Maintaining a Safe Environment of Care – conformance to Joint Commission Standards and avoiding accreditation citations Reply

Joint Commission accreditation is intended to ensure that hospitals provide the highest level of performance and service to their patients. The Joint Commission’s accreditation process seeks to help organizations identify and resolve problems and to inspire them to improve the safety and quality of care and services provided. The process focuses on systems critical to the safety and the quality of care, treatment, and services.

Joint Commission publishes a list of the top deficiency citations about every 6 months. The top ten citations for the first half of 2014 were recently highlighted in the December 2014 issue of the New England Healthcare Engineers’ Society (NEHES) newsletter. One of the top ten citations is specifically related to management of hazardous materials and waste. The Joint Commission Standards include Environment of Care Standard EC.02.02.01, the management of hazardous materials and waste. This standard includes several elements of performance to ensure that hospitals are maintaining a safe environment for their patients, health care professionals, and support staff. Hospitals must be able to demonstrate that they do the following:

– Maintain a written, current inventory of hazardous materials and waste that it uses, stores, or
generates
– Have written procedures, including the use of precautions and personal protective equipment, to
follow in response to hazardous material and waste spills or exposures
– Implement its procedures in response to hazardous material and waste spills or exposures
– Minimize risks associated with selecting, handling, storing, transporting, using, and disposing
of hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials (radiation, x-rays), hazardous energy sources
(lasers, MRIs), and hazardous gases and vapors
– Minimize risk associated with disposing of hazardous medications
– Monitor levels of hazardous gases and vapors to determine that they are in safe range
– Have the permits, licenses, manifests, and MSDSs required for managing hazardous materials and
waste
– Label hazardous materials and waste, identifying the contents and hazard warnings

Demonstrating conformance to this standard includes compliance with several regulations, covering a diverse range of hazardous materials and hazardous waste sources, or “streams.” In addition, there is overlap among the many applicable regulations: OSHA, EPA, DOT, NRC, DOE, state regulations, and local bylaws.

In order to reduce risk, hospitals should consider getting a third party inspection, or audit, to assist on both compliance with applicable hazardous materials and hazardous waste regulations, and conformance to the Joint Commission Environment of Care standard. If you would like to find out more, please contact CAPACCIO’s William Potochniak, PE, at wpotochniak@capaccio.com or Jill Vernes, CHMM, TURP, at jvernes@capaccio.com.

CAPACCIO to present “Expanding Scope Of Quality Management Systems To Keep Up With Stakeholder Demands”at ASQ BOSTON Reply

On February 10, Lisa Wilk, PE, President and CEO, and Julie Muszalski, RABQSA ISO 14001 Provisional Auditor, Sustainability Professional, both of Capaccio Environmental Engineering Inc. will present “Expanding Scope Of Quality Management Systems To Keep Up With Stakeholder Demands” at ASQ Boston’s monthly meeting. ASQ, the American Society for Quality, is a non-profit professional society dedicated to quality improvement and to bringing the benefits of quality to both industry and the community. The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites in Waltham from 5:30 PM to 8:30 p.m.

The presentation will review current applicable standards as well as provide an update on proposed standards, including several new international management systems standards and guidelines. Specifically, the presentation will address QC 080000:2012, IEQC’s “Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components – Hazardous Substance Process Management System (HSPM); the new ISO 14001 Revisions; ISO 26000:2010 (Social Responsibility); ISO 22301:2012 for Business Continuity Planning; and ISO 45001, which will be the replacement for current OHSAS 18001 Occupational Safety and Health Management System.

Integrating these management systems will require both internal process controls as well as consistent external reporting to customers and other important stakeholders. This presentation will also discuss these challenges and explore opportunities for addressing these needs through the use of common elements of ISO management systems.

For more information on ASQ BOSTON or to register for the February meeting, please visit: http://www.asqboston.org/
For more information regarding the content of this presentation, please contact Lisa Wilk at lwilk@capaccio.com or Julie Muszalski at jmuszalski@capaccio.com.

