Make time for safety: 8 sure-fire signals you need an EHS system

As an EHS professional, how do you make more time?

You could listen to endless productivity podcasts and adopt a four-hour work week.

You could delegate your work to others.

You could even care less about what you do, as some workplace experts recommend.

You know, however, that each of the above is, at best, a short-term fix. At worst, time-saving strategies like these can put you and your colleagues in danger when vital EHS tasks and checks are missed.

So how do you fix a diabolical diary?

The answer is simple: by working with smart software to manage quality, operations, risk and EHS training in the work environment. Platforms like the one we’ve built at EMEX are an investment - designed to vastly improve efficiencies, saving EHS teams time, money and effort.

What are the signs software would work for you – and how can a digital platform help?

1. You’re using Excel to manage multiple environments and issues

In its time, the shift from print to digital record keeping was revolutionary in EHS. But time doesn’t stand still - and EHS professionals’ responsibilities have not stopped growing.

Today, many EHS managers spend their time maintaining spreadsheets which are no longer fit for purpose. When Excel workbooks become too large and multiple files have to be used to keep track of issues, the chances of data ‘falling through the gap’ grows. Mistakes can follow – especially where files have been shared with others, and version control is not maintained. File compatibility issues become a headache.

EMEX software keeps environmental data accessible and in one place – so users know that the information they’re working from is accurate, up-to-date and fully secure online.

2. EHS reporting is hard work

Having gotten their spreadsheets under control, an EHS manager’s next challenge is to retrieve the relevant data.

Doing so takes time because information is stored at different touchpoints. And because version control remains problematic, the professional is forced to spend more time checking their file for errors.

Manual checks like these are part and parcel of the EHS professional’s day-to-day role – preventing misunderstandings that cause danger. Compliance is the other half of the coin. Our software automatically alerts users when their data is non-compliant following legal developments in their country of operation. The information is fixed without delay and sent back to the relevant EHS body – all without additional work for the manager handling the data.

3. Different sites report data differently

Few EHS managers have the luxury of just one environment to manage, and multiple sites mean inheriting multiple systems.

When separate sites report their environmental data differently, time has to be spent translating data into a single format. When time isn’t available or processes are poor, data is left unmerged and dangerous mistakes can occur. Training teams to use multiple systems multiplies the time spent on those systems.

Using a single capable software system across multiple sites removes this burden. Teams can be trained on a single system. Data is kept in one place for easy access. And if new sites are added to a workplace, they join a single, unified software platform.

4. You’re working more than 14 hours daily on a regular basis

The time spent wrestling with antiquated spreadsheets, following non-efficient reporting practices and maintaining multiple software platforms adds up. And the person in your team who suffers most? You.

An effective EHS professional is proactive, not reactive. Yet the systems used by many managers put them on the back foot. This is bad for morale, bad for budgets and – most important of all – dangerous for stakeholders in a workplace.

5. You’re making HSE decisions without data.

Gathering and maintaining data takes time. When time isn’t available, corners are cut and teams can be put in harm’s way in spite of an EHS manager’s best intentions.

This applies even to Health and Safety teams with modern reporting software. Often, EHS platforms are designed more for input than output. Information is logged automatically or manually for the user organisation to be compliant. This data is not easily accessible at a later date, however, making it of limited use inside the organisation. In turn, decisions are made on observation and experience by the EHS manager involved. Regardless of the experience of the manager, the workplace is more unsafe as a result.

6. You can’t see your LTI – or other employee metrics – at a glance

Storing information remotely makes it slow to obtain, and every hour spent trawling spreadsheets delays decision-making about where and how employees should be working. In turn, poor access to LTI data makes LTI and other efficiency measures worse. What’s bad for you, as an EHS manager, is ultimately what’s bad for the organisation you work with.

7. Permits to work are a recurrent issue

Not having easy access to the data about previous decisions or incidents makes future decision-making difficult. If you don’t know what happened because of X, how should you react when situation X comes round once more?

