ISNetworld®: What they really do and why you need them

ISNetworld® is a third party contractor that provides a database to maintain a copy of records.  ISNetworld® specializes in collecting documentation on behalf of various companies to ensure you are meeting specific requirements in order to remain compliant.  ISNetworld® uses the Review and Verification Services or RAVS® to determine if your information and documentation is correct.  ISNetworld® states it uses experts in completing the verification process and determining if you met all the regulations.

ISNetworld® will collect documentation such as:

  • Contractor Acknowledgement Form
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • OSHA 300 Forms
  • Safety Programs
  • Training Records

Once ISNetworld® has completed the collection process they will either accept or deny your documentation.  The goal is to get all of the documentation submitted accepted thereby giving your company compliance.

Before submitting the documentation required you should collect all of the appropriate documentation.  This sometimes is a daunting task because some companies do not keep good records of training and accidents.  It is important not to fake these documents because if you are caught it could cancel your contract with ISNetworld®, thereby losing the contract with the company you are conducting business with.  It may not be worth faking documentation if it loses you a large contract which is keeping you in business.

Now that you have a complete idea of what ISNetworld® really does let’s discuss why you need them.  Your company needs them because the companies you are working with require you to submit documentation through them.  It is easier for larger companies who require ISNetworld® to ensure you are maintaining and complying with safety initiatives when they have to do very little to review your documentation.  Large companies have the luxury of logging into a program and looking at your dashboard grade or quickly scanning to see if you have an orange exclamation point or green check mark.  It’s easy for them to determine if you are in compliance or not, which thereby allows them to determine if they should keep their contract with you or not.

In this economy it is not a hard decision to keep or loose contracts.  Therefore, if you are required to maintain ISNetworld® compliance you most likely will do it.  However, there are some of you out there who are very frustrated with ISNetworld® and would rather give up than continue to fight for compliance.  It is understandable that you are frustrated with ISNetworld® after attempting to complete the process for months or even years.  However, stick with it.  If you need help then look for a consultant or safety professional that can assist you.  It is easier to pay someone to help you for a low price than loose contracts because of a third party record keeper, because in reality that is all that ISNetworld® is.

ISNetworld® is needed to keep your contracts, go through the motions and maintain compliance.  If you need help find it, but remember ISNetworld® is simply a secretarial service that keeps track of your documents.  If you go through the process with that in mind it may be easier to deal with the ups and downs of the process.

 

Markus Wesaw is in no way endorsed, sponsored, approved by, or otherwise affiliated with ISNetworld®. ISNetworld®, ISN®, ISNetworld®, and RAVS® are registered trademarks of ISN Software Corporation.

ISNetworld®: How to write a safety program

Writing a safety program designed to be approved by ISNetworld® can be difficult.  However, it is possible.  The first step is to read the additional comments section for each individual requirement.  You must also take one step further if that requirement cites a specific section of law.  The laws usually are OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Association), ANSI (American National Standards Institute), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), DOT (Department of Transportation) and API RP (American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practices).  Then you must look up the legal standard to determine what steps or specific conditions are necessary to meet the requirement.

Please remember, that becoming OSHA compliant is NOT the same as becoming ISNetworld® compliant.  This is because under the OSHA standards, OSHA may require sections 1-20 to be met to become OSHA compliant.  ISNetworld® may only require standard 1, 5-8, and 14 to become ISNetworld® complaint.  Therefore, just because the company is ISNetworld® compliant does not mean OSHA compliance.

After looking at each of the requirements, the additional guidance section and any legal standard your next step is to start writing the program.   First write a purpose or objective section.  These are easy.  For an example let’s use CPR as the required safety program.  The purpose would be something simple such as:  All employees shall receive training and know when to correctly use CPR.  The purpose should be short, simple and no more than one sentence.

The third step is to begin writing the requirements.  During this step you may not be able to write something as requirement one, two, three and four because it may not make sense.  You will most likely have additional sentences with the requirement imbedded within a paragraph.

For example:  If the requirement states each employee must receive training at the beginning of employment, annually thereafter and if something changes.  You may want to entitle a section as training and under the section write all the requirements your company will require, this can be in addition to the ISNetworld® requirements.  See below.

Training: Each employee shall receive the proper training to become a certified lay responder in CPR.  All employees shall receive the training before their first assignment and annually thereafter.  Each employee must also be retrained if any standard change.  Further, the training shall not be charged at the expense of the employee.  The training shall be conducted during normal business hours with a certified instructor.  

Continue onto each individual requirement and write out each standard as your company desires.  As long as it meets the individual requirements of ISNetworld® your company may expand as you deem necessary. Once all the sections are written accordingly, organize it in a logical manner.  Remember to keep like sections together, as long as it is in the safety program it does not have to be in any specific order. Next, it is time to submit your program.

