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Key Takeaways This article describes the conversion of an acute care hospital into a dedicated COVID-19 treatment center at the beginning of the pandemic and details the safety and emergency management challenges and lessons learned. Among the lessons learned is that communication is essential, including collaboration between many departments and specialties. Also key are the active involvement and support of senior leadership in safety and health decisions, as well as the early involvement of community partners and resources. Finally, flexibility is needed without compromising employee safety and health. Beginning in March 2020, a 123-bed community acute care hospital was converted into a dedicated COVID-19 treatment center. Given the nature of the pandemic, the site conversion involved expanding intensive care capabilities from six to 70 beds, with an additional 88 general medical beds (Gold et al., 2020). Safety and emergency management remained a clear focus during the commissioning and operation of the COVID-19 treatment center. This article presents specific challenges, resolutions and overall key lessons learned for success in safety and emergency management. The unique ability to discharge all but one COVID-19 positive intensive care unit patient, discontinue for 1 week all patient-related services including emergency services and surgeries, and implement a preplanned concept of operations allowed for a successful transition and established the framework for the facility’s new mission.
Key Takeaways This study provides a compendium of OSH professionals’ early workplace response to SARS-CoV-2, popularly recognized as the COVID-19 pandemic. A consolidated list of practices adopted for health screenings, human interaction control, barriers, touch surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting, communication, reporting and quarantine are provided. Descriptive statistics of respondent perceptions about numerous related factors are also summarized, including response adequacy and impact to normal OSH routines. A significant association was found to exist between organization relative risk level and the frequency of pandemic planning. Statistically significant results were also found for pandemic planning and availability of PPE. On January 9, 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) alerted that a coronavirus-related pneumonia had been discovered in Wuhan, China; on March 11 it declared that a pandemic had resulted. This news was quickly followed by a U.S. national emergency declaration, subsequent travel bans, stay-at-home orders, and the shuttering of schools, universities and nonessential businesses (AJMC, 2020). Organizations of every description and the employees serving them have since attempted to learn how to coexist with a lethal virus that spreads easily between people and mainly through respiratory droplets (CDC, 2020). There is no modern playbook describing how to best proceed since the most recent comparable event was more than 100 years ago (Barry, 2004; Kolata, 2019). Misinformation abounds (Brennen et al., n.d.; Kouzy et al., 2020; Pennycook et al., 2020), while reliable data emerges erratically at best (Del Rio & Malani, 2020). Those serving as OSH professionals in innumerable workplaces have been no less challenged. Their charge is the prevention of workplace injury and illness (ASSP, 2020), yet no single approach is proven best. Even the basics of infection prevention are evolving and vary depending on the source considered (American Red Cross, n.d.; CDC, 2020; WHO, 2020a). The surest prescription by OSH professionals, of course, would be to eliminate any and all possible interactions between workers. However, such an approach proves impractical. The task, then, has been to prescribe how best to dance with a metaphorical devil such that worker infection risk is minimized as organizations continue to operate or attempt to reopen. The accepted paradigm has been that the two propositions, albeit challenged, are not mutually exclusive, although OSH professionals have had to rapidly innovate, test and revise their strategies. Learning to fly a plane even as it is being designed proves an apt analogy. Already, there are lessons to be learned. This study was undertaken to produce a baseline of OSH professional COVID-19 response, and to begin the process of capturing lessons learned. The role of pandemic planning and relative organization OSH risk were thought specifically important variables to explore.
Abstract Objectives/Scope Organizational resilience is an enterprise's capability to respond rapidly to unforeseen challenges, even chaotic disruption. It is the ability to bounce back with speed and effectiveness. Much of the organizational resilience literature focuses on crisis management, specifically the ability of organizations to rebound after chaos or in response to change and transition. Two types of organizational resilience have been described– inherent and adaptive resilience. Inherent resilience refers to dealing with routine challenges that organizations face, while adaptive resilience describes the response to crisis. Adaptive resilience can also be bolstered by inherent resilience. Methods, Procedures, Process This paper describes how inherent and adaptive resilience were addressed in the response of a corporate medical department in a multinational oil and gas company to Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Houston area in August 2017. Additionally, it explores the value of resilience at the individual and organizational level in creating effective organizational cultures, and examines leadership behaviors that can support organizational resilience. We present a case study describing the role of occupational health and wellness programs in supporting Houston operations before, during and after Hurricane Harvey. To provide contextual information, interviews were also conducted to understand the perceptions of senior leaders about the importance of organizational resilience for their organizations. Results, Observations, Conclusions Corporate medical teams participate routinely in emergency response and crisis management efforts. In addition to addressing medical and occupational health issues, health and wellness teams provide psychosocial and well-being support. Hurricane Harvey demonstrated the comprehensive nature of the adaptive response of a multinational oil company. Inherent resilience supports are routinely provided through individual, team and leadership resources and campaigns have been designed to provide peer to peer awareness. Insights into the organizational culture were provided through interviews with organizational leaders. Strong leadership was identified as necessary for dealing with the unexpected, and the ability to effectively respond to change. Organizational resilience was derived from organizational learning – with learning from normal work allowing organizations a chance to focus on proactively preparing for chaos. Novel/Additive Information Employee well-being and engagement have been identified as core elements of building inherent resilience. Both elements are routinely measured as part of the company's global employee surveys. Indeed, well-being, as measured by employee self-assessment, is a major driver of engagement – a consistent finding in the last three global employee surveys. Organizations that provide employees with emotional well-being resources and remove barriers to resilience provide environments that can promote inherent resilience. Enhancing personal resilience as an important step towards developing organizational resilience may also contribute to the safety culture and safe operations, especially during times of chaos.
