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

10:59 AM , 2 Comments

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.


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