Chemical Inventory & Safety Audit : What You Need to Know

Setting up and managing a Chemical Inventory can be a difficult task, even when you think you have done your research or have prepared yourself with a spreadsheet or list to follow. The difficulty comes when you begin attempting to cross-reference Chemicals with the Vendor SDS, which may create significant problems if you are unable to do so.

A man conducting a chemical inventory in a MySDS vest

Tracking chemicals in the workplace requires detailed knowledge of all possible “hiding places”. Chemicals can be found in the strangest places –and they can be easily overlooked.

MySDS and Green Lights Logos with Did you know and hazardous materials Insulation bat and Brick

It is not always obvious that certain items can also be considered “chemicals” – did you know that welding rods and certain building materials (IE. insulation batts, bricks) may be hazardous if exposure to by-products occurs? As a result, you may not be able to perform risk assessments for the whole site. Chemicals often interact explosively with other chemicals, so storage location may be a problem if you need to have multiple chemicals with a certain distance between them. The Inventory must identify the distance between chemicals so that appropriate incompatibilities reporting can take place.

 

Chemical Inventory and Safety Audit made easy…

 

Green Lights and MySDS will work with you to determine which procedures and information are necessary for your business.

 

We will conduct a physical inventory of all hazardous chemicals including *consumer products.

 

*Consumer products are products that do not require a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) when purchased by a consumer in a retail setting, however, some of these products do require an SDS when they are brought into the workplace (example: paints, hand soaps, inks)

 

 We will compile a list including:

• Chemical name (i.e Acetone)

• Amount – unit of measure (i.e 1 litre)

• Container type (i.e Glass bottle)

• Manufacturer (i.e Aldrich)

• Exact location (i.e Building C, Warehouse Office, Shelf A)

 

Shelf full of chemicals do you know every nook and cranny with MySDS information

 

We will also update the chemical inventory database when you:

1) Move to a new location

2) Acquire a new hazardous chemical

3) Your inventory volumes change more than 10%

4) You remove a chemical from your inventory

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

A company must declare their inventory status even if there are zero chemicals in stock when their inventory is conducted.

 

Other areas that may need to be reviewed during a Chemical inventory or Safety Audit:

· Placarding

· Designated Substances

· CAS Numbers

· Hot-Spot Identification

· Chemicals Incompatibility reporting

· Hazardous Substances reporting

· Dangerous Goods reporting

· Radioactive materials, biological materials (or etiological agents), or controlled substances;

are maintained in separate tracking systems.

 

We do ALL the work. We keep you compliant!

 

Green Lights Environmental Logo with green globe ball and arrow        MySDS inc. logo with hexagons

Green Lights Environmental is the sister company of MySDS inc.

www.greenlightsinc.ca  |  www.mysds.ca

Employee Retention in the Age of Feedback

When an organization loses a key employee there is often a palpable sense of betrayal. How could she leave after everything the organization had done for her? Where’s the loyalty?

Employee retention is an ever-present concern for most organizations. The tangible costs (i.e. recruiter fees, delays/missed opportunities, higher salaries and benefits) as well as intangible risks (will the new employee work well with existing employeeshow can you be certain the new hire has the skill-sets delineated within her resume) associated with replacing employees have increased exponentially over the years.

What actions can organizations take to keep employees from searching and eventually taking new jobs?  After all, if another organization is willing to pay more, budget constraints often prohibit negotiating with the departing employee. Even if this constraint does not exist, rewarding the threat of leaving with a higher rate of pay sends a horrible message to other, loyal employees, right? Pointing higher pay at other organizations, however, is no longer a viable explanation for the vast majority of people who leave their current employer for a different position. More and more, employees are leaving for non-financial reasons. Gallup studies indicate that 78% of people who leave their job for a new position outside of an organization, do not leave for an increase in salary[i].

