Joint Session on Management, Stewardship and Incident Preparedness

​​Joint Sessi​on on Management, Stewardship and Incident Preparedness

Monday, June 1, 2015, 2:00 PM - 4:40 PM

CS-107-01 A Multifaceted Approach to Improving Leading and Lagging IH Metrics within a Large Corporation

J. Mecham, O. Kampa, Phillips 66, Bartlesville, OK

Situation/Problem: This presentation details one company’s journey with developing and improving their leading and lagging IH metrics. As part of a performance monitoring strategy, the IH group at an Oil and Gas company was challenged to improve their leading and lagging metrics.

Resolution: The IH group worked to create and improve several metrics which 1) helped identify trends/progress year to year, 2) allowed for similar site comparisons, and 3) correlated with IH program health. The metrics needed to be easily understood by managers and correctly differentiate both best practices and areas for improvement. In addition to providing metrics for management, a process of sharing IH learning opportunities with front-line workers was created. A new leading metric was rolled out which reflected the amount of resources dedicated to IH monitoring at a site, the number of SEGs sampled in a year, and the total number of samples taken in a year. An additional tool was implemented which aided sites in self-assessing the many aspects of a site IH program.

Results: The new IH metric processes have facilitated the sharing of good practices and identified areas which need improvement and/or additional management support. A positive correlation was observed between positive IH metric performance and site IH program resources.

Lessons Learned: During the process of improving the leading and lagging metrics, deficiencies and enhancements of the new processes have been identified; identifying the “right” things to measure remains a challenge.

CS-107-02 Motivational Structure Analysis: Building Culture with Human Factors

S. Pizzani, Bureau Veritas North America, Edison, NJ

Situation/Problem: Workplace culture has a substantial effect on how employees view health and safety issues, and how they choose to respond to hazards and exposure controls when making independent decisions. Program management may include incentive programs, structured discipline, or interdependency initiatives, but what are the governing dynamics behind these systems? How can we use these principles to our advantage?

Resolution: Building a health and safety promotion system should take into place social dynamics and cultural factors, and a clear understanding of incentive structures to design controls that work for processes and for people. Schedules of reinforcement can be leveraged to maintain interest, and establish promotional systems that don’t provide incentive for hiding injuries or padding numbers. Incident investigation processes that include a root cause analysis informed to social factors can elucidate hidden trends. The process begins by establishing a solid foundation, conscious of these principles.

Results: This discussion will provide insight into the dynamics behind schedules of reinforcement, examination methods for motivational structures, and their potential impact on health and safety exposures. A case study from the author’s practice where these principles were applied successfully will be briefly examined. Several examples of counterproductive efforts will be presented.

Lessons Learned: An understanding of human factors and motivational principles is key to building and promoting a culture conducive to empowering employees to make decisions in line with exposure control. Once established, the system can become self-propagating and empower employees to exhibit model target behavior without direct instruction or continuous oversight. If you think you “can’t fix stupid”, you’re not looking deep enough.

CS-107-03 Case Study: Using Supply Chain Traceability to Better Manage Costs, Compliance and Risk

K. Kawar, Actio Corporation, Portsmouth, NH

Situation/Problem: One company wanted to standardize the gathering, vetting and storing supply chain ingredient information in order to achieve leaner operations, mitigated risk, safer products and facilities, regulatory compliance, and lower costs. Manufacturers are increasingly required by law to obtain detailed information from suppliers about the materials and substances in supply chain. Suppliers are increasingly required to supply that information — often the same data for multiple requesters - which causes unnecessary redundancy, hardship and error. One company sought to approach the challenge at the enterprise level, rather than piecemeal, to conserve costs and manpower.

Resolution: This case study will focus on working techniques for achieving supply chain traceability. Included are specific ways one company overcame challenges with deadlines for reporting on substances in a supply chain. The presentation will show how one company decided to use an enterprise-level approach to turn the burdens of regulations like REACH, RoHS, WEEE and conflict mineral compliance into opportunities for leaner operations and more compelling products.

Results: The result of the supply chain traceability initiative was operational transparency as never before, which itself results in better management of costs, compliance and risk across the enterprise.

Lessons Learned: Specifically, the following 12 points were identified as best practices. A system for supply chain traceability should provide: 1. Customizable option to regularly, automatically contact suppliers for updated data; 2. Mechanisms that stimulate upstream supplier & downstream customer communication; 3. Easy-to-use reporting; 4. Centralized part, supplier and regulatory information from many sources; 5. Upload, parsing, field mapping, and storage of data collected from templates; 6. Validation of submitted data; 7. Automatic updating; 8. Supplier identities kept discrete (hidden from each other, and from competitors); 9. A “set it and forget it” type program; 10. A centralized, database-driven technology; 11. Allowance for additional reporting channels (e.g., to the EU), and 12. “Big picture” view of supplier data, via overview data grids.

