Today’s society is more socially aware than ever. The treatment and rights of employees, no matter the industry, is of increasing importance to regulators across the world. Leaders within companies are recognizing the importance of employee welfare, too. This is largely down to much tougher penalties for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offenses. No matter the motivation, we are the advent of change. While there’s never been any doubt that good health and safety practices are morally right and just, they have never made better business sense either.
As such, the demand for up to date EHS software is at an all-time high. But how do these software programs benefit organizations? Not every organization, or its senior leadership, sees the need for software in helping to manage environmental, health and safety programs. Here are seven reasons why EHS software might be the right investment for your business…
First and foremost, what is EHS software? EHS software helps to ensure the health and safety of every individual within the workplace by providing streamlined reports and data on EHS metrics that you configure. But this only works it is used!
Ease of use is the number one factor in increasing user adoption. Actual use of the software results in more reports created on your company’s operations. More reports mean more data for EHS Managers to make tactical and strategic decisions with (as we will see in point two, below). This all results in a safer workplace. After all, information empowers individuals to make the right decisions
In addition, investment in EHS software emphasizes that you, as a business, take worker safety, health and welfare seriously. It a vital message to colleagues, employees, customers and authorities alike. It motivates employees to behave in a safer manner, knowing that it is a priority of senior leadership. It also gives them routes of communication to report near misses, incidents, and more.
EHS management systems allow data to be centralized, tracked and monitored. Strong reporting functionality, data insights, and dashboards are key to analyzing trends and putting proactive safety measures in place. You can configure your system to report out on the metrics that matter most to your business and your industry, while also tapping into metrics that you may not have considered before. The perks of a cloud-based system also mean that you can share these insights across the company and get valuable information into the hands of the right individuals swiftly. These deeper insights, and the time saved, will empower you to make critical decisions that you may previously not have been on your radar.
Modern EHS software can help to ensure your organization meets current legal requirements. Should a party make a claim, you can easily find all information pertaining to that issue in one, centralized place. You’ll be able to access many documents, including:
- Witness statements
- Photo evidence
- Steps taken to reduce risk in operations
Spreadsheets or paper-based systems can make legal situations an administrative nightmare. If even one individual in your organization has an outdated or error-riddled spreadsheet, that could get into the hands of regulators and result in fines or further legal action. With regulatory environments across industries becoming more and more stringent, and fines increasing in cost, you will want to ensure that you follow each and every regulation in place.
Save time and ensure compliance by streamlining your operations. The cloud-based nature of many of the top EHS software systems will allow you to store and send the most recent and accurate form of documents to authorities. You can also ensure every file is in the correct format. And, if things do go wrong and an error has occurred, you have all your previous records in one centralised place for reference.
With tougher penalties in place for health and safety offenses, the financial benefits of good health and safety practices are bigger than ever. Fewer accidents mean:
- A healthier, happier and more productive workforce
- Fewer pay-outs for legal costs
- Reduced accident claim pay-outs
- Less time off related to injury
- A better reputation for your company
Time efficiencies can also be achieved due to information being centrally stored and collated – ready for much quicker and smoother procedures.
Additionally, customers appreciate when the companies they interact with care about their employees. It shows a level of basic empathy that makes them more compelled to buy your products or services. When you invest in EHS software and prioritize the welfare of your employees by using it in the optimal way, it allows your customers to trust you more. The same goes for investors, too. Both groups will see that you treat the responsibility of employee welfare with great care and understand that the same level of care translates to their experiences. You can also capitalize on these achievements by publicizing them, making it known to everyone that health and safety is of the utmost priority to you.
Increased Employee Engagement
New EHS software models – such as EcoOnline’s offerings – extend reporting capabilities beyond EHS managers or EHS personnel alone. Updated software systems allow any employee to report an incident, near miss, or notify leadership of other health and safety related issues. The ability to report at any time from anywhere, as we will cover shortly, inherently encourages employees to take part in safer behaviours and help their colleagues do the same. When you extend this power to everyone in your organization, you make it harder for them to brush off due diligence as ‘someone else’s responsibility.’
Additionally, you are giving those who are passionate about health and safety the time to put forward their value. They now have a way to make their voice heard without having to stray too far from their daily tasks and schedule a meeting with the right individuals. Instead, now they have an easy and accessible way to speak out about what they are seeing and what they are doing. Their superb reporting skills can now also be tracked and recognized, and you can applaud them for their great work. Encouragement and reinforcement of proper safety behaviours is an excellent way to continue seeing improvements in your organization’s health and safety record, and software simplifies this task.
Fewer Barriers on the Floor
Mobile incident reporting has been improving for several years now. Organizations that need to track incidents or near misses have been limited by technology in the past, often needing to run back to laptops to log an incident or near miss or have found themselves stuck filling out physical forms. With newer, updated EHS software, your employees can log anything on the go with a convenient and user-friendly mobile interface.
The ability to record incidents at their source can improve the speed and accuracy of reporting, while offline working gives access to record incidents even when no signal is available. All your records automatically sync to the cloud-based system when the employee’s mobile device reconnects to a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, ensuring nothing goes unreported or lost. Say goodbye to missed incidents or forgetting to fill out reports when you move to the newest, most versatile EHS software.
Previous EHS Tools are Outdated
Even if the five aforementioned reasons to switch to EHS software sound alluring, you may still not be seeing any true fault in your current system. Spreadsheets have always been a useful and inexpensive program for the business world, after all. In fact, many companies still use spreadsheets as their main method of internal communication. But are they still fit for purpose of reporting and data collection when it comes to EHS?
We argue that they are not a viable strategy anymore. Here are some reasons to consider a switch from spreadsheets:
- Spreadsheets have very few opportunities for collaboration, and are limited in the ways individuals can share information
- Spreadsheets are difficult to use – especially on mobile devices
- Spreadsheets are prone to errors – such as failing to save new data
- The transfer of spreadsheets from one employee to another can be complicated by the version of the spreadsheet application it was created on versus the version the next employee is viewing it on
- Without strict document management tools in place, it is easy to overwrite, delete or lose valuable data.
In addition to spreadsheets, even legacy EHS systems may not have the functionality or flexibility necessary for the modern workplace. A switch to a newer system can help eliminate errors, increase productivity, and facilitate more effective communication. You will also have access to a host of new capabilities that will optimize your processes beyond what you believed to be possible.
Not only does it make good sense for the safety and well-being of your employees and colleagues, but it makes good business sense as well to switch to an EHS software system. There are several EHS software companies with solutions on the market that have varying levels of complexity. If you think EcoOnline and our various modules might be right for your business, get in touch today.