CASE STUDY – How to keep oil rigs safe and operational with an iPad and Android Solution
Finance and Operations Manager
PSI – Petroleum Specialized Inspections Corp
Deseronto, Ontario, Canada
Petroleum Specialized Inspections (PSI) is an independent specialized company providing professional consulting and inspection services. PSI helps its clients mitigate risk and downtime by providing fast, customized inspection services.
PSI has successfully utilized the Nimonik solution in a recent pilot project based in Australia, and is working closely with Nimonik to revamp their business methodology and provide their clients with greater access and understanding into the inspection process.
- Vicki and her team at PSI had been struggling to find a solution that could take their list of deficiencies and combine it into a report.
- With their original software creating too many technical issues, PSI resorted to Excel spreadsheets as their main tool for inspections.
- Through browsing on the Internet, Vicki came across the Nimonik App, downloaded the free trial and showed the tool to her colleagues. The PSI team immediately realized the potential for Nimonik to be the tool they were searching for, and the team behind the solution they could collaborate with.
- When asked about the components of the tool most appreciated, Vicki notes the importance of due diligence for PSI clients – the Nimonik solution allows the PSI team to show its clients the thousands of questions that are passed every day.
- Another great feature is the app’s history logs – “you can see when things were completed; one of the biggest selling features.”
- Once PSI subscribed to Nimonik, CEO Jonathan Brun visited the PSI office in Deseronto, ON to give the team a walkthrough of the app and its full features.
- “The implementation of the Nimonik solution within the pilot project worked really well!” PSI is excited to see what will come next in this collaborative effort.
- The technical assistance from the Nimonik IT team is going to allow PSI auditors to feel reassured that they are covering all their bases. “Other processes (out there) were so overwhelming.”
- Graham Towers, PSI’s lead field auditor, said, “the reason we want to use the app is to ensure that competent persons could conduct an audit with all of the questions at hand rather than bring trainees into the office. Putting the questions into a format where a person can answer directly and create the final report simultaneously…makes it much more efficient.”
- Vicki appreciates the personal aspect of Nimonik’s customer service. “You’re speaking to real people on the phone” who are dedicated to helping you get the most out of the Nimonik solution.
- On a scale of 1 to 4, PSI rates Nimonik’s customer service a 4!
- It also helps that the “cost is phenomenal and so worth it.”
Nimonik is happy to announce a brand new design for Legal Registers, otherwise known as Legal Profiles or Requirements for Compliance.
In ISO 14001:2004, 4.3.2 Legal and Other Requirements requires two key elements from an organization, broadly summarized as follows:
This is a requirement for a procedure that explains how the organization obtains information regarding its legal and other requirements, and makes that information known to key functions within the organization.
The intent of this element is to identify the environmental legal and other requirements that pertain to its operations and activities so that the organization can ensure that they are taken into account in the EMS. In doing so, the organization must also determine how these requirements apply to the significant aspects.
In the new ISO 14001:2015 (October 2014 Revision), this requirement has been moved to 6.1.3 and 9.3 and it states
6.1.3 Compliance obligations
The organization shall:
a) identify and have access to the compliance obligations related to its environmental aspects;
b) determine how these compliance obligations apply to the organization.
The organization shall maintain documented information of its compliance obligations.
9.3 Management review
Top management shall review the organization’s environmental management system, at planned intervals, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness.The management review shall include consideration of:
a) the status of actions from previous management reviews; react to the nonconformity and, as applicable:
- external and internal issues that are relevant to the environmental management system;
- compliance obligations;
- its significant environmental aspects and risk associated with threats and opportunities; the extent to which objectives have been met;
information on the organization’s environmental performance, including trends in:
- nonconformities and corrective actions;
- monitoring and measurement results;
- conformity to its compliance obligations;
- audit results;
communication(s) from external interested parties;
opportunities for continual improvement;
the adequacy of resources required for maintaining an effective environmental management system.
Nimonik is happy to announce a new version of EHS Audit, v. 5.2.4. This important upgrade resolves some issues with the new Apple mobile operating system, iOS 9.
Another upgrade with synchronization improvements will be available in October 2015.
Hard work and profitable incentives go a long way toward creating a prosperous business. There is another factor that has made US businesses prosper in spite of the mixed feelings that it brings: OSHA.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act which was created by the U.S. Department of Labor, may have a tendency to strike fear in the hearts of CEOs and management teams with nerve-wracking inspections, fines, and demands for equipment upgrades or modifications. Yet, the end result of such monitoring has proven beneficial in the area of saved lives and increased production – making businesses more profitable and successful than ever before.
The U.S. Department of Labor states,
“Studies have shown that a direct correlation exists between a company’s performance in safety and its subsequent performance in productivity and financial results. Injury and Illness Prevention Programs will help…businesses remain competitive in a global market.”