Management should place their focus on retention on those 78% of the workforce that leave for greener pastures based on non-financial reasons. There are various reasons why these employees decide to leave; those reasons are generally tied to dissatisfaction with the work environment, lack of appreciation from management for their career goals, and little, if any, exchange of actionable feedback. Simply put, employees want to be appreciated, told how they are performing and what sort of impact they are having on the organization. Typically, any feedback given to an employee is offered during a brief meeting during the employee’s annual evaluation/appraisal/assessment/review (collectively referred to herein as the “annual review”). Twenty-thirty minutes of feedback for an entire year of work. That is simply nonsensical.

Everywhere you turn, there’s another publication confirming the level of disdain both management and employees have for the annual review. To name a few, Wall Street JournalNew York TimesWashington Post, and Forbes have all published articles condemning this traditional approach and begging for a new way of doing things. Harvard Business Review reported that 58% of companies believe their performance evaluation mechanism simply does not work[ii].

By giving your employees feedback, you will help them develop themselves and pursue their career goals. In return, you will have happy, engaged, efficient and even more loyal employees. The encapsulated, once-every-12-months review is a thing of the past. Offer your employees an outlet to exchange on-going, open and honest perceptions and information. Help them become the success stories they really want to be. When employees receive open and honest feedback, they are empowered to take the steps to showcase and share their strengths; and develop solutions to address their weaknesses. The result will be higher rates of retention and avoidance of the on-going headache of replacing key employees for reasons that could (and should) have been avoided altogether. And, oh yeah, the organization will likely perform better as a whole.

Tags: Employee RetentionLeadership and PlanningBusiness ChangeIncorporating Feedback,dataEmployee Engagement IdeasCorporate Culture

Guest Blogger: Noah L. Pusey

Noah L. Pusey is the President and CEO of Ripple Analytics Inc., an anonymous team member assessment technology firm. For over 20 years, Noah has participated in building teams and developing talent at various companies. Creating strong and dynamic culture within any organization is critical. That’s why Noah co-founded Ripple, a company bent on disrupting the way organizations approach employee assessment, development, and appreciation. Email him at: [email protected]; visit https://www.ripplecrew.com/

For Immediate Release – Announcing Exciting New Partnership

September 5th, 2019

           

 

muniSERV and ASI Technologies Announce Exciting New Partnership 

muniSERV.ca and ASI Technologies have joined forces to bring even more value to our respective customers and members to bring enhanced membership value to clients of both organizations!

Both companies offer well-known, powerful online platforms that focus on the municipal marketplace throughout Canada.  This unique alliance will provide additional reach to hundreds more municipalities through our numerous partnerships with municipal associations and organizations across Canada.

By working together muniSERV and ASI Technologies are able to provide incredible savings to our professional members to boost their exposure with both joint advertising opportunities and joint memberships, including The Road Authority™ (TRA), which is delivered in partnership with the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA).

See the Press Release – TRA and MuniSERV announce partnership to learn more details on joint advertising and membership opportunities.

Susan Shannon, Founder & Principal, muniSERV & muniJOBS – [email protected]

Steven Desrocher, President, ASI Technologies Inc. (The Road Authority) – [email protected]

 

Top Business Apps: 15 Apps That Will Make You Insanely Productive

Testing out the top business apps to use as a freelancer can take a lot of time. The good news though, is that I’ve done the work for you!

After spending several years as a self-employed biz owner myself, and working with a team of 3-4 people, I’ve tested out lots of different tools and apps to help streamline our business process.

This has allowed me to be more productive, as well as earn more money in less time.

From managing financial goals, to working with clients, to balancing everything on the go, we all want to work smarter not harder.

Likewise, you have big business goals and to accomplish them you need some serious apps to be more productive. And you want tools that stop you from wasting a lot of time and money!

To that end, here are the top business apps that will make you insanely productive so you can run your biz like a boss. They can help you make your business a massive success this year!

Read the whole article here to find out these time-saving tips!