CS-107-04 Emergency Communications

G. Arrotti, ESPN, Inc., Bristol, CT

Situation/Problem: There are numerous regulatory authorities, consensus standards, and best practices available to safety and health professionals on emergency response communications. Unfortunately, adoptions of new standards that address current threats do not recognize the real challenges in emergency communications in a campus environment or in multi-tenant spaces. Coordination and rapid dissemination of instructions and warnings is necessary over multiple modalities to be effective. The selected communication methods must recognize workers and members of the public with disabilities.

Resolution: An all-encompassing approach to emergency communication must rely on conventional fire alarm systems as the backbone because of its survivability and resiliency. Other components should include text messaging, e-mail, PC capture, message boards, and phone. Only a multi-layered approach can saturate and ensure delivery of critical emergency communications in any crisis - active shooter, tornado, etc. Furthermore, standardized pre-scripted messaging should be developed and approved by senior management in-advance for crisis that can be anticipated.

Results: An integrated approach to mass notification has yielded a process and equipment that is flexible, reliable, and capable of saturating a campus environment.

Lessons Learned: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 – National Fire Alarm Code, 29 CFR 1910.38 Emergency Action Plans, and the International Fire Code require major revisions to address major gaps in emergency communications. 

CS-107-05 Building and Executing a Strategy to Provide Environmental Assessment Response Activities across Multiple Jurisdictions in Support of a National Biosurveillance Program

K. Martinez, Hassett Willis, Cincinnati, OH

Situation/Problem: In 2012, the Office of the President published a National Strategy for Biosurveillance designed to obtain “timely and accurate insight on current and emerging risks” including early detection. A biodetection system in multiple jurisdictions has existed nationally for over a decade. However, an indication of the existence of airborne biothreat agents provides limited information that is ultimately public health actionable. Other biosurveillance data streams must be provided to support decision makers as they respond and develop disease mitigation actions. One such data stream, environmental assessment, enhances situational awareness for public health authorities to create confident response decisions and risk management practices through the provision of quality environmental risk assessment toolsets focusing on hazard identification and exposure characterization.

Resolution: The collection of an environmental sample for biological agents is more than applying a swab to a surface and delivering it to a laboratory for subsequent analysis. Great care must be taken in selecting the sample locations to ensure the highest probability to find the agent. Sample collection and analytical methods must be chosen that are appropriate to each surface to achieve the best possible collection efficiency and therefore detection. Sample collection teams must be trained and exercised in the sampling techniques with the goal of improving proficiency and minimizing error. Going further, environmental sample results must be linked back to air dispersion modeling in an attempt to fine tune the model predictions. Lastly, the environmental sample results must be presented to public health officials in an efficient and logical manner to support decision-making activities to protect the population and minimize spread where possible.

Results: To generate consistency across multiple jurisdictions, a strategy was developed and implemented to address standardization of sampling methods, creation of response plans tailored to each jurisdiction’s needs, a response plan annual review system to gauge a jurisdiction’s preparedness, guidance publication development, responder training (content and delivery) and exercises to evaluate proficiency. Stakeholders were engaged throughout the process that included Federal, state and local partners.

Lessons Learned: This presentation will document the complexities and successes of preparing a nation to respond environmentally to a biological threat.

CS-107-06 Resource Utilization in Chemical Hazard Emergencies

M. Seaton, T. Lentz, L. McKernan, NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH; A. Maier, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH; S. Sachdeva, Mary Kay O’Conner Process Safety Center, College Station, TX; C. Barton, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, TN; E. Ngai, Chemically Speaking LLC, Whitehouse Station, NJ; Y. Lin, Mary Kay O’Conner Process Safety Center, College Station, TX

Situation/Problem: Chemical hazard emergencies involve multiple and unknown hazards, require specialized information, and present a need for ongoing assessment and frequent reevaluation. The effective use of information is crucial to ensure a successful response effort. There are a variety of resources available to aid responders, but each resource has different utility depending on the emergency management phase (i.e. response, recovery, and preparedness) and the conditions of a given scenario. A systematic framework for collecting and integrating information is needed for effective emergency management.

Resolution: Based on analyses of chemical hazard emergency case studies, our team delineates the process by which chemical hazard information is collected and integrated throughout the phases of emergency management. In doing so, we illustrate a systematic framework that will help responders quickly identify and select appropriate information sources in chemical hazard emergencies.