A Five-step Injury and Illness Prevention Plan
OSHA encourages the use of an injury and illness prevention program that is based on a universal set of key elements. These elements are:
–Management initiative and involvement: A successful EHS program starts at the top. CEOs, members of the board of directors and management teams must demonstrate awareness and desire for a safe workplace if an illness and injury prevention program is going to succeed.
–Worker participation: A successful illness and injury prevention program is possible only when the work force actively pursues the safety culture instituted by the management. This team effort saves lives and increases production.
–Hazard management: This involves identifying potential hazards, developing a plan for dealing with them, and putting that plan into action.
–Education and training: Bring your management team together and get them operating on the same page with a mobile training program and shared software that promotes uniformity throughout the entire corporation.
–Program evaluation and improvement: Sometimes a fresh look from the outside is needed to spot areas that need improvement. (Our expert consultants can help your team pinpoint those potential areas and help you develop solutions for improvement.)
Spending the time and money needed to enact this five-step prevention program is a smart move. As Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor, stated,
“According to the National Safety Council, workplace injuries and illnesses cost our economy 198.2 billion dollars a year. That’s over half a billion dollars each day!”
OSHA has made employers responsible for providing a safe, healthy work environment for their employees. Businesses which take the time and money to invest in programs that prevent illness and injury on the job are doing their part to offset this catastrophic loss in the labor force. Not only is it the morally right thing to do, but it is also a wise move towards building a prosperous company!
Nimonik is working hard to improve the NimonikApp.com website, to ensure a high level of ease of use along with easier navigation. Below are three screenshots, one of the home page that lists your Facilities and operations and the next two are screenshots of the new auditing and inspection interface. With this redesign, we aimed to provide a cleaner and more intuitive design that allows you to quickly ensure your audit is done and your facility is compliant. Please let us know what you think and we hope this redesign makes your work that much more efficient!
“Conducting a job hazard analysis” sounds much more attractive (and much less daunting!) than “conducting an internal audit”, doesn’t it? After all, sending your employees home safely to their families at the end of the work day should be the foremost goal of any company. Additionally, taking good care of your employees will benefit the company in tangible ways such as increased production and freedom from penalties resulting from EHS violations.
Using the “A” word, on the other hand, tends to be rather intimidating, as audits are often associated with stressful investigations that sometimes result in fines or costly modifications. Why would any management team opt to go through such a process voluntarily?
The answer is obvious: you need to identify the problems before someone else does either through an unwanted incident or during a government inspection. Clearly, learning to conduct your own job hazard analysis (or internal audit) is to your entire team’s advantage and can be viewed as a friendly measure which does not have to be dreaded or feared.
How Does a Job Hazard Analysis Involve the Whole Team?
Developing a safety culture is not merely the work of the management (although it certainly should originate on the uppermost level). Bringing the entire work team into a mentality of cooperation with health and safety compliance is a win/win approach to business. Employees are protected as they achieve optimal production, and the management is free to focus its time and attention on growth instead of constantly responding to incidents and fines.
The Basic Procedure Involved in Conducting a Job Hazard Analysis
All companies, regardless of the type of industry represented, can follow a basic eight-step procedure when conducting a job hazard analysis. Each step of the procedure is then adapted to the specific industry for a personalized approach to the process.
- Identify areas that are to be evaluated. (Nimonik has ready-made templates for helping you think through specific areas of concern. Our customer service experts would be happy to talk with you about your specific needs.)
- Involve key personnel: make it a team approach. A think tank tends to reveal important factors that individuals may overlook.
- Plan to use a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone, or Android product, and then take advantage of the software that is already available for on-site auditing. Using mobile technology gives the auditing team the freedom to move about, take photos, use time-stamps, GPS notations, and synchronization of all data with other team members without time-consuming and annoying paperwork. A mobile audit using the latest technology cuts time, effort, and costs!
- Apply the ready-made checklists and adapt each item to your specific needs. Here is a free checklist on hazard analysis and another one here.
- Consider interviewing employees: is there a general feeling of safety? Are there any specific concerns? What is the average employee’s attitude towards the workplace’s safety culture.
- Brainstorm for solutions to any problems identified, and assign the task of follow-up to various individuals on the team.
- Use the audit software to send reports to the individuals who are assigned to make necessary changes.
- Expect the software to provide you with notification when the change has brought the problem area(s) into compliance.
Conducting a job hazard analysis or EHS internal audit can be a great way to ensure that you are prepared for outside inspections (which will come). Identifying areas that fail to meet compliance requirements during the analysis will reveal weaknesses without the costly penalties and fines that would be imposed if the flaws are discovered during a visit from an OSHA inspector!
