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以下為2019年環安人員最專注的十大事項:

1. Workplace Violence Prevention(職場暴力與因應策略)

2. Medical Marijuana/Drug Testing(醫用大麻/藥物測試對職業安全及個人的影響)

3. Women's PPE(女性防護具或防護器具)

4. ISO 45001(職業安全衛生管理系統)

5. Leading Indicators(主動式安全指標)

6. Micro learning(間歇式學習/微學習)

7. Ergonomics(人體工效學/人因工程學)

8. Drones(無人機偵測)

9. Cyber security(網絡資訊安全議題)

10. Cultural Barriers in Training(職場安全培訓中的文化屏障) 


原文刊載於:EHS Today
文章作者:Stefanie Valentic EHS Today(Top 10 Trends in EHS for 2019)
編輯翻譯:威煦軟體

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﹝原文對照﹞

1. Workplace Violence Prevention

He was quiet, such a nice guy. He kept to himself. He didn’t socialize much. Does that sound familiar?

Neighbors, coworkers, friends of active shooting perpetrators typically describe the person to the media as a nice person in the days following a mass casualty incident. They typically don’t recognize the behaviors and actions of a person planning an act of workplace violence.

“The average worker does not snap overnight – that’s Hollywood,” says Al Shenouda, a former law enforcement tactical commander and security advisor with the Department of Homeland Security.

Workplace violence is more likely to occur in places without policies or managers who understand what types of behaviors lead to an event. So, what can a safety professional do to effectively train workers to spot acts of incivility, discontent and changes in a person they see on a daily basis? 

Having an “it’ll never happen to me” mentality is a surefire way to be unprepared when an act of workplace violence occurs, Shenouda says.

The value of early recognition, or seeing changes in a worker and addressing them, is the first step to prevention.

“Establish an early warning system,” says Gino Soave, Niles Industrial Coatings’ corporate safety director. “No threat is too small. Words always precede actions.”

Changes in behavior should be reported to a supervisor. For example, introverted workers that begin to voice their opinions in an aggressive manner, or an employee that is more extroverted and seem withdrawn could potentially plan to retaliate.

When it comes down to it, every employee should have some type of basic awareness training, Shenouda says.

—Stefanie A. Valentic


2. Medical Marijuana/Drug Testing


How can an employer continue to pursue a drug-testing policy in the midst of the continuing trend of states legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use, especially when these states’ laws run up against federal laws that still ban the psychoactive drug’s use?

 It can be hard to do so, but it is still possible, according to attorneys J. Christopher Selman and Alexander Thrasher of the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. “This rapidly evolving legal landscape presents new challenges for employers, particularly those with offices and employees in several states,” they admit. “Employers must balance complying with often divergent federal and state laws, maintaining a safe work environment and protecting employees’ rights.” 

Most employers today have implemented a zero-tolerance policy that bans the use of alcohol and illegal substances for obvious safety reasons, but new state laws can create additional problems partly because those company policies usually exclude prescription drugs when a worker informs the employer about using them.

“Developing a well-defined company policy on marijuana use can minimize the risk of harm to persons and property, and decrease the likelihood that drug testing and disciplinary action arising from marijuana intoxication will open the door to liability for adverse employment decisions,” Selman and Thrasher assert.

—David Sparkman

3. Women's PPE


A high-profile snafu in space has brought new focus on personal protective equipment (PPE) and the obligation of employers to make sure that it fits all the members of an increasingly diverse workforce who are expected to wear it.

This was brought home most vividly in late March 2019 when NASA was forced to cancel the first-ever space walk by two women at the International Space Station because only one of the appropriate space suits on board would properly fit a woman.

No sooner did the space station incident hit newspaper headlines and network news than social media erupted with the an they felt amounted to discrimination against women employees by ignorant or deliberately callous employers. They cited incidents when equipment was so ill-fitting that it created dangers or simply made it extremely difficult to accomplish the tasks expected of them.

The ill-fitting equipment and clothing they described included bulletproof vests, oversized work boots, hazmat suits, gloves and PPE equipment at construction sites—all designed to be worn only by an average-sized man. Adding to their anger was the fact that some employers regarded different-sized equipment for women as something that was not their responsibility and that in many cases the woman was expected to purchase it herself.