Here are a few things to remember when uploading your program and submitting page numbers to ISNetworld®:

  1. Put page numbers on the safety program, it makes it easier to locate things later.
  2. Each requirement must be met.  Therefore, for each section you must select yes for the appropriate requirement.  If you select no, your program will be denied.
  3. If your program is a total of five pages do NOT write the requirement is contained in pages 1-5 as it is not specific enough and most likely will get denied.
  4. You can leave the comments section blank.  However, if your program was denied and the information is contained within the program bold that requirement and resubmit it.  Then, in the comments section write “see bold.”
  5. Do not be sarcastic in the comments section.  For example, if you are a sole proprietor and feel a program does not apply to you do not write a sarcastic comment.

Example: I am a sole proprietor.  This program does not apply to me because if I die or become unconscious I will not be able to administer CPR to myself. 

ISNetworld® will deny the program.   Therefore, write the program with all the elements needed.

Once your program is uploaded you have completed the process!  Now it’s just time to sit back and wait for approval.  Just to summarize the steps needed to write your own safety program:

  1. Read the ISNetworld® requirements.
  2. Read the additional guidance section for each requirement.
  3. Read any additional law ISNetworld® cites.
  4. Write a simple purpose or objective.
  5. Write out each requirement.  Use headings or specific subject areas if it is easier.
  6. Organize the program in a logical order.
  7. Submit the program.
  8. Wait for approval.
  9. If denied and you believe you have met the requirement, bold the section or language needed to meet the requirement and resubmit it.  In the comments section write, “see bold.”
  10. Resubmit.
  11. Wait for approval.
  12. If denied again and you still believe the language is contained in the program call ISNetworld®.  When on the phone with a customer service representative explain to them where you believe the required language is.  The representative may be able to help you.

Remember the language contained in this guide will not gain you compliance.  You must read all the requirements and put in the time to write the program to meet your company’s needs.  Good luck!

Markus Wesaw is in no way endorsed, sponsored, approved by, or otherwise affiliated with ISNetworld®. ISNetworld®, ISN®, ISNetworld®, and RAVS® are registered trademarks of ISN Software Corporation.

ISNetworld®: Finding answers to your questions

Many of you have called ISNetworld® at your wits end trying to figure out how to complete a questionnaire or what to do if certain provisions do not apply to your safety programs.  You believe they have answered your questions hit the submit button and a week or two later it comes back “Denied.”  Frustrated you call back, get a different department and they tell you something else.  You are not alone in your frustrations.

Many people have worked on their ISNetworld® accounts for various companies for months and sometimes years and still have not gained compliance.  However, ISNetworld® would like you to believe that you can fix the problems on your own and with great ease.  Most of the time this is not the case.

Here are a few tips for submitting your safety programs through ISNetworld®:

  • Do NOT answer any of the requirements “no,” it needs to state yes.
  • If your program gets denied because a requirement was not met, however, you believe you have met that requirement.  Resubmit it with that requirement bolded and in the comments section state, see bold.
  • Take the time to read the additional guidance section; sometimes it is helpful to determine what exactly needs to be included in your program.
  • Do not just copy and paste things off the internet and put your company name on the top.  Most of the time all of the elements are not included.  Some of the time the requirements may have changed and the program is now outdated.  Be sure to use your own program.
  • As tempting as it may be, do NOT write in the comment sections how this requirement or program does not apply to you and state the reason why.  For example: “Bloodborne Pathogens does not apply to XYZ Company because the company works only with computers.  The largest risk we have is obtaining a paper cut.  Therefore, this program does not apply.” ISNetworld® does not care if you believe the program or requirement applies or not, they just want it submitted.
  • If you have submitted 75% or more of the programs that were required, but you honestly believe that the remaining programs do not apply to you, you may ask for a variance.  A variance just means a waiver; therefore, you are asking ISNetworld® to waive the remainder of the programs.  This does not mean it is guaranteed, you are just hoping it will be waived!

If you have called ISNetworld® and have continuously tried to find answers to your questions and are getting nowhere, you are about to lose contracts, or are just irritated with the entire process do not be afraid to call around to a few ISNetworld® consultants for help.  We recommended calling a few people and asking them specific questions to your account.  Some companies will tell you they guarantee ISNetworld® compliance in 48 hours, do not believe them.  As you know once your information is submitted to ISNetworld® it can take them some time to approve or deny your submission.  Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to gain 100% compliance in 48 hours.  Be sure you are speaking with someone with knowledge of the procedure and process.

If your company is about to lose contracts because of not being in compliance with ISNetworld® be sure to ask if they can help you quickly, some consulting companies do not have the time to devote to your company immediately.

Do not believe you are alone in this process.  There are many of you that are highly educated, have years of experience or a combination of both that are still unable to get through the compliance process with ISNetworld®.  Each department will give you a different answer to your question, or attempt to help you but their attempts are futile.  Do not get angry and begin to write sarcastic comments in the comment sections, as you most likely will get the same result as before, “Denied.”  Be patient and call around for help because you can gain compliance!

Markus Wesaw is in no way endorsed, sponsored, approved by, or otherwise affiliated with ISNetworld®. ISNetworld®, ISN®, ISNetworld®, and RAVS® are registered trademarks of ISN Software Corporation.