In a presentation yesterday, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released preliminary findings from its investigation of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, well blowout on April 20, 2010. Several investigation reports have been issued, including ones from BP and The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)/U.S. Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team. I have discussed some of the findings in previous posts and will address some of these issues in future posts.
In the presentation, the CSB said “BP focused too much on the little details of personal worker safety instead of the big systemic hazards that led to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and wasn’t as strict on overall safety when drilling rigs involved other companies that they hired.” Safety board managing director Daniel Horowitz told the AP that “BP applied lesser process safety standards” to rigs contracted out than it does to its own facilities. “In reality, both [drilling contractor] Transocean and BP dropped the ball on major accident hazards in this case.” The CSB went on to state that BP “did not conduct an effective comprehensive hazard evaluation of the major accident risks for the activities of the Deepwater Horizon rig or for the Macondo well” because the oil company’s large risk evaluation program “looked only at BP assets, not drilling rigs that it contracted” to other firms for operation. Read More
As part of my research this summer on relationships between EHS/S and risk management, I interviewed a group of EHS/S and risk management executives about various aspects of their activities. Prior to the interviews, the interviewees were given the Redinger EHS white paper titled, “360 Vision for Environmental Health, and Sustainability: Anticipate and Avoid Black Swan Events.” A series of questions focused on the needs and challenges of EHS/S and risk management departments. Some of the responses included:
- “I need to know as much as I can about the risks my company faces. I wrestle with having confidence that my team and I have a good understanding about risks that will bite us. I am not sure we have a good understanding about our EHS risks.” Read More
It has been a while since I’ve posted. The summer has been full, working on developing the 360 Risk Management Check-Up™, a high-level diagnostic to measure the EHS/S and risk management function in organizations. Associated with this work, I have been conducting research on the evolution of organizational risk management and growing attention on non-financial risk management (NFRM).
Organizational risk management (RM) concepts and practices have been evolving from a singular focus on financial risk to a more broad focus on enterprise-wide and non-financial risks. Approaches such as enterprise risk management, strategic risk management, value risk management, etc. have been evolving into what is being called NFRM. Read More
The current issue of ISO Focus (February 2011) is dedicated to a wide range of security-related issues and highlights the ISO 28000 series on security risk management.
ISO 28000 was published in 2007 and provides guidance on security management. Its framework follows the ISO 14001 framework closely. 28000 is the core of the family, providing a specification management system standard. ISO 28004 provides implementation guidance in specific areas, such as 28005 (Electronic Port Clearance) and 20858 (Ships and Marine Technology). Read More
A robust study of corporate sustainability practices as been conducted by Cowan et al. The authors correctly indicate that there is a void in standardized approaches in this area, with many companies relying on guidance or criteria set forth by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), in ISO standards such as 14001, and in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. They also observe that numerous names and labels are used to describe sustainability in companies such as Sustainability Programs, Corporate and/or Social Responsibility Reports, and Global Citizen Reports.
The authors identified nine components of sustainability programs common to the 130 companies they examined. These were grouped into three areas: Resource Management (Solid Waste, Water Conservation); Energy Management (Energy Conservation, Renewable Energy, GHG Emission Reduction, Energy Efficient Construction, e.g., LEED); and Product Sustainability (Product Transportation, Supply Chain Audit, Product Stewardship, Life-Cycle Program). Read More
The International Occupational Hygiene Association’s 8th Scientific Conference, held in Rome in late September, provided a robust range of technical and management issues for EHS professionals. I was encouraged to hear several speakers talk about some of the cutting-edge issues addressed here, at StrategicEHS, related to the EHS function’s ability to affect culture in an organization as well as its ability to lead sustainability and CSR efforts.
The conference included a balanced mix of technical and management-related presentations and posters. I heard a number of reoccurring challenges and themes discussed by presenters and participants. A few of these were: Read More
Sustainability is on every corporate radar. The strength of the signal and distance from action vary. In some cases, internal task groups have been formed, sustainability risk assessments have been performed, and actions have been incorporated into operations, products, and services. In other cases, none or some of these activities have been started, or actions have not gone beyond PR drivers.
In the current MIT Sloan Management Review, Christopher Lueneburger and Daniel Goleman make a valuable contribution with a presentation of a sustainability implementation model and identification of different competencies needed at different phases of implementation. They also identify differences between traditional implementation techniques and practices in large corporate initiatives from those needed in a sustainability initiative. Lueneburger and Goleman argue that a common mistake is approaching the implementation of a sustainability initiative with the same tools and mindset used in the past, stating that sustainability is “not your father’s corporate initiative.” Read More
This is the first of several blog posts on the EHS Integration model we’ve developed at Redinger EHS, Inc. Please contact us if you’d like PDF of our white paper on this topic.
Through my work with Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) management system design, measurement, and implementation, I have observed that the implementation of a formal EHS management system does not necessarily maximize EHS performance. Implementation of a formal system is a valuable and necessary step to achieving higher performance, but to reach maximal performance, or even a performance ideal, it appears that there is “further east to go.”
For the past several years I have been intrigued with this gap, that is, how can an organization achieve higher levels of EHS performance, even if it appears that they have a pretty good approach in place?
With this question in mind during my organizational consulting and research work, and post-doctoral work at the MIT Sloan School of Management, I have identified what appears to be a way to reach a new State-of-the-Art in EHS performance. The key issue, or distinction I’ve identified is EHS Integration. That is, the full and complete integration of EHS functions in an organization, well beyond what is commonly thought of from a program or system implementation perspective. Read More