Health and safety regulations and departments have long been a part of working life. Their presence isn’t always felt, but they lie beneath the surface of almost every procedure, equipment installation and working practice.
Many businesses still rely on a large collection of spreadsheets and even paper records, all of which document every applicable EH&S procedure and any reported incidents.
Unfortunately, this is cumbersome in a modern world where efficiency is driven by technological advancements. Spreadsheets, while often impressively complex and well thought-out, are simply ineffective when it comes to the modern workplace. They also need to be built, maintained and backed up which can take an inordinate amount of someone’s time.
The importance of portability in EH&S
Spreadsheet- and paper-based health and safety management is inherently immobile. Even with centralized storage of files, the ability for workers to quickly report incidents or refer to EH&S documentation becomes tiresome if they have to hunt for the right file, wait for it to load and then remember to save and close it when finished.
When adopting a technology approach for health and safety by implementing software that is dedicated to the task of EH&S, everyone within an organization can have near instant access to the information they require and incidents can be reported quickly and from practically any device.
When incident data is reported across a number of platforms, EH&S visibility becomes a real issue. An organization may be experiencing a high health and safety incident rate, but collections of spreadsheets and notebooks simply don’t provide management with a clear view of the extent of the problem.
Data visibility is essential for any EH&S manager to do their job properly and with a centralized system into which every incident is reported and every employee has relevant access, businesses can see exactly where they need to improve, educate and focus when it comes to preventing future accidents.
More aspects covered
Manual health and safety systems can only do so much. This may extend as far as incident reporting and documentation, but by adopting a modern, technology-first approach, businesses can take their EH&S strategy to a whole new level.
An EH&S system will quickly demonstrate a valuable return on investment when it comes to safety management, but most will also offer the ability to cover additional security aspects such as theft and other shrinkage.
It can go even further than that, too. Businesses are now increasingly focusing on sustainability and technology can help them capture trends on energy usage within the organization, along with emissions from transporting goods and the environmental consequences of their packaging.
Health and safety in business has evolved considerably, and technology has been the main driver. However, new tech should only be implemented if it solves a problem and offers a genuine return on investment.
Thankfully, in EH&S, the benefits of finally throwing away those notebooks and spreadsheets in favor of the more modern forms of health and safety management are simply too compelling to ignore.