EHS ROI Should Be the Endgame, Rather than the Start of Your Investment Pitch

The inherent value of occupational health and safety (OHS) for every business and organization makes it seem unimaginable that anyone would argue the importance or necessity of protecting workers on the job. 

So why can it be so difficult to obtain additional and necessary investment to improve safety performance? Perhaps the answer lies in the capitalist axiom that business is business, after all, and any investment made must be measured by a resulting payback.  

When it’s necessary to quantify environmental, health and safety (EHS) investment dollar benefits, return on investment (ROI) comes into play. And, while there are many tools and calculators available to help construct an ROI, before spending the time and effort to build a business case, it’s necessary to understand a couple of fundamental things – namely, for whom ROI is important and whether it is truly how a business thinks about safety.  

Related content: The ROI

ISO 45001 and ANSI Z10 Offer Valuable Safety Management Guidance

Industry standards exist to help set the foundation for a safety management system. For those who may not have a system in place or are looking to take an existing safety management system (SMS) to the next level, standards offer a guiding blueprint for the key and necessary components and practices. Two of the most common and ubiquitous are the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 45001 and the American National Standards Institute’s ANSI Z10.

ISO 45001 is described as the world’s first international standard for occupational health and safety systems. It provides a framework for improving health and safety performance and is intended to control the factors that may result in injury, illness or death on the job. ISO 45001 is also described as process-based and considers risks and opportunities. The standard explicitly mentions mental health as an element that should be protected by the program.

Another noteworthy feature of …

5 Ways EHS Professionals Can Support ESG Initiatives

As a result of corporate ESG framework requirements, EHS professionals are getting opportunities to be real business partners.

A move by organizations everywhere to adopt environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria could be today’s primary catalyst in transforming the future role of the environment, health and safety (EHS) profession.

ESG issues have taken on an increased sense of urgency for businesses around the world as public opinion becomes sensitive to social and environmental issues. Regulatory changes are expected to set the jumping off point for organizations, and investors and companies will need to have strong frameworks for identifying ESG risks with overall mechanisms and tracking capabilities as part of their management systems.

During an Intelex-sponsored EHS Today webinar in June discussing how safety professionals can support ESG initiatives, Ashley Gill, regional safety manager for Valicor Environmental Services, said there traditionally has been a disconnect between EHS professionals and business … Read more...

Research Reveals Employee Engagement is Key to Both EHS and ESG Performance

New research from Intelex finds that organizations continue to struggle with improving employee engagement in health and safety programs.

Workplace culture and employee engagement challenges are all too familiar within occupational health and safety. They are also likely to have a major impact on successful environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) performance, according to recent research conducted in Europe by Intelex Technologies LLC.  

The research report, Engaging Workers, Growing Business and Protecting the Planet, observes that improving EHS and ESG performance drives competitive advantage but that getting employees onboard with EHS initiatives may likewise slow ESG progress. 

The report, commissioned by Intelex, surveyed more than 700 EHS and ESG professionals from 10 European countries, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.  

The first chapter of the report, “Success is about people first and foremost,” focuses on several key research observations, among them: that … Read more...

How the War in Ukraine Is Impacting ESG and Supply Chain

Business resiliency and crisis management are more critical than ever, and supply chains that can adapt quickly to global disruption by developing diverse supplier relationships should become the norm and not the exception.

Russian’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 marked a radical shift in global geopolitics. Almost two years after the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented global disruption, the rapid changes across Eastern Europe has further demonstrated that the world as it existed in 2019 is over.

As Blackrock’s Larry Fink has pointed out, the era of globalization that we’ve come to consider the natural order of things over the last 30 years is over. Only time will tell what the implications of these events will be. In the meantime, organizations will have to come to terms with new ways of working in a world in which cataclysmic disruptions can happen in a day and change the global landscape … Read more...

More Work and More Tech Needed to Take EHS to the Next Level of Success

The COVID-19 pandemic placed EHS in the spotlight and has tasked professionals to do more than ever in managing risks within and outside of traditional workspace confines.

