In 2016, we posed the question – ‘Is our Water Supply Governance Broken?’. We talked about waterborne incidents being a repeating occurrence and the need to have good evidence-based governance in place to assure good outcomes for our communities and ratepayers.
So what have we learnt since then? Have waterborne incidents and outbreaks stopped happening? Has water governance improved? Continue reading
The Engineered Nanomaterial (ENM) industry is developing rapidly worldwide, bringing with it an expected increasing presence of ENMs in municipal wastewaters and ultimately, community water sources and supplies, over time. Happening in parallel, there is an increasing integration of the water cycle to help optimize use of our precious water resource – an integration that may increase exposure to ENMs. Given their increasing prevalence, what are the exposure pathways and public health risks posed by these ENMs? Can our water utilities really say we need not fear ENMs in our water supplies? How safe is the water we drink? Continue reading
It seems that not a day goes by without our reading about someone getting caught in the processes of a system – aggreged not (necessarily) by nefarious intent, but by a process that didn’t take into consideration some set of circumstances. Sometimes, the angst endured is amplified by the subsequent processes initiated in a chain of events.
Take the situation of Dr. David Dao who, on April 9th 2017, was supposed to fly from Chicago to Louisville on United Flight 3411. Continue reading
Michael J. Graf P.E.
Government agencies continually face the challenge of addressing complex societal problems with constrained resources. Among Federal agencies, strategic planning is a common practice that helps agency leaders identify their priorities and improve performance. While strategic planning does not guarantee they will foresee all future events and issues, a risk based strategic planning process is more likely to highlight emergent trends and, as a result, agency managers are better positioned to face an uncertain future. Continue reading
Can you believe that two workers, but no management have been formally charged in the Lac Megantic railway disaster back in July 2013, what is Canadian Justice about?
The safety related laws of Canada are, generally speaking reasonably adequate, at least on paper, but the administration and enforcement of these laws can only be described as pathetic and widely influenced by politics at the highest level’. Continue reading
Drinking waterborne outbreaks still occur in the developing world. However, it is not always the utility at fault. As the events of Flint continue to unfold, it is worth looking back at our waterborne outbreak history and whether we are doomed to keep repeating the governance errors of the past.
The World Health Organization calls for a catchment to consumer approach to drinking water management. Part of this approach includes understanding the governance framework in which the water supplier operates. Continue reading
Could you be liable for the health of your employees’ children and grandchildren?
Work health and safety legislation in Australia places a strict duty on the ‘person conducting the business or undertaking’ to understand, monitor and mitigate workplace risks. This is not new, we know that employers are responsible for their employees. Continue reading
During the past year or so while conducting 5 Star Health & Safety Management System™ Audits, I have been astounded at the number of chemical plants and laborites where employees had not practiced, and could not use the provided eyewash stations. Continue reading
The headlines this week regarding Montreal’s eight-billion-litre untreated sewage dump came and went with a few large plumes of dark-brown water or white effluent witnessed in the St. Lawrence River and strong early morning odours in some quarters, but little visible sewage detected overall. Continue reading
Fire is probably the only single factor, which could completely paralyse a thriving enterprise in a short span of time, many managements have to their cost appreciated this too late when the stark realism of the situation presents itself in the form of twisted steel- work projecting a ghostly silhouette above a mass of blackened rubble. Continue reading
The founder and president of Safety Projects International Inc, has a mission – to help clean up Canada and several other countries. However, rather than doing it himself, Dr Bill Pomfret aka Dr Clean is getting the workers themselves to do it – which is simple in its logic but offers a huge challenge in execution. Continue reading
Mental Health is the weak link in most company’s health & safety programs, it is really a Silent Epidemic surrounded by stigma.
Mental health issues are often buried in the workplace says Dr. Bill Pomfret, Managing consultant of Safety Projects International Inc. who is trying to uncover them, at a recent conference he asked over 400 delegates, how many had a system in place for managing mental health, it was pitiful, with only a few hands being raised. Continue reading