Rachel Beavins Tracy

Rachel Beavins Tracy
Rachel Tracy is a writer for EtQ with expertise in environmental, healthcare and technology topics. She has a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and has been writing for businesses since 2008.

Recent Posts

4 Key Elements of Reducing Aviation Risk in the SMS

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jan 31, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Air travel demand continues to increase worldwide, projected by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to grow by 2.6% annually for the next two decades. As more and more passengers take to the skies, the ability to consistently manage risk is likely to become a differentiating factor for companies hoping to grow (or maintain) a competitive advantage in the industry.

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5 Ways to Collaborate Better Using Your Quality Management System

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jan 26, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

In quality management, collaboration is the key to success. Speeding quality products to market faster requires reducing risk throughout the product lifecycle, something that’s impossible without effective collaboration.

In this sense, an automated Quality Management System (QMS) is more than just a framework for reducing defectives—it’s also a platform for streamlining the collaborative process.

This post looks at 5 ways to leverage QMS software for better collaboration, a goal that can help you save time while improving outcomes.

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Quality Management

4 Metrics That Say a Lot About Your Safety Culture

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jan 24, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

When companies talk about safety performance, the focus tends to be on metrics like incidence rates, lost time injury rates and workers’ compensation costs. And while these numbers are very important, these types of rear-facing indicators only tell part of the story.

Assessing your company’s safety culture in a meaningful, data-driven way requires looking beyond the obvious. To do this, companies need to focus on leading indicators that predict future performance, not just lagging indicators like those above that only reflect the past.

With this in mind, let’s have a look at 4 types of metrics that say a lot about how proactive your safety culture truly is.

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The Connection Between Quality and Lab Safety

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jan 19, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Imagine two laboratory technicians, one fresh out of grad school and one who’s been working in the lab for years.

The new grad is highly conscientious and detail-oriented when it comes to safety—always has her hair tied back, never wears open-toed shoes. She reads the safety data sheet (SDS) before using chemicals and leaves the fume hood tidy, even putting away volatile chemicals left behind by others.

The experienced lab tech, however, has grown lax after working in the facility for several years. He’s the funny guy, the one who likes to scare newbies with small explosions made by throwing small amounts of catalyst into water. One time the washroom caught on fire because he improperly disposed of leftover acetone, but small lab fires aren’t unheard of.

Now ask yourself honestly—which one of these technicians do you think keeps better records? Who is more likely to identify an out-of-specification/out-of-trend (OOS/OOT) incident or notice a lab  equipment maintenance/calibration issue? And most importantly, who is going to consistently produce the higher quality product?

The answer is simple—it’s the person with the safety mindset.

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Life Sciences

Sustainability Trends in the Food and Beverage Industry

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jan 17, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Experts estimate the global population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Over that same period, food demand may rise as much as 98% as the standard of living rises in developing countries.

At the same time, global climate change has the potential to limit crop yields due to extreme heat and precipitation changes. Even if some regions benefit from an increased growing season, the need to double food production still represents a major challenge for current and future generations.

While agriculture represents most of the environmental resources used to make food, the food and beverage industry can play a key role in helping address some of these challenges.

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Food and Beverage

6 Critical Audit Capabilities in Aviation Safety Management Systems

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jan 12, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

The word audit is enough to make some people cringe, and not just because it conjures images of the IRS knocking on your door. Even in the safety world, audits are often seen as a huge drag due the massive amount of work involved.

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Aviation Safety Management

What Does “Risk-Based Thinking” Mean in the Context of New ISO Standards?

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jan 10, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Risk has always had an implicit role in ISO standards, but newer versions are giving risk a more prominent place in quality and environmental management standards. Updated standards like ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 require companies to apply risk-based thinking to a variety of processes across planning, operations and performance evaluation.

But what exactly does ISO mean by risk-based thinking? A deeper look reveals that while it’s not the same as risk management, automated risk management tools can help you incorporate risk-based thinking into your processes.

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Quality Management Risk Management

5 Ways an EHS Management System Drives Value

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jan 05, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

The number of companies certified to ISO 14001 for Environmental Management Systems increased 14 percent in the U.S. in 2014, also showing strong growth in China. The increasing prevalence of these systems underscores the value companies derive from them.

In this post, we’ll look at 5 key ways that an EHS Management System can drive value in your company.

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The History of Quality Management

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jan 03, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

If you ask most people where quality management was born, they’ll probably point you to the Toyota Production System, widely considered the foundation of lean manufacturing.

But while Toyota might be one of the biggest names associated with quality management, its true history is more complex.

Today’s post looks at the history of quality management, starting from the early days moving through its modern evolution and future trajectory.

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Quality Management

The Willy Wonka Guide to Food Safety

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Dec 29, 2016 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a classic movie about food safety gone awry. No, I’m not talking about the Johnny Depp version. I’m talking about the 1971 film featuring Gene Wilder and, in my opinion, a more authentic version of Charlie Bucket.

In the film, a group of child auditors visits a candy factory somewhere in Europe owned by the mythical and reclusive Willy Wonka. Due to gaps in Wonka’s Food Safety Management System (FSMS), several adverse events take place during the audit itself. The result is mayhem and hilarity, but for the observant food safety professional, there are also lessons to be learned.

Let’s have a look at a few of them.

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Fun Takes Food and Beverage

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