As you can see, one key to conducting a successful job hazard analysis is having access to an internal auditing program that can accommodate all of the steps above. Our team of professionals can help you evaluate your current software or help you select a program that will meet your specific auditing needs. Contact one of our customer service representatives today at 1-888-608-7511 to get help with customizing your next job hazard analysis. You can use the free trial version of our auditing software to see how you can make EHS compliance an affordable reality for your company.
Nimonik is thrilled to announce an overhaul of our environmental, health and safety regulatory updates page on NimonikApp.com. The page has been redesigned to offer three key elements:
- Quickly see a preview of the update to determine if it is relevant to your organization;
- Filter update by specific time periods; and
- Filter the updates by over 100 jurisdictions, 20 industry sectors, 15 types of legislation and 150 environmental and safety topics.
Bring on the Team: How Nimonik and iAuditor Compare for Multiple Auditors and Auditees
At Nimonik we have spoken to countless potential clients, and upon discussing features, functionality and other solutions that are being considered, the name iAuditor occasionally comes up. We have already compared the advantages of iAuditor and Nimonik, but we would like to address the specific issue of large teams with a need for data management.
When comparing two different software providers, it is important to be sure that the aspects of each are compared properly and that you are using the right tool for your application. In this post, I will attempt to point out the strengths and weaknesses of each tool and demonstrate which can be an ideal solution for organizations with teams need the ability to collaborate seamlessly.
Obviously, I am going to ultimately suggest to you that the Nimonik tool is the best overall solution (especially when a team approach to auditing is desired), but I want to genuinely acknowledge that our competitor, iAuditor, can be a good choice as well, depending on your company’s needs. Let’s look at a couple of specific scenarios and see how both tools have advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider.
First, I had a friend who needed to move and was looking for a checklist system for his smartphone and was at a loss for where to go. He had found iAuditor and used it to set up a moving checklist which included several questions. The tool also had the ability to take photos and respond to requirements. My friend thought it to be quite easy, and it helped him on his big day. Additionally, he thought that it might be good for vacation checklists, or even for a solo operation for more business-oriented auditing. iAuditor was a practical and cheap solution to his overall needs at home at at his small business.
On the other hand, another acquaintance runs a large manufacturing company and has several people on a quality assurance team who work to guarantee the quality and accuracy of products and processes. The company has five operations spread out across the United States. My friend needed a tool to make sure all the staff were working in unison and that all the data gathered could be read, reported on and easily exported. For this they started with iAuditor, because it is free an appeared easy to use on the surface. Yet, after two months of auditing he found that there was no easy way to share data or issue tasks to staff and track follow-up. He turned to Nimonik Audit. The ability to upload personalized templates into the system, audit against them, and create beautiful reports was an instant hit! The time spent compiling reports for upper management was reduced by over 60%, and the team members were able to make sure they were on top of their audits or the tasks they were issued during an audit. In this particular case, with the need for bringing in a large team, the Nimonik App worked best.
In addition to these two examples, there are many larger organizations that want to bring in the need to satisfy their ISO/OHSAS requirements, and they are leery of implementing too many solutions. Nimonik rises to this challenge by integrating the auditing tool with a comprehensive legislative update module with environmental, health and safety regulations for over 65 countries. Nimonik can also help you (at no additional cost) manage trainings, permits, and even incidents.
In terms of price, both Nimonik and iAuditor have advantages and disadvantages, iAuditor is basically free when used by a single auditor. However, if you do want to collaborate with other users, there is a $5 per user per month cost which can prove to be burdensome when you want to add people to your safety team or engage the entire company in a culture of safety.
Nimonik, on the other hand, does not charge per user but rather per audit, allowing you to make sure you are able to invite the right amount of people onto the platform and satisfy your organization’s performance of EHSQ audits. Many hands make light work! And whether you are 1 user or 1000, the cost won’t ever increase provided you do the same amount of inspections.
iAuditor and Nimonik differ somewhat in the area of additional features. While all of Nimonik’s other features are free with a subscription, iAuditor charges you to unlock certain features which can add up when you’re doing several audits with several people.
In all fairness, it seems the iAuditor solution would work best if your needs are small and you don’t need much in the way of reporting. However, if you have more strict requirements and need to be able to easily export data, interpret reports, and have a platform where you can work on any web-enabled screen, Nimonik seems to be the ideal fit. The decision comes down to the size and demands of your particular company.
Contact us for a 45 day trial or quick assessment of your auditing process and see if we can work for you!
Corporate executives have a lot on their mind, but one of the top sources of stress is business risk. Managing legal compliance and quality control issues across complex operations is risky business and with growing numbers of fines being levied, business leaders must put in place robust systems to avoid issues that will impact the bottom line.