The future of environment, health and safety will see the need for more technology adoption by organizations as EHS professionals take on much greater workloads and a role in total worker wellness largely due to the outfall of COVID-19.  

These were among the key observations and topics of discussion during the first day of the Verdantix virtual summit on Innovating for Sustainable Operations that focused on EHS and operations.

Next Level for EHS

During a session titled, Taking EHS to the Next Level of Success, presenters considered how the responsibilities and workloads of EHS professionals have been impacted as hybrid and remote working becomes more popular. 

Verdantix CEO David Metcalfe said the COVID-19 pandemic placed EHS in the spotlight and has tasked … Read more...

WHO/ILO: Work-Related Causes Claim the Lives of Almost 2 Million People Worldwide each Year

Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at WHO: “These almost 2 million premature deaths are preventable. Action needs to be taken based on the research available to target the evolving nature of work-related health threats.”

Work-related diseases and injuries were responsible for the deaths of 1.9 million people in 2016, according to the first joint estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO). These WHO/ILO global estimates on disease and injury in the workplace outline the level of preventable premature deaths due to exposure to work-related health risks.

“It’s shocking to see so many people literally being killed by their jobs,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Our report is a wake-up call to countries and businesses to improve and protect the health and safety of workers by honouring their commitments to provide universal coverage of occupational health and … Read more...

5 ESG Policy Trends Changing Business: Now What?

For business leaders, ESG data informs all decision-making processes – capital allocation, budget setting, cash flows and forecasts.
For business leaders, ESG data informs all decision-making processes – capital allocation, budget setting, cash flows and forecasts.

Until today, Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG) has been defined mostly by voluntary practices, as the key policymakers (market authorities as well as national and international regulators) adopted a “sit and stare” approach and let the markets decide how to deal with ESG. 

The tide has turned, with jurisdictions now racing to introduce strict mandatory requirements that bind companies to contribute to the public policy goals governments are setting in relation to climate specifically and ESG more broadly.

What’s Changed? 

These developments have deep implications for companies, investors, and financial markets. Let’s look at five main policy trends that are significantly reshaping business: 

1. No more ESG standards alphabet soup – While new niche frameworks and guidelines will always pop up (let’s keep in mind that ESG evolves constantly), the European Union (EU) mandatory Sustainability Reporting … Read more...

What Is Risk Management? Causal Factors and Risk Assessment are Keys to Unlocking Job Hazard Insights

Rather than reacting to existing events, implement risk management software to anticipate potential hazards and implement risk management and assessment strategies.

What can be done today to prevent worker injuries and deaths tomorrow? The answer lies in the notion of predictive analytics discovered through the use of risk management software that use historical data to identify the workplace danger waiting to strike.

Rather than reacting or responding to what’s already happened, EHS leaders should be looking to anticipate and forecast potential hazards and implement necessary change and prevention strategies before an employee is harmed.

Predicting negative events or incidents that might happen in a workplace is a matter of identifying “causal factors” through data analysis, but these clues are often not apparent and likely to be hidden in variables not captured in incident reports.

A causal factor can be defined as any major unplanned or unintended contributor to an incident that if eliminated would prevent or reduce the severity or frequency of the incident. Identifying causal factors requires digging deeper into … Read more...

It’s Time to End the Blame Game and Start a Just Safety Culture

It's time for companies to build a just safety culture, where trust in workers is established, people feel safe to communicate their concerns and observations.
It’s time for companies to build a just safety culture, where trust in workers is established, people feel safe to communicate their concerns and observations and are apt do the right things regardless of who is watching.

It’s often said that accidents will happen, but in many workplaces there’s a tendency to blame someone for the mishap. It’s the kind of thinking that harms efforts to keep workers safe.

So says health and safety professional Rod Courtney who shared his views on how to create a “just” safety culture during a keynote speech at the recent EHS Today Safety Leadership Conference. Human errors in the workplace are normal and even the best people make mistakes on the job.

“Blaming those who make mistakes fixes nothing. We need to stop blaming people,” Courtney says. “It’s human nature to find fault. It’s human nature to find out who did it, someone … Read more...