2017 is shaping up to be a record breaking fire season. Last month’s wildfires in California damaged or destroyed more than 14,700 homes across several counties. Canada has recorded 4,870 fires so far this year, which have burned over seven million acres. To help aid in fire prevention and help those in need, please find the following information in this article: The top causes of fires. Steps to take if you are on a fire watch or warning. A list of organizations that are assisting with the California fires as well as disasters worldwide, for those that want to help. Top Causes of Fires1 Smoking materials (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States Arson and intentional fires, such as candles in a home General cooking, microwaves, cooking oil and turkey fryers Electrical safety in the home with circuit interrupters Heating, specifically heating fires in the winter Children playing with fire What to Do During Fire Watches or Warnings2 Sign up for local Emergency Notifications/Alerts Have an Evacuation Plan and a designated meeting place to reconnect after the evacuation Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice and follow evacuation orders Make sure there’s at least a 72-hour supply of important medications in your bag Remove deck/patio furniture, cushions and door mats to prevent ember ignitions Remove portable propane tanks from the deck/patio Know how to turn off the gas to the home Place a ladder against the house (for Fire Department use) Have your garden hoses connected (for Fire Department use) Make sure windows, doors and garage doors are closed Make sure windows are closed on vehicles that will remain at the residence while you’re evacuated Ways to Help Fire Victims If you wish to donate to the forest fire victims in California, below is a list of organizations aiding relief efforts. ISN Canada has supported the Canadian Red Cross in providing assistance to those affected by the wildfires, however, there are many organizations providing support. American Red Cross HHFRF California Fire Foundation Other common organizations that accept donations worldwide: Australian Red Cross British Red Cross Canadian Red Cross Direct Relief International Committee of The Red Cross The Salvation Army For up-to-date information on evacuation orders and states of emergency, visit the California Fire website or the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System. 1http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire 2http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in the spirit of continual improvement, has issued instructions strengthening its Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) with regard to the implementation of company incentive programs. The VPP was established as a way for companies to create a working relationship with OSHA and receive recognition if their safety statistics are lower than the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) averages for their industry. Many companies have created programs that promote increased safety awareness and participation throughout their workforce. The latest memorandum from OSHA acts to clarify the requirements of such programs. Incentive programs are those that reward employees for their honesty and feedback with regard to reporting incidents and providing proactive suggestions toward improving the safety culture around their workplace. These programs support company commitment to employee safety. Incentives usually range from t-shirts to company parties and should not single out or discipline employees that report incidents and injuries. Incentive programs that focus on the number of injuries and reports have now been deemed “disincentives” by OSHA as they tend to celebrate lower injury rates over a period of time or for typically meeting lagging safety goals that have been set. These programs have shown to drive down incident reporting, therefore decrease the number of reports for injuries and near misses due to fear of ruining the chances of a reward for themselves or rest of the group. The VPP has provided new instructions to give applicants and current members proper guidelines for incentive programs. These incentive programs will be evaluated and companies will be given feedback to ensure their program does not discourage reporting. By following the instructions in an acceptable incentive program, employees are given the ability to report incidents truthfully to improve the workplace for all employees. This is another step in promoting safety culture for participants in the VPP and anyone considering adding an incentive program to their organization. If you would like more information regarding the Voluntary Protection Program, please visit their website at https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/vpp/index.html.
ISN’s Contractor Management Strategy Survey collected insights from 200+ decision makers at 160+ companies, who manage contractors and subcontractors in ISNetworld. The findings from this survey are designed to provide a contractor management benchmark which helps companies drive continual improvement in their efforts toward a zero-incident workplace. According to the inaugural survey from ISN, the shortage of a skilled and competent workforce was identified as the top challenge by companies in achieving their contractor management objectives in the next 12-18 months. At the same time, 42 percent of the companies surveyed expect their need for outsourcing work to third-party contractors to increase, half of which anticipate double-digit increases. “Internal and external constraints such as competing internal priorities, shortage of qualified workers and an increased reliance on subcontractor relationships continue to put pressure on companies that hire contractors,” said Joseph Eastin, President and Chief Executive Officer of ISN. “It is essential to have a strategic contractor management plan in place that ensures work is being completed in a safe, reliable and sustainable manner.” Improving the safety performance of both employees and contractors was identified as the top priority for driving organization’s contractor management goals. In addition, improving business continuity and operational excellence was also ranked as a key driver for meeting their contactor management objectives. “The survey data confirms what we’ve seen in the industry; leading organizations drive a safety-first culture and maintain a documented strategic plan for their contractor management objectives,” said Dag Yemenu, Senior Vice President of Technical Services at ISN. “By establishing a clear communication strategy, incorporating a risk-ranking process and integrating internal business processes, a sustainable contractor management system is one that enables you to meet your safety and compliance objectives while promoting a culture of transparency, partnership and continuous improvement.” To access the Contractor Management Strategy White Paper and additional ISN Analytics Publications, please visit https://www.isn.com/newsroom/publications.
With over 36,000 contracting companies reporting information to Hiring Clients in the United States, ISN’s Analytics Team was able to conduct a heat map analysis investigating four Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) listed below. KPIs Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) Days Away, Restricted Activity or Job Transfer Incident Rate (DART) Fatality Rate Lost Time Case Rate (LTC) Representing more than 9.6 billion work hours reported by U.S. contractors, the data in this analysis illustrates the location of contractors (main or branch office) and the specific, aggregated KPI by state. Industries with substantial impact on states with the highest rates are noted as well. To view other ISN publications, including white papers and benchmarking reports, visit ISN’s Publications Page.