Permits to work are the one area for which this lack of data-driven insight causes the most problems. Joined-up thinking, informed by accurate, up-to-date data, is essential for making PTW processes work correctly. If a permit is issued without information to back up the instruction given by the permit, then employees are less likely to follow it. If a permit is issued in error, unnecessary risks are created.

Failure to implement Permit to Work processes in the proper way is a danger to teams.

8. You’re losing sleep

In this way, ‘making do’ with multiple software systems and spending on software maintenance – not site maintenance – can become a hazard in itself. This is especially true in large or growing workforces, where the complexities and realities of EHS management can catch up with even the most organised and experienced QEHS manager.

It doesn’t have to be this way. EMEX software makes managing and maintaining multiple sites, recording and dealing with risks, responding to compliance needs and training teams simpler than ever. Used by more than 10,000 EHS professionals in more than 100 companies across the globe, EMEX is our complete EHS, operations, quality, risk, documentation, intelligence and CSR solution for businesses of all sizes.

We help EHS managers at all levels manage complex environments via a single platform, record and access site data in a single secure location, and most important of all, pre-empt incidents before they happen.

To find out how EMEX could transform your EHS team, schedule a free demo today.

ISO45001: 10 things you need to know (and how EMEX can help)

While oil-field safety records are increasing, the oil and gas industry still has one of the highest severe injury and fatality rates. Amputation and fractures rank among the most common injuries, with getting body parts caught in equipment, falls, being struck by objects, and fires/explosions the main causes.

The cost to both employers and the economy is vast - which is why there’s a new global solution on the cards.

New standard ISO 45001 is set for publication in February 2018, and will replace the existing OHSAS 18001. While the new standard will take both time and budget to implement for smaller businesses and international corporates alike - as well as the work associated with plugging the gaps in existing standards - there’s no denying that this highly-anticipated standard will help to decrease the ill effects of poor health and safety procedures in the workplace.

Here are ten things you need to know about the new ISO 45001 standard - and how implementing EHS software can make the transition smoother.

1. ISO 45001 uses the Annex SL structure

Annex SL, introduced in 2015, is an ISO tool that creates a common high-level structure that applies across all ISO management systems standards. All new and revised ISO standards use the common structure and terminology that Annex SL provides, making ISO 45001 easier than OHSAS 18001 to integrate with existing ISO management systems used by your business. Our software already makes it easy for businesses to implement other standards, such as ISO 14001 - and the similarities in structure will only serve to ease the burden of change.

2. New concept: “Context of the organisation”

One of three new concepts introduced by ISO 45001 is “context of the organisation”: linking management systems to your specific business environment and your health and safety performance strategies. It’ll include a focus on the risks that can be introduced by change and how to control them, ensuring that management focus more on the system as a tool to improve the working environment. The task is made easier with our EHS software which allows management to drill down and analyse data to make intelligent decisions about improving working environment.

3. New concept: Leadership

The new standard requires the demonstration of strong leadership, including encouraging staff, and assisting the company’s lower level management. Observational safety changes culture and is completed from the top down  and coupled with ease of access to data with EMEX’s dashboards makes leading the organisation to a safer environment easier.

4. New concept: Documented information

Many management standards refer to specific documented procedures...which often no longer exist in our ever more computer-based world. ISO 45001 does away with mandated procedures - but our EHS system keeps all records in one place, making it easy to find any documentation that’s needed.

5. New definition: “Risk”

With the meaning of the word “risk” varying from country to country, the new standard will clarify the definition so that it covers all sectors and industries across the globe. Our software’s hazard assessment functionality can be used to assess risk in the same way across multiple sites - even for businesses with a multi-country presence - for consistency.

6. New definition: “The Worker”

Across the globe, “the worker” is defined in different ways - and with different legal constraints. In ISO 45001, “The Worker” has a specific definition: the person who is working under the control of the organisation, including any contractors.