By: Carrie Smith Nicholson

https://www.carefulcents.com/

3 Online Security Tips to Help Keep You Safe

Every account you make on any website or app has one thing in common – a strong password. At least ten randomly generated characters, a number or two as well, and some symbols thrown in for good measure. Oh, and every account has a unique password.

Does that sound like you? It sure doesn’t sound like me. What it does sound like though is well thought out, effective, and secure password security – something many of us take for granted, because the credit card company will credit back the fraudulent transaction and the support team will help reset your password for you. The problem is that they can’t refund your identity.

Step 1: Password Management

We’re all human, falling into a rhythm can be forgiven, don’t beat yourself up if you reuse the same three passwords on every website. Thankfully, security minded individuals have taken the legroom – well, brain-room – out of remembering all of these unique passwords for us – many browsers have built in password managers, and some include the option to generate a strong, random alphanumeric password for you when creating an account. This is the best free option available and it’s better than nothing – plus it’s a strong step in the right direction.

It’s no secret that Google and other browsers are keeping your information and selling it to advertisers, and to some that’s the cost of living in a digital world. If you’re uncomfortable with providing them with access to your passwords as well, there are third party services available like LastPass that work on any browser and are accessible on mobile devices. The paid service also includes encrypted storage, multi-factor authentication, and one-to-one sharing for when that one friend we all have asks to borrow your Netflix account for the night.

Step 2: Be In The Know

Even with a super secure randomly-generated password sometimes the worst happens, and the wrong people access your account. Often, it’s due to a data breach on the website itself, something completely out of your control, and unfortunately in many scenarios the public isn’t informed until months after the breach.

Would you like to be one of the lucky ones who knows the second their account has been compromised? HaveIBeenPwned has long been my go-to website to check up on my various accounts. Simply type in your email, click “pwned?” and a list of account breaches will populate, unless you’ve been lucky. My ten year old Gmail account has been breached 17 times, and I know for a fact I was never contacted by at least half of the companies.

Step 3: Prevention

This same website offers a newsletter signup that operates a little differently from the marketing emails you’re used to. Instead of weekly messages filled with advertisements, sales, and feature updates, once you’ve entered your address with them, you’ll only ever receive an email if they’ve detected that you’ve been affected by a breach. This allows you to react very quickly and change your passwords, remove credit card information (or change the card entirely depending on how severe the breach) and protect yourself when it matters, not weeks after the fact. I would highly recommend setting this free feature up with all your email addresses, work and personal.

There’s no simple solution to account security, every person has different needs. Breaking it down into three steps though, hopefully makes this process a little easier.

  1. Use a password manager if you can’t remember multiple, secure passwords.
  2. Don’t rely on the local news to tell you about data breaches, instead go to the source.
  3. Sign up for security notifications to protect yourself in future breaches

It’s not a matter of if, but of when.

The Cumulative Impact of a Departing Employee

When an organization loses a key employee, the bleeding typically does not stop there. What about the teammates that the departing employee leaves behind? How are they impacted?

Simply put, when an employee leaves an organization, you could lose a lot more than the departing employee.

Employee retention is one of the biggest issues currently facing HR. However, when an employee leaves (and some will inevitably leave), there is an impact that is often lost on HR, management and the owners/executives within the organization. The impact is three (3) fold:

Read the whole article

By Noah L. Pusey 

North Carolina County loses Millions to Business Email Compromise and Phishing

North Carolina County loses Millions to Business Email Compromise and Phishing

Written by Michael Castro, vCISO and founder of RiskAware

Late last year, Cabarrus County in North Carolina fell victim to a crafted email asking to change banking information for a contractor with whom they had started business earlier that year. Within 3 weeks, the County had sent more than 2.5 Million dollars to who they thought was their contractor. It wasn’t.

It took a few more weeks to discover that they had been compromised. When the dust settled, the County was able to recover some funds, including a mere $75 000 from insurance, but even now, more than 1.7 Million remains unaccounted for.