Register now for the 2018 ISN CONNECT Conference taking place at the Omni Dallas Hotel on May 1-2, 2018. This users’ conference brings together over 2,000 industry professionals to share best practices, discuss industry initiatives, network with peers and attend thought-provoking keynote and breakout sessions. ISN CONNECT also offers hands-on labs, demonstration kiosks, networking opportunities and one-on-one appointments to help users with any account-specific questions. There is no cost for ISN Hiring Clients and contractor customers to attend. Visit www.isnconnect.com for updates on the conference agenda and additional speakers as they are announced.
The 2017 NAEM EHS Forum NAEM’s EHS & Sustainability Management Forum is the largest annual gathering for environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability decision-makers. Celebrating its 25th year, NAEM’s annual conference has been the premiere event dedicated to best practice-sharing for those developing and integrating strategic environmental, health and safety programs within companies. This year’s Forum is taking place October 25-27 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Why Attend? The NAEM EHS Forum provides the best opportunity for processional networking, benchmarking and best practice sharing available to EHS and sustainability practitioners today. 650 EHS and sustainability environmental compliance professionals and over 300 companies participated in the 2016 Forum. Join the Conversation ISN is featured as a Green Sponsor at this year’s Forum. Our team will be located booth #212 in the exhibit hall. Visit us to learn more about how ISN helps connect Hiring Clients with safe and sustainable contractors, facilitating partnerships to help ensure compliance with safety and procurement standards. We will be providing live demonstrations of our online contractor management platform, ISNetworld. Copies of our industry-wide benchmarking reports and the white paper, What is Best-in-Class Contractor Management will be available.
This Year’s Conference ISN invites you to visit our booth at the Southeast Mine Safety & Health Conference from November 1-3 in Birmingham, Alabama. This year’s conference theme is “The Safest Journey of Your Life.” Almost 40 exhibitors will be showcasing the latest in safety products and solutions, and over 650 safety professionals will be in attendance. Southeast Mine Safety & Health Conference The Southeast Mine Safety and Health Conference Executive Committee is a not-for-profit group formed to plan, market, manage, continuously improve and perpetuate the annual Southeast Mine Safety and Health Conference. This group is made up solely of volunteers from the Southeastern United States mining profession who have a steadfast passion for mine safety and health. The conference partners with industry peers to offer the best mining conference in order to strengthen safety and health core values. Visit Our Booth Stop by booth # 31 to discuss your contractor management goals and learn more about ISNetworld. We will have copies of ISN’s white paper on Best-In-Class contractor management systems and health and safety benchmarking reports.
More than 450 ISN employees participated in ISN’s annual Volunteer Day by helping almost 20 Dallas-area non-profit organizations. Some of the charities included Dallas LIFE, SPCA of Texas Goodwill, SPARK!, Educational First Steps, The Bridge, Scottish Rite Hospital and The Family Place. “What a pleasure it was to introduce ISN to Dallas LIFE. We hope that the groups that come to volunteer have an understanding that they are part of a big picture and are helping to make a difference,” said Pamela Culbertson, Director of Volunteerism and Children at Dallas LIFE. “We are keenly aware that we would be unable to do what we do if it wasn’t for the people who faithfully serve in volunteer positions. Thank you for partnering with Dallas LIFE.” ISN employees selected the non-profit where they volunteered, learned about each organization’s mission and helped by making crafts with children, preparing meals, assisting with upkeep on community trails, and cleaning classrooms for after school programs. “It is important to give back to the community in as many ways as we can,” said Joe Eastin, President and CEO at ISN. “We volunteer throughout the year in Dallas and other communities with ISN employees, but the designated volunteer day is an opportunity for our entire company to work together and help others in need. We look forward to it every year.”
ISN held its second ISN Institute Certified User Program for Hiring Clients on September 19-21, 2017 at its headquarters in Dallas, Texas. There were 26 participants representing more than 19 companies across multiple industries that attended the program. “I would say my proficiency has definitely increased in the items that I had been using and knew of, but that was only a small portion of what ISN can do,” said Brooke Otis, Sourcing Manager at Enel Green Power. “I am amazed by how much more we can do with this program and look forward to building on our current functions.” The Certified User Program served as an opportunity for participants to receive additional information on ISNetworld functionality in a hands-on training environment. Participants were able to benchmark their company’s current processes, network with their industry peers and receive an ISNetworld Certified User Certificate at its completion. “Interest in the ISN Institute Certified User Program has continued to grow since our first session in February,” said Marie Anderson, Associate Vice President at ISN. “ISN and certified users are making strides towards achieving the shared goal of improving workplace safety by increasing participant’s confidence in using ISNetworld’s tool and services.” Certified User Program participants were also able to: Learn strategies for engaging employees in the contractor management process Review ISNetworld from the contractors’ perspective Participate in usability testing of tools included in ISNetworld 12.0 For additional information, please contact your ISN Account Representative or the ISN Customer Service Team by phone or at email@example.com.
ISN, in conjunction with the OSHA Education Center at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), is offering a four-hour, OSHA Recordkeeping seminar following ISNetworld Users Group Meetings (UGM) held in the Region 6 cities. The goal of this seminar is to assist companies in understanding OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, maintaining and posting records, submitting records electronically and reporting severe injuries. Participants will receive a Department of Labor OSHA Certificate from UTA’s OSHA Education Center and 0.4 CEUs. This is in addition to the 0.2 CEUs that can be earned by attending an ISNetworld Users Group Meeting. Houston, Texas – November 14 Beaumont, Texas – December 6 Nearly 300 customers attended the recordkeeping seminars held in Plano, New Orleans, Midland, Oklahoma City and Hobbs earlier this year. To register for a UGM and/or Recordkeeping seminar near you, please visit ISN’s events page. To find out more about OSHA’s reporting requirements please visit their website at Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements. To view OSHA’s list of Frequently-Asked Questions, visit OSHA FAQs.