Between 2009 and 2016, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) facilitated a series of global sessions to develop ideas for the advancement of health, safety, and the environment (HSE) in the industry. These sessions brought together more than 850 leaders representing diverse disciplines from across the oil and gas industry, government, and academia to discuss a simple question: How can the oil and gas industry achieve zero harm? The diverse group of participants generated many valuable ideas for a "step change" in performance, and they precipitated alignment around a vision of safety, specifically the expectation of zero harm. The participants agreed that achieving zero harm was possible, but given the oil and gas industry's varied cultures and risk tolerance, it was necessary to collaboratively identify the methods for attaining zero. It was widely agreed that the effort must begin with the industry's most valuable resource, its people, and the elements of human factors in particular, including the factors that influence the interaction of people with each other, with the facilities and equipment, and with the management systems and working practices used to organize and manage the way work is carried out within the industry. This report is a compilation of the discussions from the SPE sessions, and serves to expand on these discussions to identify and evaluate those elements that may aid the industry in removing obstacles to achieving the expectation of zero harm by exploring current thinking and views, understanding experiences and learnings from other industries that are mature in the application of human factors, and suggesting next steps for both the industry and individual companies. Specific recommendations for the industry discussed in this report include - Define a safety vision in which zero is an attainable expectation today, not a future goal.
The Aon/LEGO Partnership
Aon was named as the LEGO Group’s broker on January 1, 2005, and provides global risk management consulting, property/casualty brokerage and daily service to the LEGO Group worldwide. Aon’s office in Copenhagen, Denmark is the controlling office for the LEGO Group’s worldwide insurance program, and Aon in the United States of America is a “receiving office,” handling the US local portion of the globally placed insurance programs. In addition to servicing the US portion of the globally placed insurance programs, Aon also brokers and services the compulsory Automobile and Workers’ Compensation programs in the USA. Liberty Mutual is the insurer partner for the casualty program, providing risk transfer and claims services.
In the eleven years that Aon has been their broker, the LEGO Group’s risk profile in the USA has evolved from manufacturing to retail and distribution. This is mainly a result of the movement of US manufacturing operations from Enfield, Connecticut to Monterrey, Mexico. The LEGO Group continues to maintain a corporate campus in Enfield, Connecticut.
LEGO® Safety and Risk Management
Just as the LEGO company has continued to expand – so has the Risk Management (RM) and Health and Safety functions. Despite the LEGO Group’s reputation as a well-known international toy company, both Risk Management and Health and Safety are in their “adolescent period” each with “some more growing to do!” Nine years ago, on the Enfield campus, Risk Management split off from Finance to reside in the Legal Department. Subsequently, Health and Safety began a transition from a manufacturing focus to a marketing focus when production left the Enfield campus. This re-invention of Health and Safety was further expanded to support not only administrative functions, but also the rapidly-growing LEGO Brand Retail presence in North America.
However the beginnings, there has always been an overlap of “hands on” Risk Management into Health and Safety and vice versa; for each provides necessary input to the other, and neither can work in a vacuum. The company’s stakeholders understand that by protecting and empowering the people and partners of our company, the brand is protected in a genuine, natural way. The LEGO Group prides itself on values established long ago by the founder, Ole Kirk Kristiansen, and moves forward, faithful to our founder’s guiding spirit, that “Only the best is good enough.”
This report has been written by a steering committee of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Industry input was obtained from a summit held April 2016 in Houston as well as members from SPE online communities. This Technical Report is based on discussions and conclusions from the summit and is intended to provide guidance on an industry-wide safety management data sharing program. The overall objective of the effort is to: a) eliminate or reduce risk of harm through industry sharing of data, b) to generate information that builds knowledge, understanding and ownership, and c) to disseminate recommended corrective actions to prevent a re-occurrence. It was approved by the SPE Board of Directors in September 2016.
