EHS or Environment, Health and Safety is a concept derived to point up the role of every company to uphold and maintain the safety and wellbeing of their employees and the other players in the workplace while practicing necessary precautions to protect and preserve the environment at the same time. EHS used to be just a discipline but later on evolved as a compliance program in many countries.
As companies are identified to be the one responsible for caring for the health and safety of their employees, some of them, especially plants and other large-scale companies whose operations can be more exposed to hazards, have formed a dedicated EHS section to give a better attention to the matter. The team is usually composed of an EHS supervisor and his assistants who share the same purpose that is to make sure that the company is always compliant to the stately EHS regulations whilst supporting the company’s vision and mission.
However, it’s no secret that EHS is truly a comprehensive field to keep track of. Hence, the need for digital solutions that facilitate automation of EHS management processes to aid in the fast and efficient monitoring and decision making. Here’s where an EHS software comes to the rescue. As its features are designed to streamline the whole EHS management process, it is expected that, as a result, the company’s EHS policies will be better executed or implemented.
You’ll find a wide number of EHS software in the market today and they usually vary in terms of price and features – both basic and advanced. However, if you are not technically versed, it can be a challenge to choose among the many options if you want to get the best value of your investment. While it is true that Google can be relied on in terms of the results it displays, it is not a guarantee that the software you’ve initially considered can exactly cater to your business requirements and you may just end up spending a huge amount of money for features your business won’t be using.
In light of the experiences and realizations of the companies who already have acquired an EHS software, there are some essential factors to consider in deciding which EHS software you should go for. But first, you have to know what its purpose is going to be in your business.
What a good EHS software can do?
- Automation – Although automations come with a hefty price, they provide an unmatched solution to the time consuming, error prone and inefficient manual processes. It is normal to feel reluctant at first, nonetheless, especially once you realize that the budget can already suffice for things that have more direct impact to EHS like safety gears. But its wonders will definitely change your perspective like how it speeds up certain processes, e.g. quicker, real time, and easy to use data logging facility, and automated report generation that can positively impact in your company operations.
- Reduction of human error – One of the greatest advantages of using an EHS software is how it can significantly reduce and regulate human error during the logging of essential EHS related information. The manual or semi manual process makes use of pen and paper and consecutively modifying lots of spreadsheet files in gathering and storing the company and its employees’ EHS relevant data. Although there is nothing perfect in this world, managing EHS data is crucial and must be done as close to perfect as possible as it basically deals with the health and safety of the people and the working environment. Clerical mistakes can jeopardize the reading of the company’s performance in terms of EHS compliance. Consequently, this can hinder the management from crafting tailored EHS policy for the company.
- Seamless Data Analysis – Aside from the automation feature and the centralized data storage that an EHS software always comes with, it is highly sophisticated that it can also perform seamless analysis in light of the gathered EHS data. Your company will be benefited with data mining, risk management, forecasting, and other advanced reporting features that can significantly assist in EHS-relevant decision making.
Essential Factors to Consider:
The first two things to trigger a businessman’s decision to consider investing in an EHS software are:
- how it can eliminate the time consuming management and maintenance of EHS data
- how the system’s updates can reflect the changes in stately EHS regulations
Such a digital solution is usually sought after with hopes that lesser clerical workloads can help EHS professionals focus better on the practice and implementation of EHS standards in a working area. Now, if the software is hard to use and requires a steep learning curve, the ROI can be difficult to attain. Hence, before you fall for promising advanced features, make sure the program is created in such a way that even your less tech-savvy personnel can easily figure out how to use it within a short period of time.
They say software integration is best done when the company is just starting out. If your business is still new in the industry and is still setting up, then the good news is there is no underlying problem in having your EHS process automated. However, if prior to your EHS software acquisition, you already have a number of systems in place, integration becomes a challenge. Hence, in choosing, make sure you already have inquired about the integration process with the software provider and choose the one that entails less configurations in connecting the EHS software to the other relevant information systems your company is using.
Having an in-house software development team will give you no headache should your business requirements expand and you need additional functionalities on your EHS software. That being said, if you resorted to buying off the shelf, you most probably discovered some features that your company does not currently need and you opted to exclude them in the package for the meantime. Choose a software that is flexible, nonetheless. It should be change-ready to better suit your process when the needs arise. Most importantly, your software provider’s tech support has to be 100% available and reachable to address such needs in a timely manner.
Choose a software that can handle huge sizes of data and allows multiple access for a better utilization. This factor may appear unnecessary at first but will definitely save you the hassle come time your business expands and requires a more complex set of requirements.