Your business may not operate in outer space, but under federal law employers are required to consider these issues when determining required PPE for their workplaces and must make sure that the PPE properly fits the employee to ensure it provides the intended protection, says attorney Todd Logsdon of law firm Fisher Phillips.

—David Sparkman

4. ISO 45001


“ISO 45001 is the future of safety,” Ed Foulke, Fisher Phillips partner, says. The new international standard is going to be the basis for all safety management systems implemented globally, not because companies want to, but because customers will demand it.

The delicate dance between safety and the bottom line is finally coming to an end as the new standard directs top management of companies to implement systems company-wide.

“We wanted to take the safety profession and get them to the C-suite,” Foulke, who worked on the ISO 45001 committee, explains.

With ISO 45001, responsibility for safety is not tasked to a specific person such as a safety director. It does not specify performance criteria or mandate a specific system design, which means companies are able to use current frameworks to build a more robust, effective system.

So, why should a company care about the new international standard? Because ISO 45001 assesses risks beforehand, rather than working backward after an injury has already occurred. In addition, safety leadership from all levels is required to make the model work. With this involvement, safety professionals now are able to prove return on investment (ROI) to top-level executives.

“This will allow companies to go from good to great to world-class,” Foulke says. “There’s not way you’re not going to get there because it is a continuous improvement model.”

 —Stefanie A. Valentic

5. Leading Indicators


In the future, employers will need to deal with federal safety law compliance from an entirely new perspective. OSHA has announced that it is moving away from relying on past employer safety data, or lagging indicators, to focus its enforcement efforts on what it defines as leading indicators.

“These lagging indicators have been denounced by safety and health professionals as reactive, and an ineffective means of measuring the effectiveness of an employer’s safety and health program. OSHA has finally agreed,” says attorney Samantha Catone of the law firm of Goldberg Segalla LLP. “As a result of this shift, employers must become well-versed in leading indicators and how to utilize them.”

Up until now, the agency for a long time chose to focus on “OSHA recordables,” or the number of work-related injuries contained in an employer’s OSHA 300 log, to assess safety in workplaces.

“Leading indicators can play a vital role in preventing worker fatalities, injuries, and illnesses and strengthening other safety and health outcomes in the workplace,” OSHA says. ”Leading indicators are proactive and preventive measures that can shed light about the effectiveness of safety and health activities and reveal potential problems in a safety and health program.”

—David Sparkman

6. Microlearning


For a company the size of retail giant Walmart, ensuring the safety of more than 90,000 workers employed in more than 150 distribution centers is no small undertaking.

Warehouses and loading docks are notorious for workplace incidents (which of course are notoriously expensive); so, Walmart set itself the goal of reducing OSHA recordable incidents. That meant the retailer would need to improve its workers’ awareness of safety practices. Walmart needed to create a safety culture, but with a workforce that encompasses all age groups and generations, that would take some doing. In fact, it would take a new breed of safety technology.

Walmart opted for a microlearning solution, one that lets each employee access the company’s safety training on their own terms. Gamification doesn’t really adequately describe the microlearning process; certainly, workplace safety isn’t meant to be a game. Yet, the attraction to microlearning technology is that it engages a worker in a way that immediately gets their attention and keeps it—in Walmart’s case, for roughly five minutes at a time, through a series of entertainingly produced safety scenarios and questions.

The results have been impressive: a 91% participation rate; an increase in knowledge levels on safety by as much as 15%; and a reduction in recordable incident rates at eight Walmart distribution centers of 54%. Walmart’s experience with microlearning is a scenario that’s becoming increasingly common throughout numerous industries.

—Dave Blanchard

7. Ergonomics


Ergonomics is defined as designing the workplace to match people’s capabilities. The goal of ergonomics is to optimize human performance.

When it’s done correctly, there are two primary positive outcomes: improved employee well-being and enhanced business performance. When ergonomics is not practiced at all, or not done correctly, there are social and economic consequences; the most recognizable social consequence is workplace MSDs. In the U.S., upper extremity MSDs and low back pain are the most prominent occupational injuries and illnesses. MSDs account for almost one-third (31%) of all occupational injuries and illnesses in the U.S. and incur a median of nine days absence from work. In Canada and Europe, they account for half (50%) and two-fifths (39%) of all occupational injuries and illnesses, respectively. Undeniably, MSDs contribute a large proportion of all compensable work-related diseases in the U.S. and globally.

