The housing crisis in the UK has been escalating in severity year on year. The construction industry has continuous pressure to build housing at a faster rate due to the government’s plan to annually build 300,000 homes by 2025. The current sector can only deliver 250,000 each year. The rush to build homes is a natural response the devastating housing shortage in Britain. Builders are working as fast as possible, but there are certain corners that they cannot cut to increase their efficiency. So, what does the pressure to build more homes mean for both the quality of the construction and the safety of the homes and people? Can construction companies potentially benefit from EHS software solutions?
The housing shortage is only exacerbated by the current state of the UK’s construction industry. As of now, it lags far behind other nations in its productivity. Germany, for example, has higher productivity due to working shorter but stricter hours. The country has a strong manufacturing sector, too, which ensures no shortage of materials. There is also a focus on investing in the latest technology in Germany. In fact, the government is investing upwards of 104 billion euros per year on research and development. It is undeniable that the more knowledge industries have, the more equipped they are to do better work. In the UK, that same figure regarding research and development work is just 883 people per 100,000 workers. This is around 15% fewer professionals conducting valuable research. EHS software helps to bridge this productivity gap in the UK – making up for the losses in other sectors.
Many construction companies still use spreadsheets to manage the safety, time, cost, resources and quality of their projects. However, studies show that 88% of spreadsheets contain serious errors. If safety standards slip as a consequence of these potentially unnoticeable errors, this could lead to an increase in LTI (lost time to injury) incidents on the worksite. With the housing crisis only worsening, it is critical for companies to maximize their output and do whatever they can to avoid lowering productivity. It is important to note that an improvement in safety can mean an improvement in productivity. So, what can they do?
Companies involved in every stage of the development of housing – from construction companies to contractors – should invest in EHS management software. But what is EHS management software , and how can it offer a quick and simple solution?
Incident reporting, behavioural-based safety modules, and action tracking are common features in most EHS software. Behavioural-based safety modules help organizations to identify hazards. Integrated action tracking can put in corrective actions to rectify the hazard - preventing any incident that may occur. It also allows you to track the completion of actions assigned, so not task goes undone or incomplete. Should an incident occur, powerful dashboards and analytics help HSE managers spot trends and set corrective actions. All of these features will help to reduce LTI and improve efficiency and productivity. A safer work environment will be the result, due to a decrease in lost time and fewer accidents. This all leads to an increase in productivity. Furthermore, EHS software will help to reduce the risk of an error that is inherent in spreadsheets. Save time and save yourself and your employees from potentially harmful incidents, by switching to software.
By improving the day-to-day running, construction companies can focus on producing a high quality of housing, while handling the need for higher output. Similarly, EHS management software for manufacturing can be an effective tool to help improve productivity and protect workers so they can meet the demand for increased need for materials. Every industry that will play a role in alleviating this housing crisis can benefit from EHS management software.
In addition to protecting workers and subsequently increasing productivity, EHS management software can eradicate potential legal barriers to providing more housing for affected regions. Certain rules and regulations that pertain to construction, manufacturing, or businesses in other sectors are constantly changing and can be hard to keep up with. Protocols that ensured compliance just a year ago may need to be tweaked in order to avoid sanctions or fines. Integrated into EHS management software is COSHH Risk Assessment Software, which helps your business catch errors that may put you in violation of COSHH regulations or expose your employees to harm otherwise. All of this data will be stored and presented as accurately and clearly the data on near misses, incident reports and more.
Embracing technology is the key to positive change in the 21st century. The only way for industry to catch up enough to help fix the housing crisis is to embrace the technology that will make their lives easier. Rather than viewing software as an expense, or an automated solution, companies must view it as an investment. In fact, it is a valuable investment that allows them to configure dashboards and modules tailored to their needs and integrate the software into their company seamlessly. The time saved, injuries avoided and subsequent societal good that can result make it worthwhile.