Last year, losses to business email compromise topped 1.2 Billion dollars. As such, it is clear how an easy scheme can net quite large returns, and why it is so popular amongst cyber thieves.

Just the month previous, the city of Griffin in Georgia lost $800 000 in a compromise scheme.

Email as a process is not enough to deal with impersonation email, email fraud and wire transfer processes. Municipalities need to build new processes with checks in place to prevent the easy route of email compromise and fraud. Changes to account payable processes, proposer cybersecurity planning and education can all greatly improve the chance of such a scheme being caught before any money is lost.

Municipalities should also consider bring in cybersecurity experts to help with governance, compliance and process models that go beyond technical security controls and systems. For those government groups that have smaller budgets set aside for cybersecurity, a fractional or virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) is a good resource to help plan and build a more resilient cyber presence within a budget and capability of the municipality.

RiskAware is a boutique Cybersecurity firm, specializing in Security Governance and Strategy, assisting organizations of all sizes with security and risk advisory services and security-on-demand capabilities. RiskAware and its founder Michael Castro also provide fractional CISO services

RiskAware can be contacted at [email protected] or visited at www.riskaware.ca

 

 

 

Predicting Municipal Contracts – The What, When & Why of Municipal Procurement

The What, When & Why of Municipal Procurement

No one can predict who’s buying what, when and why, but there are some key markers that can help you be strategic about reaching municipalities at the times they typically buy goods and services.

What they’re buying:
First, do your homework and research! Watch the news stories – are they mandated to get something completed by a certain time (i.e. asset management plans, accessibility regulations, etc.)?
Research and find out the contact person(s) for any municipal buying consortiums and then reach out and speak directly to them to let them know you’re interested in applying to be on their Vendors’ List and/or being notified of their procurement/bid documents. Once they know about you, you many even get them sending you a “heads up” about a bid solicitation they have coming up.

When they’re buying:
Municipalities purchase goods and services year round. But as a general rule based on my experience, in a calendar year;
     a) Construction RFPs typically are posted as soon as the budget is finished – so January to March each year, so that construction can begin once the snow is gone. Contracts for winter salt and sand of course are posted in the fall. Infrastructure projects are also posted in the first months of a new year, but generally not awarded until government funding has been confirmed. (In Ontario, after the provincial year end of March 31st) Check the fiscal year of the province/municipality you’re interested in working with and adjust your timing appropriately.

     b) More complex projects with contracts that take longer to assess and award are often posted in the spring. (new  software, consulting projects, etc.)

     c) Contracts like strategic planning are often be posted after a municipal election when a new council is elected. As part of council orientation, strategic planning is a great way to familiarize new council members with any current strategic plan and then work to update it based on their goals for the next term of council.

     d) Many municipal councils take the month of August off so municipalities slow down over the summer. From my personal experience, often the month of August is a good time to reach staff because they have more time because they’re not having to prepare reports, etc., for council meetings. I don’t mean to run out and start calling them all in August – but now is a great time to publish articles on our muniBLOG because municipal staff members often have a bit more time to read in August.

     e) Municipalities start budgeting in the fall for the next year. This is also when they will be looking at what they have left to spend in the current budget – and if they are underspent, they will be looking to finish projects or add new purchases, if they are in need of something. This means they will be putting out RFPs, RFQs etc., in the fall in order to spend the remainder of the budget before year end. Now’s a good time to register for a service that keeps you notified of RFPs – like our partner bidsandtenders. (and don’t forget new muniSERV annual members get 10% off a new bidsandtenders subscription)

Why they’re buying;
There is a multitude of reasons municipalities procure goods and services. Most are purchased for regular operational needs, while professional services are often purchased to research the feasibility and determine the need to purchase in the future.

Still other purchases occur because the municipality has been mandated to do so or because they have been granted funding. For instance this year in Ontario, municipalities received a one-time “efficiency” grant. Again, this comes down to doing your research and being in tune with what is happening in municipalities because if you have a product or service that will improve efficiency for municipalities be sure you tell them about it in a blog post or provide a free demo of it. muniSERV is here to help you spread the word directly to our municipal subscribers!

