The Fall/Winter 2019 Spark Magazine Features IRM 4.0, AI, Risk in Restaurants and More

The Fall/Winter 2019 Spark Magazine Features IRM 4.0, AI, Risk in Restaurants and More

By | December 4, 2019

And we’re back …

The new Spark magazine just “dropped” as the millennials like to say, and it’s packed with risk- and safety-related information that you won’t want to miss. And to lower our carbon footprint, we’ve decided to go digital-only this time around. Sustainability matters, you know.

Read the new SparkAlso, check out our new digital platform on issuu.

Our cover story details the emergence of Integrated Risk Management 4.0 (IRM 4.0). As the article explains, IRM 4.0 “is designed to deliver timely information to help organizations predict and manage when, where and how risk will impact operations, production, people and the supply chain by constantly recording risk-related data.”

In other words, IRM 4.0 uses the technology already part of Industry 4.0, including sensors and artificial intelligence, to gather that information to help companies be better informed for their risk mitigation strategies.

The SpiderSense vest was designed to help people with disabilities maneuver safely by alerting them when they are about to run into a wall or object, but could the technology also be used to help workers move around in dark places? Image from the Wired to Wear exhibit courtesy of the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago

The article includes a wide range of subject-matter experts from Sphera as well as the director of collections at the recently renamed Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and a data scientist from Trust Insights.

Merging AI and risk mitigation is the wave of the future, especially when it comes to Maintenance, Repair & Operations. In fact, as Trust Insight’s Christopher Penn told me, in terms of software being able to predict the likely time when a part or piece of machinery will fail gives business owners the opportunity to strategize: “At what threshold of probability of failure do we feel it is unacceptable and we want to switch out the part before then?” he said

Want to focus on another “part” of the story? Don’t worry we also talked AI and cookie-making. Really!

Listen to the SpheraNOW podcast interview with
Trust Insight’s Christopher Penn

If talk of cookies and AI tech doesn’t whet your appetite for safety-related content, then maybe this will: Spark also steps into the kitchen for an exclusive interview with chef Robert Irvine, the star of “Restaurant Impossible,” to talk about risks in restaurants, especially during the extensive remodeling that takes place in the series. He told Spark that he and his team, “never sacrificed safety for the sake of speed,” even though in the show they only have 48 hours to rejuvenate a dying dining establishment. “To work in the time constraints we have, you have no choice but to be incredibly organized, have a plan and execute it,” Irvine said.

Robert Irvine image courtesy of Food Network

With environmental risk making the news on a daily basis, we also have a poignant feature from Paul Marushka, Sphera’s president and CEO, who writes about how to get C-suite buy-in for sustainability projects. It’s an article that also appeared in the UN’s 2019 Global Goals Yearbook. We even list 10 ways to help save the world through innovations.

As always, Spark is chockful of expert commentary from Spherions like Judy Coleman, Carrie Decatur, Narenderpal Marwaha and others weighing in on several important safety topics like robots and lock out, tag out; Korean REACH; and FMEA and automobiles.

“Chernobyl” stars Jared Harris as Valery Legasov.
Image credit: Liam Daniel/HBO

Finally, Spark also reviewed the HBO miniseries “Chernobyl,” which we consider a compelling chronicle of complete chaos and catastrophe.” How’s that for alliteration? The movie is a timely reminder, too, about how important safety is in a nuclear environment. Just Recently, three workers at a nuclear fuel factory in South Carolina were hospitalized after complaining of an “unusual taste in their mouths.” One of those workers was treated. According to The State, a South Carolina newspaper, “The nuclear fuel factory, one of only three of its kind in the country, has a long history of incidents, including events in which some workers were exposed to radiation or injured. But concerns have intensified in recent years among people who live in eastern Richland County, near the plant.”

These problems aren’t Chernobyl-sized by any stretch of the imagination, but still disconcerting nevertheless.

Find all of this and much more only in Spark, and please let us know what you think about the magazine and ideas for future articles by emailing us at

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Sphera is the leading provider of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and risk management software, data and consulting services with a focus on Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S), Operational Risk Management and Product Stewardship.
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