Countless businesses are learning that it takes a lot of time, effort and a significant part of the budget to manage and store physical paper documents. Once filed, the information on the documents is much harder to access, especially by employees in the field. In regards to Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE, EHS or HS&E) management, safety regulations, hazard management protocols, incident reporting requirements and other important information must be readily available to employees as part of an effective HS&E Management System. We live in a time where just about any piece of information one needs is at our fingertips thanks to the cloud and smart devices. Surprisingly many companies do not have the same access to business information. Here are three ways using just one part of the cloud, document storage, improves your HS&E management system.

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We are moving into a modern workplace where live video streaming is quickly becoming the norm for communication. A perfect example is all the video meetings that take place thanks to services like GoToMeeting, WebEx and Zoom. But live video has other applications outside of regular meetings, particularly in incident response. The definition of Incident Response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of an event. When responding to an incident at an oil pipeline, having a video-enabled communication system will not only help your company limit damages, but also reduce costs and recovery time. The days where still images were the only way of documenting an incident are over. Having a reliable, live video streaming system available in the field will soon be the norm for rapid incident response and resolution.

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The Oil and Gas (O&G) industry is usually slow to adopt new software technology. Many small- to mid-size exploration & production (E&P) companies simply cannot afford the complex business process management software that larger companies can when crude oil barrel prices are struggling to rise above $60bbl. Fortunately for O&G, as software matures, much like other technologies, it becomes less expensive for the masses. In regards to software companies use to manage their Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE or EHS) programs, it has gone mobile, which allows safety documents and procedures to come with you to the field without having to haul paper folders and files around. Let’s discuss how O&G companies can cut costs and improve outcomes by adopting mobile HSE management technology.

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Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) was established in early 2012 by 13 major oil sands producers in Calgary. Their vision is to enable responsible and sustainable growth in Canada’s oil sands while delivering accelerated improvement in environmental performance through collaborative action and innovation. Sharing many of COSIA’s beliefs, Hitachi is committed to drive innovation and collaboration that will improve safety in people’s lives. Hitachi offers a lean business process management solution, called WorksBase®, that was designed to help Energy businesses improve collaboration and the effectiveness of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS or HSE) systems. Here’s how WorksBase can help COSIA’s members and associate members improve environmental management in Canada’s oil sands and meet the goals established in their vision.

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The Health Safety and Environmental (HSE or EHS) regulatory agencies set the tone for all safety standards and regulations within all organizations, including the Oil and Gas (O&G) industry. In Canada, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) documents acts and regulations for workplace safety. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) works to set laws and regulations with which businesses must comply. Even though there is a moral, ethical and legal obligation to comply with EHS regulations there is a cost. With useful wearables for the Energy sector, O&G companies can benefit from this technology to address standards and regulations set by CCOHS and OSHA. With barrel prices dropping below $45 per barrel this week, wearable devices also address the need to save costs downtown and in the field while maintaining environmental, health and safety compliance.

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Kinder Morgan Canada is in the midst of a $6.8-billion CAD Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project through the Interior of British Columbia. The Trans Mountain Expansion Project intends to install a second pipeline of 1,150 kilometers (714.5 miles) in length which will double the capacity. As with all projects in Energy, Kinder Morgan must do its best to minimize environmental impact and protect water sources, often at a significant cost. But with crude oil prices in the low $40’s USD per barrel, Energy businesses are under pressure to save money wherever they can. No one wants companies in our industry to have to face a choice between operating safely with minimal environmental impact or operating profitably. Let’s explore how Kinder Morgan, and other Energy companies, can implement new Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS or HSE) software that can lower EHS related operating costs and the impact of EHS incidents during projects like the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

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Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS or HSE) managers have a lot of responsibilities to their companies. For example, they must help workers mitigate risks and arrange safety plans. And one of his or her primary goals is to make and keep a business compliant with government and regulatory standards. Many companies still manage some or all of these process on paper. Previous to cloud technology, if you wanted to go digital, businesses would have to invest in IT infrastructure to organize HSE data on servers and computers. But today, with advanced cloud technology that is readily available to any size business, EHS managers can access safety regulations, protocols for preventative measures, and checklists for corrective procedures anywhere from a mobile device. This reduces the amount of time needed to address noncompliant work procedures and lowers the cost needed to print paperwork and support an extensive IT infrastructure. The cloud can be used by EHS Managers looking to reduce paper waste, lower the cost of IT support, and to expedite implementation of corrective and preventative measures in the workplace.

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Plains All American Pipeline, a midstream oil company, has been indicted by a Santa Barbara County (California) grand jury on 46 criminal charges in connection to the May 2015 oil spill near Refugio State Beach. According to USA TODAY’S Roger Yu, this pipeline, Line 901, ruptured on May 19, 2015, spilling more than 100,000 gallons over 11 miles of Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara, California.

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Royal Dutch Shell's Brutus platform sprung a leak on May 12, 2016 that almost went unnoticed until a helicopter spotted it. Around 2,000 barrels, or nearly 84,000 gallons of oil was released from an underwater oil well near Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Shell officials moved quickly to isolate the leak and shut down production from the Brutus platform. This resulted in the oil slick being isolated off the shoreline so no fisheries should be affected. According to Reuters, the sheen most “likely came from a release of oil from subsea infrastructure, though it is still determining the exact cause of the release.” There is a silver lining to this story. Shell handled the situation well and not only stopped the leak, it prevented injury to its workers.

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Here at Hitachi Solutions, we’re invested in supporting Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS/HSE) managers from multiple industries with our business process management solutions. EHS managers and other worksite managers have a lot on their plate when trying to assure employees are following Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Our solutions, like WorksBase, help support managers by providing the structure needed to organize HSE regulations. So, in order to support HSE managers in their goal of preventing illnesses and workplace injuries, we’ve compiled a list of OSHA’s top ten most frequently cited violations

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