Results: A product of the case study analyses is a framework for mapping the utility of information during the phases of an incident, along with examples of information sources for each phase. In our analysis of an explosion at a polyvinyl chloride manufacturing facility, it is evident that key information inputs, such as a response pre-plan, were not appropriately utilized. Facility emergency procedures were not clear and suitable preparedness activities had not occurred on a regular basis. Additionally, an analysis of an explosion and release of methane sulfonyl chloride exhibits how the use of rapid guidance, such as the Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), can improve response outcomes.

Lessons Learned: Effective emergency management requires the appropriate utilization of various resources as an incident evolves. It also requires that both physical and health concerns are taken into account when determining isolation distances, chemical protective clothing, and protective actions meant to preserve life and property. Preparedness officials should have an information management framework in place that will direct responders to the appropriate information resources and improve response.

SR-107-07 Determination of Pressure Drop across Activated Carbon Fiber Respirator Cartridges

J. Balanay, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC; C. Lungu, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Objective: Activated carbon fibers (ACF) are considered as good alternative adsorbents to granular activated carbon (GAC) for the development of thinner, light-weight and efficient respirators because of their larger surface area and adsorption capacities, thinner critical bed depth, lighter weight and fabric form. The purpose of this research study was to investigate the pressure resistance across various types of commercially available ACFs in realistic respirator cartridges.

Methods: Seven ACF types in two main forms (cloth (ACFC) and felt (ACFF)) were tested. ACF materials in cartridges were challenged with pre-conditioned constant air flow (43 LPM, 23°C, 50% RH) at different adsorbent densities and composition (ACFC, ACFF or combination) in a test chamber. Pressure drop measurements across the ACF cartridges were obtained using a micromanometer, and were compared to a GAC cartridge, among the different cartridge types and to the NIOSH requirements in breathing resistance testing for respirator cartridges.

Results: Cartridges filled with all ACFF types had pressure drop (23.7 to 39.9 mmH2O) within NIOSH inhalation resistance requirement of 40 mmH2O, while the ACFC cartridge exceeded twice the maximum limit (85.5 ± 3.7 mmH2O). The ACFC’s high pressure drop may be attributed to the tight weaving of its fibers, and its high density (0.10 g/cm3). ACFFs had higher pressure drop compared to GAC (13.4 mmH2O), but has much lower weight than GAC (23% of GAC weight or less). Certain ACF combinations (i.e. 2 ACFF or ACFC/ACFF types) resulted to pressure drop below the NIOSH limit (26.9 to 32.4 mmH2O), and still had much lower weight (4.5 to 6.6 g) compared to GAC.

Conclusions: ACFF types showed promise in the development of lighter respirator components with acceptable pressure drop. The use of 100% ACFC in cartridges may result to respirators that are difficult to breathe through and, thus, is not recommended. ACFC types may still possibly be used in respirators with acceptable pressure drop if applied at reduced bed depth. ACFC may have higher adsorption capacity in previous studies, but are shown to be more difficult to breathe through in this study. Thus, they may be used in fewer layers in combination with ACFF with lower pressure drop. ACFF by itself may be more appropriate as adsorbent materials in ACF respirator cartridges in terms of acceptable pressure resistance.

CS-107-08 Challenges in Developing a Disaster Worker Mental Health Resiliency Training Program

J. Rosen, AJ Rosen & Associates LLC, Schenectady, NY; S. Beard, NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC

Situation/Problem: Following its involvement in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the National Institutes for Environmental Health Sciences Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) identified the need for training disaster workers and supervisors about stress, trauma, mental health effects, and resiliency.

Resolution: In partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funding was obtained to develop 3 training programs for disaster workers, supervisors, and clinicians involved in providing services to disaster workers. The goal of the program included improving mental health outcomes for participating disaster workers and supervisors, improving supervisor’s ability to assess and respond to disaster worker trauma and stress, and improvement in organizational support systems. The clinician course is focused on improving clinicians’ ability to recognize signs and symptoms of disaster related stress and trauma and provide appropriate referrals.

Results: A 3 phase project was developed that included 1) stakeholder engagement, 2) curriculum development, and 3) train-the-trainer and pilot training programs with NIEHS WETP partners in Louisiana and New York. The four hour interactive worker and supervisor training pilots were evaluated by a professional training evaluator. Modifications were made based on the input from the pilots. Participants were very satisfied with the training programs and consistently rated that the program objectives were met.

Lessons Learned: There are a number of challenges to developing a “Disaster Worker/ Supervisor Mental Health Resiliency Training Program”: 1) overcoming resistance to viewing mental health as an important health and safety concern, 2) developing training materials that put complex mental health concepts and terminology into plain language, 3) balancing the needs to teach self-care and stress management with information on employer / organizational interventions that largely don’t exist at this point in time. The value of involving stake holders in curriculum development and delivery was an important lesson learned.​