7. New definition: “The Work Place”

How is the work place actually defined? Is it your site only, or does it include situations where your workers are sent to work at other employers’ sites? ISO 45001 will clarify the definition - and if it includes multiple sites, you’ll be able to use our EHS software to monitor incidents from site to site, and inform the relevant team members at the location in question.

8. New requirement: Outsourcing

The new standard strengthens the requirements of OHSAS 18001 that relate to outsourced processes. It will clarify the process and outcome required when an outsourced supplier logs an operational health and safety incident. EMEX’s software can risk assess activity, processes, and buildings to ensure outsourced processes such as facilities management are continually assessed and checked through auditing and inspections.

9. New requirement: Procurement

Businesses will need to establish procurement controls - controls that ensure goods and services are procured in a way that complies with health and safety requirements. This will mean assessing risks, testing equipment, communicating usage requirements and precautions and more. Our software allows you to create checklists for such procurement processes, ensuring that processes are all fully compliant.

10. Focusing on the positives

While OHSAS 18001 focused more on reducing the negative impact of health and safety incidents, ISO 45001 has a more positive slant. It highlights the good things that can happen when a strong health and safety management programme is implemented, and the positive cultural change that can occur. This is driven by the new focus on ensuring employee participation and understanding organisational context - and with our reports, dashboards and worker profiles, you’ll find it easier to see how things are changing for the better.

Much of ISO 45001 is based on the contents of OHSAS 18001 - but there are some fundamental changes that will need to be implemented once the standard comes into force. While it might seem like hard work, you can’t put a price on keeping the workforce safe and better worker morale - especially when our software is there to make things even easier.

Like the sound of what we have to offer? Request a demo of our system to find out more.


User Friendly Safety and Risk Solution with Unique International Experience and Enterprise-scale product architecture.

The Verdantix report ‘Green Quadrant: EH&S software report 2017’ assessed the most prominent EH&S suppliers including EMEX, Enablon, Intellex and SAP, Emex scored highly for safety, risk management, incident management, and contractor safety and demonstrates major strengths in behaviour based safety capabilities, confined space analysis and permit to work management.

There are hundreds of EHS software vendors operating globally, the Verdantix study names only the twenty strongest suppliers and only considers applications designed to scale up to multi-country, multi-site deployments for an enterprise with more than $1 billion in annual revenues.

Commenting on the findings Richard Wall EMEX CEO noted: “Once again Verdantix has recognised EMEX as one of the world’s most prominent EH&S suppliers. Only those suppliers with applications that can manage a broad spectrum of EHS processes are considered for inclusion in this report.”

The report notes that EMEX is one of the few EHS software vendors with an understanding of how to deliver, implement and maintain software for customers in less-serviced areas such as Dubai, Nigeria, and Russia.  Verdantix recommends that EMEX should be on the shortlist for firms with operations in these geographies.

Wall continues: “EMEX has a global client base, this includes organisations with operations in parts of the world that present the biggest challenges to the EH&S process.  And because EMEX has been rigorously tested in these environments, a growing range of multi-national organisations are turning to us in the secure knowledge that we are more than capable of handling complex situations, in any and every country.”

EMEX scored above average for air emissions management because it comes with reporting frameworks for a number of regulations in different parts of the world. Verdantix notes that the EMEX solution particularly reflects the challenges faced by firms in construction, mining, oil and gas.

EMEX’s contractor safety module synchronises with document management, equipment database, actions module, audit workflow and reporting modules, which together provide out of the box for on-boarding contractors and managing their performance.


Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, EMEX is an EH&S software provider with offices in Dublin, Geneva, Houston, Dubai, Lagos, London and Moscow.
Founded in 1998, Emex’s vision is centered on helping its customers establish a link between safety performance and financial performance through enhanced data management and analytics. From Incident & Accident Investigation through to Risk and Audit Management, Behavioral Safety and Environmental Reporting, 100 of the world’s largest companies rely on Emex to monitor performance.