The economic consequences of MSDs are staggering. In 2004, the direct costs of treatment for MSDs in the U.S. were estimated at $510 billion, equivalent to 4.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Indirect costs were estimated to add $339 billion more, for a total cost for MSDs of $849 billion, or 7.7% of the GDP. According to the OSHA Safety Pays Program, the typical direct cost of an upper extremity MSD ranges between $28,866 and $33,258. The typical direct cost of a low back pain disorder ranges between $22,548 and $76,430.

—Blake McGowan, VelocityEHS | Humantech

8. Drones


According to Fact.MR’s Drone Market report, the industry is expected to showcase stellar growth with a CAGR of ~ 23.5%  over the forecast period of 2019-2029. The continued investment in futuristic R&D initiatives is proving to be a significant driver in this evolving market. As drone manufacturers seek opportunities within new market sectors, having payload capabilities is surfacing as a primary demand.

Construction. Highly sophisticated drone cameras are gaining favor when conducting aerial surveys for construction companies. This provides insights and vital information about the construction lifecycle, enable key stakeholders to fulfill project deliverables in a timely manner.

Emergency Response. Equipping drones with emergency resuscitation capabilities such as defibrillators, can prove instrumental in assisting with medical emergencies. Furthermore, adding thermal imaging cameras will allow disaster recovery teams to identify victims during natural disasters like floods or earthquakes.

Defense. Nano drones, also known as black hornets, provide military units with highly advanced and analytical imaging functionalities. These drones are poised to provide rapid enemy force penetration and will give a massive boost to the drone market in the foreseeable future. The drone market is also witnessing significant breakthroughs in the defense sector with drone technology targeted at providing precision based, guided missiles. The lethal combination of stealth capabilities and advanced video imaging is equipping the military in developed countries with drones that are capable of wreaking extensive damage on enemy territory.

Of course, the market’s continued expansion depends heavily on the ramifications of civil liability including a strict regulatory framework. Drone manufacturers will need to find ways to navigate these waters.

—EHS Today Staff

9. Cybersecurity


As companies are digitally transforming their operations and increasing connectivity, they are also increasing their risks, explained Steve Ludwig, safety program manager for Rockwell Automation.

“Does your company view security risks as safety risks?” Ludwig asked the audience during this session. “When you talk about cybersecurity there is a belief that you are talking about information, but we are also talking about risk to workers, assets, the environment and a company’s reputation.”

To make his point Ludwig gave a few examples. A German steel mill whose system was manipulated and resulted in massage damage when it was unable to shut down. At a water treatment plant in Australia, radio commands were sent to sewage equipment causing 800,000 liters of raw sewage to spill into local parks and rivers which killed marine life.

How does this happen?  IT and OT are now connected. While being able to access information from operations is essential to secure the data needed to perform the higher analytic function that provides the benefit of IoT and IIoT, there is also a higher risk. Often hackers are now getting into the safety systems in order to get into the process systems.

Who are the people behind these cyberattacks? At the top of the list are insiders. Sometimes it’s disgruntled workers and sometimes it’s just worker errors. Then there are cybercriminals, hacktivists, terrorists and even nation-states.

—Adrienne Selko

10. Cultural Barriers in Training


Carmen Julia Castellon, health and safety specialist for U.S. Cellular, explains the difficulties employers and safety managers face with a growing foreign-born Latino workforce.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Latino workers account for 19% of all workforce fatalities. Castellon, a Bolivian immigrant, first navigates through the differences between foreign-born Latinos and native-born Latinos. The BLS states that in 2015, foreign-born Latino workers accounted for 67% of the overall fatal work injuries to Hispanic or Latino workers, or 603 of 905 total reported fatalities.

English proficiency among the foreign-born Latino population presents the most critical issue facing organizations and safety professionals. Native-born Latino workers have significant advantages because they are more culturally aligned in their beliefs, have better educational opportunities and don’t experience the same language barriers.

“There is a lack of communication between foreign-born Latinos, their superiors and even their coworkers because of limited language capabilities,” she explains.

The availability of Spanish training manuals, videos and other materials presents a challenge, often causing a communication breakdown.

A poor understanding of OSHA regulations is directly correlated to higher fatality rates. Castellon reiterates the fact that training is required to be in a language that employees can understand.

—Stefanie  A. Valentic

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