No one is a mind-reader so no one can predict with certainty or guarantee if they’re going to win a contract, but doing your homework and being prepared with the proper marketing strategy geared to the municipal calendar year and the ever-changing needs of municipalities, can help put you ahead of the pack!

Susan Shannon is Founder & Principal of muniSERV.ca & muniJOBS.ca. She can be reached at [email protected] or 855.477.5095

What is the difference between LEADERSHIP and MANAGEMENT?

In short: leaders create risk, and managers reduce it.

LEADERSHIP ANTICIPATES THE BEST OUT OF PEOPLE, AND MANAGEMENT ANTICIPATES THE WORST. While leadership invites others to follow, management ensures the followers are following.

Leadership is the act of inviting others to a new and better future.  A leader inspires and creates change by casting a vision of a destination that is different, better, and achievable.

Management is the ensuring things happen by creating, communicating, and monitoring expectations.  It tracks individual people to see that they perform as expected, as opposed to inspiring a number of them. 

Leadership skills can be summarized as those skills relevant to interacting with large groups of people, and to inspiring and creating vision. Conversely, management skills are those which are relevant to interacting with individual people, and to specifying and monitoring performance.

Many of the skills required to lead people are also the ones used to manage people. However, the expression of these skills can be significantly different.  For instance, a leader needs to effectively communicate to be compelling and inspirational, and a manager needs to effectively communicate to be precise and personal.

Because of the skillset overlaps between management and leadership, it is quite possible that a single person assumes either of these roles.

 

Want to learn more about leadership?  Check out EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LEADERSHIP.

Why You Should Become an Asset Management Coordinator

Asset Management Coordinator – have you heard this of this career before?  

Well, if you haven’t, you’re about to hear a lot about it from municipalities over the next little while.  

Many municipalities are facing challenges to fund their infrastructure at levels that ensure their sustainability. With ageing assets, increased renewal needs and pressures from changing climate there is a need to do things differently and collaborate to address the “infrastructure gap”.

The end goal is for municipalities, provinces, and the federal government to leverage asset management planning to optimize infrastructure investment decisions. For example, in December 2017, the Province of Ontario passed O.Reg 588/2017 that sets out new requirements for asset management planning for municipalities.  

This makes the need to hire Asset Managers and/or Asset Management Coordinators, even more important and urgent. Therefore this is a rapidly growing and expanding career in Canadian municipalities.

So what is asset management and why do municipalities need an Asset Management Coordinator?

 

What is Asset Management?

 

Asset management refers to the systematic approach to the governance and realization of value from the things that a group or entity is responsible for, over their whole life cycles. It may apply both to tangible assets and to intangible assets. Asset management is a systematic process of developing, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets in the most cost-effective manner.

 

What kind of background and training do I need to have for this career?  

 

Many asset managers have engineering, finance and/or planning backgrounds but another key criterion is Project Management, as addressed in a recent Public Sector Digest webinar, “Hiring an Asset Management Coordinator”, sponsored by muniSERV/muniJOBS, as being integral to the success of someone looking to enter this career. 

Municipalities reported that core competencies should be there but much more important is that you can tell them how you’d add value to the position. Because this is an emerging field, you have a great deal of liberty to build the position as you go.  Articulate it in your cover letter. You may not have all the skills right now but if you’re willing to learn, municipalities are willing to provide you with the right training to do the job.

Top skills reported are;

  1. Willingness to learn on the job
  2. Systems thinking
  3. Relationship building and
  4. Communications skills.

 

At present, there are no courses available at universities, although, the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association of Ontario (MFOA)and Public Sector Digest can help.

For municipalities looking for an Asset Manager or Coordinator, muniJOBS has some candidates with Asset Management listed as one of their skills. To search candidates, simply register for a free Employer profile.