Today, EHS (environment, health and safety) is a key component of good corporate governance, focusing mainly on workplace safety, regulatory compliance and respect for your surroundings. As this field grows in importance, there has also been an increase in the options available to manage it.
Though many companies maintain a poorly organized, ad-hoc (and often paper-based) approach, more forward-thinking businesses are looking for digital solutions to help standardize, automate and secure this process. The best EHS management systems also provide consistent, reliable and comparable data that can help you make decisions that benefit your team members and the company as a whole.
In this article, we look at how investing in EHS software can not only lead to a safer workplace, but also save money, improve your reputation and even help you establish a competitive advantage over your peers.
Leaders are often reluctant to invest in EHS management, fearing that money spent in this area will eat into company profits without providing any financial benefits. Unfortunately, the cost of a poor health and safety record is frequently hidden, or only understood when it is already too late. The realization comes after a severe accident occurs, or the authorities identify a damaging compliance issue.
It is true that in a fast-paced business, oversight can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. If done well, however, there is no need to make a trade-off between good EHS practice and making money – the two objectives can be achieved together by reducing costs and increasing productivity:
- Avoid accidents: Besides the obvious threat to the safety of your team and your environment, workplace accidents can also be extremely expensive. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), for example, the cost per medically consulted work injury in 2020 was $44,000. Through transparent logging and thorough assessments, the best digital EHS solutions help remove the dangers of inattention and neglect to ensure there are no invisible risks.
- Reduce regulatory fines and penalties: Non-compliance with regulations such as ISO 14001 can potentially lead to fines and penalties. A compliance management system with automation and access to detailed reports will help ensure you are operating within the rules.
- Lower insurance premiums: As always, fewer accidents or incidents will help you reduce insurance premiums, saving you serious money over the years.
- Fewer travel and admin costs: With detailed information and reports available at the click of a button, there is a reduced need to waste valuable time examining all aspects (and locations) of your business. Instead, you can use data to target the areas most need attention.
In addition to financial costs, accidents, non-compliance or damaging the environment can all negatively impact your company’s reputation. On the other hand, a digital EHS management solution can help double down on safety which is beneficial for a company’s reputation in industries like utilities. The old saying remains true: it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and just a moment to lose it.
- Stay legal: Breaking the law is a fast and easy way to ruin your reputation. EHS helps you ensure regulatory compliance across different industries and countries by tracking key EHS indicators in every area of your business. Adhering to EHS compliance standards also helps you appropriately assess and manage occupational risks to employees and the general public.
- Give HR a boost: Being known as a careless company is damaging: whatever the industry, most employees want to know that the organization they work for is not pushing the boundaries of the law or flouting regulations. Conversely, establishing a reputation as a caring, thoughtful company that looks after its employees, its customers and the wider environment will help attract and retain the best workers.
- Extend to corporate sustainability: In addition to working to meet health and safety legislation, today, companies often look to combine these fields with sustainability (EHS&S) to help improve corporate sustainability levels. Some EHS software have incorporated this idea into their interface to help provide you with a measurable long-term vision of the company.
Improved health and safety, however, is about more than limiting damage. If you successfully set up an efficient, fully automated EHS system, you can also establish a genuine competitive advantage for your company.
- Increase productivity through effortless administration: Automating EHS work and monitoring progress is faster and more efficient and helps you track responsibilities across teams. Indeed, implementing a paperless, cloud-based system that works in real-time is almost guaranteed to save you time – no more struggling with Excel files or cumbersome paper documents to prepare for audits and assessments.
- Keep decision-makers in the loop: An efficient and well-designed EHS management system can also be a great time-saver for upper management: carefully calibrated digital reports and transparent dashboards means you have all the knowledge you need at your fingertips.
- Optimize operational performance through fast action: EHS allows you to work remotely, track data to reduce the rate of employee infection, and react quickly to changing operations and the legal environment. If, for example, you detect a discrepancy in a key area, with the proper safety management system, you can immediately notify all other areas of the issue and collaborate to resolve the issue.
- Wider collaboration and knowledge-sharing: Besides your teams, the ability to easily share EHS data and relevant information is also a great way to share knowledge and encourage collaboration with contractors and other external stakeholders.
A simple choice
Times have changed. In the past, health and safety monitoring was often a time-consuming, uninspiring business, usually associated with ticking boxes and rooms full of paper. Even if you did rely on computers in managing your systems, data input was often laborious, slow and subject to human error. Yet now, there are affordable, programmable solutions that can effortlessly provide you with an overview of your company’s performance in key areas and identify points of weakness and strength.
The small step of investing in EHS software can encourage a giant leap toward a safer and more considerate company. And from the very start, it will save you time and money and encourage greater teamwork and control. For anyone interested in incorporating excellent corporate governance into their overall business strategy, the choice is simple.
Denxpert specializes in innovative and customized EHS and ESG software solutions used by more than 500 of the world’s leading organizations. If you are interested in ESG-aligned business growth through better data, easier reporting, and expert help, we’d be delighted to hear from you.
Work Injury Costs – Injury Facts (nsc.org)