CHEMTREC, or the Chemical Transportation Emergency Center, “provides immediate, 24/7 critical response information for incidents involving hazardous materials” to 24,000 companies as a division of the American Chemistry Council. On Monday, CHEMTREC announced that a memorandum of understanding of mutual assistance with China’s National Registration Center for Chemicals had taken force. I asked CHEMTREC’s G. R. “Randy” Speight about what this agreement means for chemical safety, the industry and beyond.
What is the benefit of this agreement in response to hazardous materials incidents within China? Is there a benefit outside China as well?
The NRCC has positioned itself to be the prevailing provider of Level 1 Emergency Response Information in China, where Level 1 service is generally defined as the provision of product information and general advice remotely by telephone, e-mail or fax. For the benefit of CHEMTREC’s many thousands of non-Chinese customers from around the world, this memorandum of understanding joins the resources, know-how, contacts and specific product knowledge from within each of NRCC and CHEMTREC to more seamlessly optimize the mitigation of incidents involving dangerous goods — whether the incident occurs within China, or on its way to or from China, as with imported and exported goods. (read more…)
This post was written by SmartBrief’s Tom Anderson.
The Department of Labor appointed five new members to a board that gives the government advice on employee benefit plans. The new members, who will serve three-year terms on the 15-person ERISA Advisory Council, are:
- Marilee Lau, past chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Executive Committee
- Gary Thayer, an attorney with Archer, Byington, Glennon & Levine who represents single and multi-employer benefit funds
- Richard Turner, vice president and deputy counsel with The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co. and past chairman of the Pension Committee of the American Council of Life Insurers
- Karen Barnes, managing counsel for McDonald’s where she is responsible for employee benefit plan governance and compliance as well as strategic design and employee communications for all the company’s U.S. retirement plans
- Portia Wu, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families and past chief labor and pensions counsel for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
The Labor Department also appointed current member Theda Haber, a managing director at BlackRock, as chair of the council and Mildeen Worrell, a former tax counsel to the House Ways and Means Committee, as vice chair. (read more…)
Workers think more highly of employers that offer voluntary benefits such as vision and pet insurance than those that don’t, a survey by WellPoint found.
However, only about half of the 2,500 people surveyed said they were knowledgeable about their employers’ voluntary insurance options were offered, noted Jeff Spahr, staff vice president of Vision and Voluntary Services for WellPoint. Educating employees, he said, is to the advantage of the employer. “The No. 1 key is communication,” Spahr said in an interview.
Among the report’s other key findings:
- 67% said their employer currently offers voluntary insurance.
- Not every worker is equally like to have access to such benefits. Men (71%), those located in the Northeast region (74%), workers at large companies (81%) and those with an average household income of $50,000 or more (74%) had higher than average rates of access.
- The majority of workers agree (67 percent) that having their employer provide voluntary benefits would increase their productivity at work.
Thomas M. Connelly Jr. is DuPont’s chief innovation officer and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers‘ board of directors. SmartBrief’s Ben Whitford recently spoke with Connelly about what it takes to foster a culture of innovation for the long haul.
How do you keep innovation fresh in an organization that’s been innovating for so long?
Having a long history of innovation is a great foundation. However, we need to focus not on the accomplishments of the past but on the innovations still to come. It is also important that we look beyond the markets we serve today. Tomorrow’s opportunities are not necessarily where today’s business is, and we need to look forward to areas were we can combine our market insight and foresight with our technology and science leadership to identify the next opportunity.
Emerging markets have been our most consistent source of growth over the past decade. (read more…)
This guest post is by Janet McNichol, human resources director at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is passionate about health and wellness and blogs about her experience managing ASHA’s program at Inside Workplace Wellness. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter at @jmcnichol.
Guardian has provided our health insurance coverage since 2004. We have been happy with them, but we’re hearing rumors that they are getting out of the health insurance business and we certainly don’t want to be the last ones on a sinking ship. We worked with our broker, Mark Sager at Alliant, to put our health insurance out for bid this year.
A colleague, Karen Niles, had introduced some of us to the Kepner-Tregoe approach to decision making and we decided to use it in selecting a new health insurance carrier. The approach helps decision makers use weighted objectives to guide decision making, evaluate alternatives against objectives, and document recommendations by showing the structured thinking behind the decision. (read more…)