Transform safety with a Digital Safety Management System

Transform safety with a Digital Safety Management System

Published July 24, 2023

4 minute read

We all know health and safety is important but, it can be tough to manage using pen and paper or Excel-based systems. Traditional manual processes like these can leave employees feeling like they’re drowning in admin. This perpetuates a reactive approach to safety because it’s difficult to spend the time needed to be proactive.  

But, in order to make real changes in your health and safety management system you first need to win-over the senior leadership team in your organisation. We’re going to dive into how you can prove the value digital safety management systems will bring to your organisation.   

Top 5 Areas That Impact Senior Leadership's Decisions


When you finally get facetime with senior leadership, it’s important you use your time well. This can be done by focusing on the five areas senior executives are most concerned about: 

1. Cost

Cost is one of the first things you probably will be asked about. This is because management wants to know that what you are asking for will be worth the company's money and will show a return on investment (ROI) to the business. When pitching your chosen digital solution, make sure you have done your research on the different safety software solutions in the market and how your choice will help you deliver a strong safety record and a return on investment (more on this later!).  

2. Time

Time is another important area of concern. You must prove the system you’re currently using, whether it’s paper, Excel or both, is taking time away from other key priority areas. It’s on you to prove that a digital system will help to speed up current processes and make your team more efficient. Future Industrial Services, one of our customers in the United Kingdom, mentioned that their manual processes left the team spending more time just to maintain the system. 

 “It was much more manual before and we couldn't see the full picture. We used to spend about 40-50 hours a week to just maintain our system.” Matthew Blake, Technical and Compliance Director - Future Industrial Services 

Future Industrial case study

3. Quality

Will this digital solution provide better quality work, processes, and/or services to customers? This is something else you will have to prove to senior leadership when discussing the need to go digital. Spend time focusing on how this digital safety solution will help to improve the quality of your processes.

Using paper does not allow for the standardisation of processes like a digital system would and is not the most reliable form of communication. Front-line workers can easily leave inspection forms and hazard assessments on their manager’s desk, which is already covered in paperwork. This can lead to time lost when it comes to corrective actions and vital pieces of information falling through the cracks.  

Pillar 2 - SMS - Blog _ Man buried under paperwork

4. Risk and Reputation

It’s important for senior leadership  to know that this digital system will help reduce the probability of fines and strengthen the company’s credibility. When using a paper-based system, papers and forms can easily be lost or misplaced, making it harder to prove you have taken the necessary steps to maintain compliance with regulations and avoid possible fines. A digital system will help act as a central repository of information and records which you can access at any time.  

5. Revenue

Lastly, focus on how a digital solution can help to increase the company’s revenue by attracting new clients or helping to retain existing ones. High profile companies want to work with businesses who have a strong safety record. A strong digital solution can help you improve your safety record with greater insight into deficiencies and nonconformances, and the ability to track trends and patterns through reporting and analytics capabilities. 

How to Demonstrate the Value of a Digital System to Senior Leadership

Remember earlier, when I mentioned it’s important to prove the return on investment of safety, when presenting your case to senior leadership? We’ve put together this table below which showcases how examples of EHS initiatives can overlap with business goals, as well as the five areas of concern mentioned above. We’ve also outlined how a robust digital solution can help you deliver on these goals, so you can truly prove your case to go digital.  




Does the EHS Goal or Initiative... Expected Business Value (Example) How a Stronger Digital Safety System Can Deliver

Current / New Business

  • Attract new clients?
  • Retain existing clients?
  • Add £1M/ year client 
  • Keep £5M in business over the next 3 years

Greater bidding opportunities due to higher safety performance. 

Time to Completion

  • Speed up existing processes? 
  • Get projects done quicker?
50-75% quicker supervisor decision making (1 week down from 2-4 weeks) With all documents digitised & centralised in one location, you will quickly be able to find what you're looking for. 

Quality of Work

  • Deliver more (or improved) product or service than the existing process? 
  •  Better proof of quality of work to customers?
  • Reduce reported errors or stoppages to client by 20%
  • Ensure communication of job well done every time

Provides complete transparency into your safety & reporting program, with less room for human error. Identifying trends will now be easier, allowing for quicker, data-driven decisions. 

Cost Containment

  • Reduce costs? Direct or indirect? 
  • Allow company to grow without adding a proportionate cost?
  • 5-10% of time freed up across suspensions. 
  • 25% lower incident rate. 
  • 15% lower insurance premiums.

More insight into your safety program. You can focus on leading indicators & reducing your injury & incident rate, which can lower the cost of insurance premiums. 

Corporate Risk and Reputation

  • Reduce the probability of lawsuits, fines, reputational damage, or operational shutdowns?
  • Enhance company’s reputation?
  • Avoidance of cost of 1 major incident over 5 years. 
  • Build brand around new competitive advantage.

A digital safety system will function as a repository for all records and information, allowing you to defend yourself when needed.


How EcoOnline Can Help You Deliver

EcoOnline’s suite of safety solutions is trusted by thousands of customers in over 70 industries worldwide. We have over 25 years of experience in the safety space and can help you accomplish all of the above and more with our robust platforms!  

But don’t take it from us! Check out what our customers have to say: 

“Our team has become more efficient and effective because of our partnership with EcoOnline. Without EcoOnline, we wouldn’t have the analytics and insights that we now have and the ability to objectively identify improvements and actions.” - Brendon Doig, Manager of Safety and Security, Spartan Controls 

“Having EcoOnline has made it so much easier to manage challenges because we have the right tools in place to do so. We wouldn’t be able to function as efficiently as we do now, without this system in place. EcoOnline has been essential to our success.”  Callum Monteith, General Manager of Health, Safety, and Risk, YMCA Calgary 

“EcoOnline is simple to use. Everything is now within one portal which is a great benefit, because we can see all our information in one place. This platform is also easy for our customers to use, making distributing information to them much more effective.” Ketil Hansen, Sales and Product Manager, Valvoline Oil A/S 


EcoOnline homepage


Author Dina Adlouni

Dina is a Content Marketing Manager at EcoOnline who has been writing about health and safety, ESG and sustainability, as well as chemical safety for the past four years. She regularly collaborates with internal subject matter experts to create relevant and insightful content.

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