Mutz, K. M. (Natural Resources Law Center University of Colorado Law School) | Rice, K. L. (Natural Resources Law Center University of Colorado Law School) | Walker, L.. (Natural Resources Law Center University of Colorado Law School) | Palomaki, A. C. (Natural Resources Law Center University of Colorado Law School) | Yost, K. D. (Natural Resources Law Center University of Colorado Law School)
Abstract The Intermountain West Oil and Gas BMP Project (BMP Project) is a collaborative effort of the Natural Resources Law Center and its partners, including the Environmentally Friendly Drilling Program. The BMP Project has developed a comprehensive, free-access, searchable, web-based database of oil and gas best management practices (BMPs) for the Intermountain West (). The database includes over 7, 000 BMPs addressing air and water quality, soils, visual aesthetics, health and safety, wildlife, and other resources. These BMPs are currently required or recommended for responsible resource management by various levels of government, communities, conservation organizations, industry groups, or individual companies. The project website includes resource pages on development issues and controversies as well as case studies of industry efforts to minimize environmental impacts. A community page illustrates community-industry efforts to negotiate, rather than litigate the best options for rational development. The BMP database focuses on source materials regarding both conventional and unconventional development from the Intermountain West states of Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. The website resource pages also focus on the Intermountain West, but draw on information from unconventional gas developments beyond this region. This paper describes the Intermountain Oil and Gas BMP project resources and addresses the role of BMPs within the range of law and policy options available for facilitating development while promoting environmental and community health and safety. The paper also summarizes what is known of the efficacy and cost effectiveness of BMPs. Communities embrace development for the economic benefit it brings to their areas, but both communities and conservation groups vigorously work to prevent oil and gas development from recklessly disrupting their lives and destroying sensitive environments. Governments consider new means to control impacts while still promoting development. Many companies work to balance cost effective production with practices that protect the environment and the communities they impact. The Intermountain BMP project helps these stakeholders identify appropriate practices for minimizing impacts to surface resources during planning, design, construction, drilling, operations, reclamation, and monitoring. BMP Project resources can also help stakeholders learn to work together to fuel the country's energy requirements and address the economic needs of communities without sacrificing the quality of their environment.
1.0 Incident Description 1.1 Sequence of Events This Case Study examines an explosion at the Partridge-Raleigh oilfield in Raleigh, Mississippi. The incident occurred at about 8:30 a.m. on June 5, 2006, when Stringer's Oilfield Services contract workers were installing pipe from two production tanks to a third (figure 1). Welding sparks ignited flammable vapor escaping from an openended pipe about four feet from the contractors' welding activity on tank 4. The explosion killed three workers who were standing on top of tanks 3 and 4. A fourth worker was seriously injured. In the weeks preceding the incident, Stringer's workers had relocated tanks 3 and 4 from other oilfield sites on the Partridge-Raleigh property to the #9 well site. On the day of the incident, the four workers were completing the piping connection between the tanks. To connect the piping from tank 3 to tank 4, the workers had to weld a pipe fitting onto the side of, and a few inches below the top of, tank 4. To prepare for the welding operation, they removed the access hatch at the base of tank 4 and entered the tank to remove the crude oil residue. Then they flushed the tank with fresh water and allowed hydrocarbon vapor to evaporate for several days. They did not clean out or purge tanks 2 and 3. On the day of the incident, the welder inserted a lit oxy-acetylene welding torch into the hatch and then into the open nozzle on the opposite side of tank 4 to verify that all flammable vapor was removed from the tank before welding began. The welder was not aware that this act, called "flashing" the tank, was an unsafe practice. Next, the foreman (F) climbed to the top of tank 4 (figure 2). Two other maintenance workers, (M) climbed on top of tank 3; they then laid a ladder on the tank roof, extending it across the 4 foot space between tank 3 and 4, and held the ladder steady for the welder (W). The welder attached his safety harness to the top of tank 4 and positioned himself on the ladder. Almost immediately after the welder started welding, flammable hydrocarbon vapor venting from the open-ended pipe that was attached to tank 3 ignited. The fire, which immediately flashed back into tank 3, spread through the overflow connecting pipe from tank 3 to tank 2, causing tank 2 to explode. The lids of both tanks were blown off. The three workers standing atop the tanks were thrown by the force of the explosion and fell to the ground. The welder was also thrown off the ladder, but he was wearing a safety harness that prevented him from falling to the ground. Volunteers from the local fire department and personnel from the county sheriff's office quickly responded to the incident site following an eyewitness' 9–1-1 emergency call. Emergency Medical Technicians provided first-aid to the victims. Two victims—the foreman and one of the maintenance workers—died from their injuries at the scene, and the third maintenance worker died while in transport to the hospital. The welder survived, but suffered a broken ankle and hip.
NIOSH is focusing research efforts on relevance and impact through an initiative called Research to Practice (r2p), which integrates the NIOSH strategic goals of knowledge generation and knowledge transfer.
Over the years, the public sector has worked to adopt many practices from the private sector. The goal to "reinvent government" provided opportunities to change practices from "red tape" to actual supportive tools. Many worked well, such as the efforts of the U.S. Mint in measuring production and loss based on actual income streams. However, most public sector elements do not have that ability. We just don't make a profit. But as spenders of the taxpayers' investment, we have a responsibility to protect and economize. This paper provides a case history on one organization's efforts to develop a tool to meet its culture needs that was easy to understand and met the performance measure standards of specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. The author encourages the reader to consider the tool only as a starting design that can be molded to fit the reader's organization's needs.