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

3 Types of Leading Indicators for EHS Management

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Dec 01, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

You hear it all the time on Car Talk, the classic radio show where mechanics Tom and Ray (aka “Click and Clack”) dispense hilarious advice to clueless car owners. The caller’s car was smoking for months before breaking down. Or the driver taped over a flashing temperature light, continuing to drive her dad’s car until it died altogether.

It’s a similar story in companies struggling with Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) problems. It sometimes seems like incidents come out of nowhere, but the signs were actually there all along. Those signs are leading indicators.

While lagging indicators like incidence rates look backward, leading indicators such as near-misses hint at potential future problems.

This post examines the 3 types of leading indicators defined by the National Safety Council, including operations-based, systems-based and behavior-based indicators.

Read More

EHS Management

4 Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based Quality Management System to Improve Traceability

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

If you’ve seen The Secret Life of Pets, you probably remember the scene where dogs Max and Duke happen upon a sausage factory.

They ride a conveyor belt throughout the factory, gobbling up sausages as fast as they’re made. Soon, they’re in a dream sequence with thousands of singing and dancing sausages, until they’re swimming in a pool of them. By the time animal control discovers the dogs, fat and drunk on sausages, the dogs have presumably contaminated the entire production line.

Will food safety pros find out about the incident before products ship? What’s the plan if customers report dog hair (or worse) in their food? Obviously, this isn’t the movie’s focus, but if it were, traceability would certainly be an issue.

In today’s post, we examine how a cloud-based Quality Management System (QMS) improves traceability, helping protect both consumers and manufacturers.

Read More

Food and Beverage

A Dog’s Guide to Quality Management Software

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Nov 14, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Gone are the days when most dogs were relegated to a lonely backyard existence, when a pup might never set foot in the house (let alone take up more than their fair share of the bed). Nowadays, the most fortunate dogs are pampered with such delights as a dog massage, specialty bakeries and webcam-equipped pet hotels.

Today, we’re looking at quality management software from a dog’s perspective, focusing on things your dog wishes you knew about employee training, supplier management, corrective action and more.

Read More

Quality Management

Tips for Managing the Top 5 Life Sciences Risks [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Nov 07, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Life sciences companies face risks that threaten product quality, patient safety and profitability--this infographic reviews these risks and provides tips for mitigating them. Read More

Life Sciences Risk Management

How Wearable Technology Can Improve Aviation Safety

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

According to Forbes, the wearable tech market will be worth $34 billion by 2020, with experts predicting over 400 million wearable devices in use by that time.

When most of us think about wearable technology, things like Apple Watch, Fitbit and posture monitors usually come to mind. But they also have the potential to help companies improve in areas like safety and efficiency, and the aviation industry is no exception.

Today, we’re exploring how wearables can have an impact on aviation safety, from streamlining maintenance with smart glasses to preventing worker injuries.

Read More


Do You Know the True Cost of EHS Risk? [Infographic]

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

Ineffective EHS risk management practices contribute to huge costs at U.S. companies, causing a drag on the entire economy. Workplace injuries, inefficient systems, and the release of toxic chemicals are just some of the downfalls.   

Ineffective EHS risk management practices contribute to huge costs at U.S. companies, causing a drag on the entire economy. Workplace injuries, inefficient systems, and the release of toxic chemicals are just some of the downfalls.   

View our infographic to learn the true cost of EHS risk.

Read More


Operational Excellence in Food and Beverage: What Are Market Leaders Doing?

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Oct 02, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Research by the Aberdeen Group shows that operational excellence leaders in food and beverage outperform their profit margin goals by a full 9%, also spending one-third less on quality costs than their competitors

What are market leaders getting right about operational excellence that laggards are missing? These leaders maximize productivity and minimize costs by focusing on areas like data integration, standardization and performance management, all while keeping quality and safety at the forefront.

Read More

Food and Beverage

Mapping Your Food Safety Management System to ISO 22000: Key Tools and Processes

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Sep 29, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is currently in the process of updating ISO 22000 for Food Safety Management. The revision is currently in the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, with final publication expected in 2018.

One important change coming is that the new standard will follow the recently adopted Annex SL structure, a common high-level structure used to organize all new standards and revisions.  

Aligned with the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, this structure makes it easier to integrate ISO management with daily activities, also streamlining the process of earning multiple certificates.

Today’s post will help you map your Food Safety Management System (FSMS) to ISO 22000, so you can identify gaps and lay the foundation for a smooth transition.

Read More

Food and Beverage

Disruptive Pharma: 4 Innovation Trends to Watch

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Sep 18, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Wikipedia. Smartphones. LED light bulbs. Ride-share services like Uber and Lyft. All of these innovations have turned traditional industries on their head in recent years, a pointed reminder that exponential change is possible even in the most well-established sectors of the economy

The pharmaceutical industry is ripe for this kind of disruptive innovation, facing challenges that include rising costs, aging patient populations and negative public image.

What form will the next major disruptive innovation take?

This post looks at 4 innovation trends to watch.

Read More

Life Sciences

Job Safety Analysis (JSA) Made Simple: A 6-Step Process

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Sep 15, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires formal hazard assessments for situations such as confined space work or when a job calls for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Conducting a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is one way to meet these requirements, and to make any dangerous job less risky.

The purpose of a JSA is to better understand the hazards of a particular procedure, so you can take steps to mitigate them. When performed correctly, JSAs also promote better safety communication and engagement among management and employees.

With that in mind, we’ve broken down how to conduct a JSA into 6 simple steps, with added tips on how to make your JSAs more effective.

Read More


Subscribe to the Blog

THE PROACTIVE QUALITY ECONOMY  Join ETQ as we explore the six key pillars to driving sustainable business growth  and integrity