Sandy Smith

EHS Today

Sandy Smith is editor-in-chief of EHS Today magazine, a Penton Media Inc. publication. She has been writing about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. She has been interviewed about occupational safety and health for documentaries and television programs, has served as a panelist on roundtables, has provided the keynote address for occupational safety and health conferences and has won national and international awards for her articles.


He Died Standing: Tales from the ‘Dirty Dozen’ 1

The "Dirty Dozen 2017" report – which highlights 12 companies that put workers and communities at risk due to unsafe practices – was released on April 26 in observance of Workers’ Memorial Week, which honors workers who lost their lives on the job and their families.

Worker Memorial Day: A Somber Reminder of the Importance of Workplace Safety

Eight truck drivers, five loggers, two nurses, a police officer, a fire chief and a flagger are among the 79 people who died from work-related causes who will be honored at this year’s Worker Memorial Day observance by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

The men and women range in age from 19 to 90 and did all types of work, including retail clerk, business owner, farmworker, chiropractor and arborist.

May Is Electrical Safety Month [Infographic]

Since their introduction in to the National Electrical Code in the 1970s, ground fault circuit interrupters have saved thousands of lives. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 50% of home electrocutions have been prevented by the introduction of GFCIs.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International wants you to make sure your home is properly protected against ground faults with the correct installation of GFCIs. GFCI protection is required for outlets installed in:

Judge: Two Companies Operated as Single Employer at Worksite Where Employees Were Injured

Three employees at a Wenham, Mass., worksite were performing residential roofing work on a ladder jack scaffold when the wooden plank on which they were standing snapped, causing them to fall 20 feet to the ground. An OSHA investigation found that the wooden plank was not graded for scaffold use and its invoice made clear it was not for scaffold use. Other hazards noted during the OSHA inspection included deficiencies with the scaffold’s components and structure and lack of fall protection for the employees.

Construction Companies Cited for Power Line Incident

Two King County (Washington) contractors face large fines from the state’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for safety violations after a crane boom made contact with high-voltage power lines at a construction site in Seattle. Two workers were severely injured during the incident, when approximately 14 kilovolts traveled down the crane’s hoist line to the men working below the power lines.

The Question We All Should Ask: Is My Loved One Safe at Work?

There is one overlooked question that people across North America should ask themselves: “Is my loved one safe at work today?” This spring, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is building on that critical question and encouraging people to get involved in one or more of several workplace safety campaigns that can make a difference in reducing risks.

British Safety Council: Let’s Make Time for Conversations about Mental Health

In partnership with the Health in Construction Leadership Group and its members in the construction and civil engineering industries, the British Safety Council, a founding partner of the mental health program Mates in Mind, is supporting the safety campaign organized by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) called

Criminal Indictment, Nearly $1.5 Million in Proposed OSHA Fines for Employer Involved in Fatal Boston Trench Collapse 3

Robert Higgins and Kelvin Mattocks went to work on a fall day in Boston, just like any other day. On that day – Oct. 21, 2016 – the approximately 12-foot deep trench in which they were working collapsed, trapping them in soil up to their waists. The trench collapse caused an adjacent fire hydrant supply line to snap. It quickly filled the trench with water, drowning the men within a matter of seconds in a terrifying, watery grave. Despite the desperate efforts of their coworkers, the men died at the scene.

Can You Score 100% on this Dog Safety Quiz? (Your Mail Carrier Wants to Know!) [Photo Gallery] 1

The U.S. Postal Service is concerned about dog safety in general and specifically, dog bites to its letter carriers and delivery personnel. 

Watch this video from the U.S.P.S. for dog bite prevention tips.

Do Seismic Celebrations Create Stadium Safety Concerns?

With his team leading 34-30 in the final minutes of a wild card playoff game against the New Orleans Saints in 2011, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch took a handoff and exploded through the hole, beginning what would turn out to be a 67-yard touchdown run.

OSHA Delays Enforcement of Crystalline Silica Standard in the Construction Industry 1

OSHA on April 6 announced a three-month delay in enforcement of the 

Excuse His Dust: Drywaller Who Scammed Workers’ Comp System Gets Jail Time 1

Pablo Francisco Castillo Murguia of Auburn, Wash., was sentenced in Thurston County on April 5 for felony first-degree theft. Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese also ordered the 40-year-old to repay $114,752 for cash benefits along with medical and vocational services he wrongfully received over more than five years.

The Washington Attorney General prosecuted the case based on an investigation by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). L&I administers the state system that helps injured workers heal and return to work.

Sandy Says: Opioid Addiction: How Low Can the High Go?

My first memory of the danger of drugs came when I was six or seven years old. The 17-year-old daughter of friends of my parents overdosed on heroin and back then, an overdose was a death sentence. Her funeral proved the perfect opportunity for my parents to discuss the dangers and tragedy of drugs with me and their message – along with the grief of a family I had known all my life – hit home.

High Five: Protecting Our Most Important Tool

"It's hard to peel a banana without your thumb. It's hard to button your shirt without the use of your thumb."

What seems obvious isn't always obvious to employees, says John Bell, EHS operations leader for FMC's Health & Nutrition Business. The employees in his division make up about 20 percent of the 6,000 FMC employees around the world. FMC manufactures a wide variety of products, ranging from herbicides and fungicides to health and nutrition products to the lithium used in the manufacture of ceramics and rubber, pharmaceuticals and batteries.