Companies to face a continual uphill battle in the area of environmental, quality, health and safety compliance in one department or other. Sometimes the production setup itself is amiss, and faulty equipment is a key source of trouble. In other companies, the safety culture may be what is lacking: employees may not be following prescribed methods for preventing hazards on the job due to a lack of motivation or effective reminders about the importance of compliance. One of our clients was recently audited by their Japanese headquarters. Though the American plant thought they had an amazing safety record, the Japanese office found a number of areas requiring improvement. Despite perception, the answer to “What is a compliance audit?” is simply “an inspection that can clearly demonstrate compliance to all requirements on an ongoing basis”.
One solution for minimizing the risk of noncompliance and the stress of not knowing how the company stands in that area is to schedule regular internal compliance audits. The compliance audit is a process that simply works through a checklist, commonly called an EHS protocol, and allows a company to assess its performance in advance of an official government inspection.
Nimonik recently conducted a LinkedIn poll of EHS specialists and found that though most have audit schedules in place, many still see room for improvement. Here are some of the survey results:
Management teams often cringe at the thought of performing audits because it can involve costly experienced auditors who may issue a large report with a number of follow-up tasks. A typical EHS environmental, safety or quality compliance audit at a manufacturing plant, signed off by an external auditor, will run $7500. An internal audit, done by staff, will often consume 2 weeks of person hours. Many companies don’t know how to begin performing their own internal inspections and will attempt to outsource. However, without internal resources to handle the report from the auditor, the impact on the operations can be limited and short-lived.
Nimonik offers both EHS and Quality audit protocols along with clear recommendations to get you started. We can help you plan your internal audit cycle and external compliance audit needs. With our auditing apps for mobile devices, the costs involved with compliance will be reduced significantly. With our up-to-date lists of EHS protocols from over 65 countries worldwide and use of the latest mobile technology, auditing has never been easier. What’s more, when the process is done regularly, it can save the company a small fortune in fines and legal processing.
Let’s take a look at one possible audit scenario using a Nimonik compliance auditing app in the food production industry. Food production standards demand regular inspections for quality, safety, hygiene and environmental issues. Companies like Grupo Bimbo Bakery (the largest bread producer in the world) rely on Nimonik tools such as the Risk Assessment for Food Preparation, Cooking and Service to work through a checklist of possible problem areas. They will complement this with a local EHS audit protocol from our database and plant specific requirements, depending on where the plant in question is located. Over time, our clients customize our audit checklists and build their own, ensuring the checklist covers their operations from head to toe. Just a few of the many categories and checklist items offered for consideration are:
Slips and Trips
– Doorways (rain), spillages, uneven surfaces — Kitchen equipment is well maintained and any leaks are promptly reported.
– Doorways (rain), spillages, uneven surfaces — Drainage channels and drip trays are provided where spills are likely.
– Lifting and moving heavy objects or objects that are difficult to grasp — Appropriate equipment is available to move heavy items and staff are trained to use…
Contact with Heat
– Steam, hot water, hot oil and hot surfaces — Staff are trained in how to handle hot oils and how to safely use, empty and clean the fryers
– Steam, hot water, hot oil and hot surfaces — Water mixer taps are provided
The above are just a few of the many points to consider when conducting EHS inspections or compliance audits in the food production industry. The workflow is similar in most industrial and manufacturing industries. Nimonik provides comparable audit protocols for other industries (such as mining, environment and manufacturing) as well. For a complete sampling of our auditing tools, products, and tips on setting up an audit cycle, visit us on the web and start your free, 45-day trial account, or give us a call today at 1-888-608-7511.
Nimonik works with a number of gas pipeline companies including ENSTAR Natural Gas in Alaska, Allied Pipelines and others. As such, we have converted some common and very useful gas pipeline checklists for quality, safety and environmental issues. Take a look at the templates below and should you require any assistance or have any questions about our legal and best practices coverage for the industry, give us a call at 1-888-608-7511.
- Gas Storage Field Review
- Gas IMP Field Verification Inspection
- Evaluation Report of Liquid Pipeline Construction
- Operator Qualification Field Inspection
- Evaluation of LNG Facility Siting, Design, Construction and Equipment
- Hazardous Liquid IMP Field Verification Inspection
- PHMSA Pipeline Drug & Alcohol Questions
- Operator Qualification Inspection
- Supplemental SCC Questionnaire for Gas Transmission or Liquid Pipeline
- Ethanol Pipeline Transportation Questions
- Evaluation Report of Gas Pipeline & Compressor Station Construction
- Breakout Tank Inspection
- Public Awareness Program Effectiveness Inspection
- Distribution Integrity Management Program for Master Meter
- Distribution Integrity Management Program Implementation
- Distribution Integrity Management Program Inspection
- Standard Inspection Report of a Hazardous Liquid Pipeline
- Standard Inspection Report of a Gas Distribution Operator
- PHMSA HL Integrity Management
- PHMSA GT Integrity Management Question Set
- Standard Inspection Report of a Gas Transmission Pipeline
- Standard Inspection Report of an LNG Facility