EHS Management Lags in Digital Transformation Involvement

By Patricia Panchak
Here’s why you need to get on board, along with some tips for doing so.

As industrial organizations race to deploy the latest digital technology innovations, to achieve “Industrial Transformation (IX),” recent research suggests that EHS functional leaders are among the least likely to be involved. Compared with their counterparts in 18 functional areas, EHS management placed 15th, according to the LNS Research report, “Futureproof EHS Management,” which found:

“Among IX leaders (the 28% of companies that say IX is “working”), only 21% of companies have participation from the EHS business leader. Among IX followers (the other 72% of companies that have not yet achieved results), only 13% have EHS business leader participation. However, among all manufacturers (e.g., not just leaders and followers), fewer than 14% of companies report that EHS is included in the focus of Big Data analytics or IIoT initiatives. That’s shockingly low, considering … Read more...

Keeping Employees Safe + Sound: Best Practices

Connecting workers via mobile apps and software systems put safety at their fingertips 

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.  

Successful EHS management systems identify, manage and eliminate workplace hazards before they cause injuries and illnesses for employees, damage assets and create environmental issues. August 12-18, 2019 is dedicated to Safe + Sound Week this year. Safe + Sound Week is a good time to get your EHS management system started, energize your existing program and provide a chance to recognize EHS successes. 

14 U.S. Workers Killed Each Day 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of worker deaths and reported injuries in the United States has decreased by more than 60 percent in the past four decades since the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was passed. However, every year, more than 5,000 … Read more...

How to Sell EHS Software to Your IT Department

As all successful marketers know, to win over your target audience you need to: one, know what your audience cares about, and two, speak their language. Trying to get IT approval on your EHS software initiative is no different. Identifying how your EHS software initiative will improve your IT department’s pain points and understanding the key terminology they use will go a long way to securing their approval.

So, what does your IT department care about?

  1. Resources (Time & Funding)
    Each system in your organization needs to be maintained. That can include adding users, managing permissions, updating software to more secure versions, or paying renewal fees. The more software a company uses, generally the bigger headache for IT. Therefore, consider looking at fully integrated EHS management systems over point solutions. It’ll be easier and more affordable for your IT department to maintain. Ever better – showcase how your proposed EHS
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EHS Managers – Take Back the Power of Purchase

You’ve done your due diligence, explored vendors, and have decided that it is time to invest in an EHS management system. As the person in the field, you know the tremendous impact this can make not only to your daily work life – but to the safety of your workers. However, convincing your CEO, CFO or VP to sign off on the investment can be tricky. Here are three things you need to consider when making the case to purchase an EHS management software:

  1. Turn your personal pain into corporate impacts

While you may find endless stacks of paperwork a pain, they aren’t enough to make your CEO want to allocate budget. Mapping your personal pain points back to tangible corporate impacts is a powerful way to convince your executives why they need to act. To do so, try using a similar structure to a 5-why cause analysis. But, instead … Read more...

Elements of Leadership and the EHS Professional – Part One

In an article published in the Harvard Business Review titled, “Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?”, the author explores the difference between “leadership” and “management.” “It takes neither genius nor heroism to be a manager,” he wrote, “but rather persistence, tough-mindedness, hard work, intelligence, analytical ability and perhaps most important, tolerance and goodwill.” Granted, one would be hard pressed to deny that these are not admirable qualities, but it is doubtful that these qualities would ever deliver sustainable EHS performance in a complex and dynamic organization.

Over the past 25 years of my career, I’ve spent most of my time working in local and corporate level positions striving to improve EHS process and performance. Over the years, I discovered that organizations best optimize their efforts when they provide strong well-balanced leadership. Strong and well-balanced meaning that it does not lie strictly on a regulatory focus, but considers employee capability and … Read more...

Tightening Processes is Key to Worker Safety

Variations that exist within system processes may be putting workers on a path to making poor decisions while performing their work and invariably compromising their safety. That’s an assertion made by Scott Gaddis, the Health and Safety Practice Leader for Intelex Technologies and a 25-year veteran of environmental health and safety leadership and management.

It’s important to tighten process methodologies to ensure there’s little room for interpretation by workers that forms bad safety habits. In his recently published Intelex Insight Report, entitled, Unleash a Better Safety Culture by Controlling Process Variability, Gaddis notes that, in many incidents where a worker performs an unsafe act, the decision that often led to err was likely influenced by other uncontrolled variables residing within the work system itself.

Dan Peterson, in his book, Human Error Reduction and Safety Management, writes that “Human error is involved in every accident and there are many reasons … Read more...

The Importance of Permit to Work Analytics

Permit to Work processes are a necessary part of a company’s Safety management process, but they aren’t often recognized as a source of valuable insights. With the majority of companies using paper trails to manage their Permit to Work process, the ability to consolidate information, link that information to other areas of the business, and ultimately draw impactful insights is non-existent. Using software to manage your Permit to Work process can unlock those important hidden insights.

Linking Permit to Work data with EHS information can help Safety managers:

  1. Perform accurate audits to ensure Permit to Work procedures are properly followed

If it isn’t measured and tracked, then it likely isn’t happening. Auditing your Permit to Work process is essential to ensure that management, supervisors and workers alike are properly following your standardized process.

It will also allow you to objectively look at the process and identify areas for improvement, … Read more...

The Benefits of Becoming an EHS Business Partner

By Kenny Sandlin

What is a strategic EHS business partner and why should you strive to become one?

These are questions I have asked myself many times. Strategic EHS business partners think beyond the basic responsibilities of recordkeeping, compliance, documentation, incident investigations, etc. and acknowledge that while the basics must get done, and be done in an accurate, timely, and in a cost-effective manner, there is much more to their roles. Strategic EHS leaders serve as a business partner, ensuring that EHS initiatives are undertaken in alignment with the company’s strategy, priorities, direction, focus, and mission, vision, and values.

Being an administrator of the important stuff, the basic responsibilities I mentioned above, will not be sufficient for success. It is critical to our jobs, but not sufficient enough to achieve EHS Excellence. A true strategic EHS business partner helps to create a culture of continuous improvement that goes far beyond … Read more...

How to Handle Permits to Work the Modern, Efficient Way

Most employers are legally required to post some form of Permit to Work – whether it is a construction site, hospital, manufacturing plant or even a brewery. A Permit to Work:

  • makes workers, supervisors and management aware of any hazards around them,
  • educates them on how to safely work with the hazards, and
  • in many cases, lays out an action plan to ensure everyone works safely with each other.

Employers must post a printed Permit to Work in a visible space for workers to see when they enter the work site. They must also inform workers entering the work site for the first time of any open permits. Workers must confirm, through a signature, that they acknowledge and are aware of the information provided to them. While this task sounds simple, companies with large worksites must often manage hundreds of workers coming on and off a site with multiple Permits … Read more...

EHSQ Community | Safe + Sound Week!

Join us for Safe + Sound Week! In this members monthly open discussion we join forces to drive social awareness around safety in the workplace, and worker’s rights. We invite you to join our Environmental, Health and Safety, and Quality professional community, and share your knowledge with other members.

  • Join us for the Safe + Sound Week! with Tamara Parris
  • Don’t Blame the Silos by member Terry L Mathis

  • Speaking Truth to Power by member Ron Gantt
  • System Safety Program – Rule

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