OSHA’s Effects on Temporary Workers

In the past year, OSHA has broadened their initiatives to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. This focus on the safety of temporary workers has tightened the standards for business owners looking to hire temporary employees. Organizations who fail to meet these standards face serious OSHA fines for violations and liabilities.

As a result of a recent death of a temporary employee, inspections revealed that many temp workers had not been fully trained or provided protective equipment, making them vulnerable to serious workplace hazards. These hazards included misuse of toxic chemicals, lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), lockout and tag-out protection violations, and more. These are only a few of the hazards temp workers are dealing with in the workforce.

Inspections
To combat the lack of safety for temp workers, OSHA inspectors will assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and … Read more...

Meet an Intelex Client: Candi Castellano, CMC

Candi Castellano is an Administrative Assistant at Commercial Metals Company (CMC), a Fortune 500 steel company based in Texas that recycles, manufactures, fabricates and trades steel globally. The company has been using Intelex’s software for approximately two years now, and in the video below Candi discusses the improvements she’s seen in that time.

Meet an Intelex Client: Candi Castellano – CMC from Intelex Videos on Vimeo.

“It used to take me a day to prepare my reports for month end and now it takes me about an hour,” says Candi, who is thrilled with the time savings she’s been able to achieve in her job.

CMC uses Intelex’s Incident Management system and a custom form that they call their “Safety Action Form.” Prior to Intelex, there was a need to increase reporting consistency across the organization’s different locations. “Among our 120 locations everyone had different reporting systems,” Candi explains. … Read more...

The evolution of EHS systems and the pivotal role Intelex continues to play

On last week’s EHS This Week podcast JP and I talked about the new OSHA National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Isocyanate. If you listened you know that Isocyanate is one of the chemicals that was responsible for the devastation in Bhopal in 1984 that left an estimated 20,000 dead and hundreds of thousands injured, with many of them being permanently disabled. 

It reminded me how infrequently we here at Intelex talk about that catastrophic event despite the fact that our company history is deeply ingrained in the story. With almost 30 years between the tragedy and today I suppose it is to be expected that the close tie is all but forgotten.

I thought I’d use this post to remind the Intelex community of the role we have played in helping companies ensure the safety of their employees and in mitigating the occurrence of horrific tragedies such as the one … Read more...

Training Gap Analysis 101

Training new hires in the tech industry has become a challenging pursuit among training and development professionals. As technology endlessly evolves, training objectives have to follow suit. This can cause large gaps in your training program if they are not addressed early and often. Conducting a Training Gap Analysis is a great way to stay on top of the dynamic beast that is your tech organization.

What is a Training Gap Analysis?

Essentially, a Training Gap Analysis describes the difference between the job skills that your people are currently gaining or improving through training and the skills that they will need in the immediate future to keep your company competitive.

The idea behind any Gap Analysis is to create a bridge between where your organization is and where it needs to be. In training, it is about making what we train as close to what actually happens on the job.… Read more...

True competence starts with strategy

We’ve discussed how training is not competence and how compromised employee competence can hurt all aspects of business performance. So, what do you do about it? Today I’d like to discuss a very simple approach to developing effective training and cultivating workplace competence.

While a high level of employee competence makes the difference between a simply serviceable workforce and one that truly excels, many might contest that achieving competence is easier said than done. This is true; properly training staff can be a significant burden on any organization. Simply providing training, tracking training, and measuring competence post-training involves substantial costs, multiple dedicated, full-time trainers, depending on the organization’s size – burdens that are significantly reduced if not entirely eliminated for organizations that use the right training tracking and management software. Coupling these software tools with a training strategy will generate results for any organization of any size, under any … Read more...

The organizational costs of incompetence

Yesterday we talked about how being trained doesn’t necessarily equate with competence. Today we’ll take a brief look at how that discrepancy can impact organizational performance.

To start, take a look at the picture to the right. Now, by no means are we casting aspersions on the capabilities of these two able-bodied young men by implying that they are incompetent, as the title above alludes. However, given the tremendous level of accuracy, acuity and precision required every day in their individual roles within their manufacturing setting, it’s a good entry point for this discussion to consider how one hole in their training could, at any point, on any day, engender compromised competence, thereby resulting in a possible environmental, health or safety-related disaster or impact product quality.

Training touches every part of your business

The benefits of a training program that cultivates actual competence are multifaceted and impact all aspects of … Read more...

Is your trained employee competent?

It happens all the time. A worker makes a misstep in his or her day-to-day duties. The mistake leads to a serious injury, compromised product quality, negative environmental impacts, or even a fatality. “But they were trained,” the supervisor responsible for the employee in question objects. Trained, indeed – but were they competent in their job?

This situation is a regular occurrence in workplaces around the world and it speaks to a widespread and persistent discrepancy in many conventional approaches to training management: the gulf between simply delivering training and ensuring actual competency. Organizations that have achieved success know the value of a comprehensive, robust training program. Streamlined onboarding of new employees and ongoing training – and, critically, training tracking – throughout the course of their professional development can, if delivered effectively, lead to a more effective and responsible workforce, and greater retention rates. After all, while the costs associated with recruiting, … Read more...

In the heat of the moment

‘Water, rest and shade’ are the three key components U.S Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, will be focusing on promoting to outdoor workers in the upcoming summer of 2012.   It’s all part of OSHA’s recently launched national outreach initiative to raise awareness over the dangers of working outside in hot weather. 

Every year, heat exhaustion reaches thousands of outdoor workers in industries such as roofing, construction, transportation, utilities, and landscaping, to name a few.  While onsite, what employees may initially discover with simple heat rashes and cramps can often result in severe heat stroke or even fatality. 

Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, says these are workplace hazards that can be easily avoided with simple precautions.  “Anyone who works outside is at risk”, adds Michaels, “Drinking plenty of water and taking frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas are incredibly important in the hot summer months.”  To add to Read more...

Top 10 essential tips to ensure top-notch training tracking

Gone are the days that monitoring and tracking employee training is a nice to have. Maintaining this information plays a big part in both having visibility into the competency of your employees and in mitigating the corporate risk that can devastate a company if it’s not in place.

And organizations use this information in multiple ways. If you have had any exposure to the ISO set of standards, you’ll know that pretty much every standard outlined by ISO (be it 14001, 9001, 26000, 50001 etc.) includes training as an essential component.  So if you want to be certified or just conform to the standard, you better make sure that your training tracking house is in order.

But it doesn’t stop at ISO standards, look at the regulatory bodies around occupational health and safety, specifically OSHA in the US and WSIB and other agencies in Canada and around the world; not adhering … Read more...

The pros of bottom-up training methodologies

As opposed to a top-down training methodology discussed last week, a bottom-up approach to training management relies on creativity, collaboration and communication, as well as a degree of organizational flexibility and agility. Essentially, under this approach, executive management defines high-level corporate and training goals. Smaller teams are responsible for defining targets that contribute to these goals and configuring training regimens accordingly. Team leads and managers are accountable to their supervisors, but teams themselves are graced with the flexibility to adjust training and procedural approaches on the basis of both their ‘up-close-and-personal’ knowledge of the processes they are exposed to most intimately and regularly, and the fresh insights that accompany new additions to the team who are recently trained or in the midst of training. The net result is teams, departments and the organization at large is able to achieve defined targets and goals more effectively and expeditiously.

In spite … Read more...