CAPACCIO to present “Upcoming Changes to the ISO 14001 Standard” at SESHA NE/NY Mini-Conference Reply

On September 29 and 30, the New England and New York State Semiconductor Environmental Safety and Health Association (SESHA) chapters are jointly sponsoring a mini-conference in Albany, NY at SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)/SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT). SESHA is the premier Environmental, Safety & Health association serving the high technology and associated industries and provides value to its members through ongoing education and professional development.

Among the presenters at the conference will be Daniel Forsythe, CHMM, TURP, RABQSA Auditor, Practice Area Leader for the Semiconductor and Electronics sectors at Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc. Mr. Forsythe’s presentation, “Upcoming Changes to the ISO 14001 Standard,” will walk attendees through the proposed changes detailed in the Draft International Standard (DIS), released for public enquiry in July 2014, and how they may impact your organization. One of the most noteworthy changes is the style of the standard itself, which is being written in accordance with Annex SL – a new high level structural framework that will be common across all management systems and will provide core text, common terminology, and core definitions. The proposed changes also reflect an overall shift toward tangibly improving environmental performance rather than simply improving the management system itself. The ultimate goal is for certified organizations to produce more fundamental ‘bottom line’ reductions in key environmental impact areas such as noise, gas, and water emissions.

For the complete agenda, directions, vendor information, sponsorship information, online registration and downloadable registration forms for this event, please visit: http://seshaonline.org/regions/ssabostonc/boston.php3

If you are unable to make it to SESHA, and want to learn more about the upcoming changes to the ISO 14001 standard, you may view CAPACCIO’s recent webinar recording on this topic.
http://www.capaccio.com/Resources/Event_Recs.html
We asked our webinar attendees the reason they wanted to attend our webinar, to which they responded:

Certified to ISO 14001:2004 & Want Info on ISO 14001:2015…..61
Have an Uncertified EMS & Exploring ISO 14001:2015 Certification…..23
Do Not Have an EMS and Have Limited Knowledge of ISO 14001…..18
Other Reason…..17

Based on the responses, the majority of our webinar attendees are already registered to ISO 14001 and were attending our webinar to gain more information on the forthcoming changes. Another great majority have an uncertified EMS and are exploring ISO certification for not only its value, but also from an EHS and financial standpoint.

CAPACCIO has worked with a number of our clients to develop and implement successful EHS systems and can provide guidance on how to prepare for these changes so your firm can be ready for certification. In regard to the upcoming ISO 14001 changes, conducting a gap analysis is the best first step in identifying what needs to happen for a company’s existing system to conform to the new changes.

For more information on ISO 14001/18001 or environmental, health and safety management systems or having a gap analysis performed for your company, please contact Dan Forsythe at 508.970.0033 ext. 135 or dforsythe@capaccio.com.

The Importance of Internal Audits Reply

Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) auditing is about reducing risks. EH&S auditing, whether driven by external factors or internal, is an independent, objective review of activity designed to add value to an organization’s operations. Auditing brings a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, operational controls, and processes. Completing proactive EH&S audits can ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, the reliability and integrity of operational information, and the safeguarding of assets and compliance with laws, regulations, and contracts…all of which have a direct relationship to the organizations financial performance.

For example, EH&S efficiencies and the organization’s public image can have a substantial impact from a direct and indirect cost standpoint. A proactive EH&S audit program can drive improved efficiencies which will reduce direct costs (e.g. using less material to create a product) and improve indirect costs (create more in a shorter period of time – energy savings). An EH&S audit program ensures regulatory obligations are being sustained, which, in turn, prevents a negative public image. In addition, an EH&S audit program provides recommendations for improvement in those areas where opportunities or deficiencies are identified.

The intent of EH&S auditing is to provide objective data that assures top management that internal controls are effective and working as intended. An EH&S audit program directly supports risk management by providing an organization with data and the ability to control and make decisions to prevent financial loss and reduce an organization’s EH&S risks.