sensors.

The issue was the subject of an EHSQ Alliance Conference session, detailing various approaches to drive adoption of these kinds of technologies. “The connected worker drives safety and compliance. It’s really about taking paper out of the system and getting information into it faster,” said a software director at a leading technology manufacturer, explaining that it can sometimes take three months to get paper-based reports into the system.

When EHSQ-related data can be entered into the system automatically, right on the shop … Read more...

Good Systems Are Essential to Great Safety Cultures

There’s no easy and quick fix when it comes to building a safety culture.

Every organization is unique and dynamic in nature, and each has its own personality. Added to this is the reality that success in Safety is, for the most part, determined by the Safety professional’s customer – the organization’s workers themselves – and for most of us as Safety pros, our list of customers is long and varied. And each has a different definition of success.

Parallel to this thought is that there is no “one right way” to build a safer culture. Rather, it is a number of elements that must be employed to build robustness within the safety process. Simply put, organizations that demonstrate world-class performance employ a strategy with elements that control loss-producing variation throughout the work system.

Controlling process variation is not a new concept. Many successful operational effectiveness programs have been … Read more...

Tightening Processes is Key to Worker Safety

Variations that exist within system processes may be putting workers on a path to making poor decisions while performing their work and invariably compromising their safety. That’s an assertion made by Scott Gaddis, the Health and Safety Practice Leader for Intelex Technologies and a 25-year veteran of environmental health and safety leadership and management.

It’s important to tighten process methodologies to ensure there’s little room for interpretation by workers that forms bad safety habits. In his recently published Intelex Insight Report, entitled, Unleash a Better Safety Culture by Controlling Process Variability, Gaddis notes that, in many incidents where a worker performs an unsafe act, the decision that often led to err was likely influenced by other uncontrolled variables residing within the work system itself.

Dan Peterson, in his book, Human Error Reduction and Safety Management, writes that “Human error is involved in every accident and there are many reasons … Read more...