Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) professionals are responsible for maintaining a high level of both safety and compliance within the organization. But no matter how efficient an organization may be adverse events can still occur. Automating the way you manage your safety efforts makes this an easier process and can help you meet your compliance goals. It also reduces the amount of waste it takes to complete tasks that would otherwise require paper processes.

This article will review some of the aspects of EHS processes that can be simplified by using an automated solution.

·         Risk Management and Job Safety:  Risk Management provides consistent, quantitative benchmarking for the Job Safety Analysis (JSA) tool by taking a proactive approach to the mitigation of job risks.  JSA takes a job description and breaks it into individual steps. It then lists the potential hazards that could occur at each of those steps and implements controls for each step to prevent the hazard from occurring.  This is where Risk Management can help.   

Risk Management assesses the safety of each job step in the JSA.  The JSA tool can look at the potential hazards in a job and assign a risk level to those hazards. Then through the use of controls and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), an organization can begin to reduce the risk level of that job step.  This method of reviewing job steps by risk, and mitigating those risks at a granular level, not only improves the safety of each step, but eventually improves  the safety of the job overall.  

·         Incident Management: To promote continual improvement all incidents must be recorded, investigated, and actions must be taken to prevent or reduce the chance of the incident recurring. The EHS System’s Incidents module lets you set up records of all incidents and collect the information needed to conduct investigations into those incidents.

Incidents are often the result of failures or errors and their cause may be apparent and can be addressed without the need for further investigation. Other times, an incident is considered to be critical, or multiple occurrences of similar incidents are observed, indicating a systemic issue.  The automated Incidents module will allow you to create records of all incidents that occur within your organization, collect the required information, conduct external reports, and conduct investigations into all incidents. It will enable seamless reporting to OSHA and other regulatory agencies.  In fact, many Incident modules have OSHA report templates built into the system and can inherit your information directly into the form for an easy and streamlined method of reporting.

Using the automated EHS system to manage your organization’s incidents will ensure a process that is intuitive, quick, and provides consistent results.

·         Crisis Management: Environmental team members are responsible for many things including the identification, evaluation and reporting on the most critical emergencies, accidents and incidents within the entire organization. Employees must follow and comply with emergencies and accident procedures with the instructions set out for them. The EHS System’s Crisis Management module automates this process and provides the EHS facility with the ability to record personnel, equipment and external organizations associated with specific emergency procedures.

·         Employee Training: Employee Training solutions permit your workforce to be as knowledgeable and as possible to handle job responsibilities. It prepares employees for adverse safety events, new policy changes, consistency on tasks and provides the ability to reduce errors overall. An automated training management system helps to keep employees apprised of changes to their responsibilities and ensures they remain up to date. This is done through managing and tracking events, linking documents to their respective requirements and enabling administrators to test employees at any time on new events or processes. Delivering tests and monitoring results through test recording allows management to ensure that their efforts have been worthwhile by showing that employees have received proper training through a pass or fail scoring method.

·         Permit Control: For many EHS-regulated organizations, controlling permits is very important for avoiding penalties, fines, delays, decommissioning or any legal consequences caused by invalid or out of date work permits. By automating the permit control process within your EHS, you are able to keep track of your permit’s timelines and regulations imposed by the responsible issuing agencies such as the EPA and OSHA—all in a centralized and intelligent manner.

An automated Permit Control process stores your organization’s active and operating permits. It controls the review and approval process of the documentation necessary for obtaining new permits and the renewal of expiring ones. By identifying responsible personnel and relevant dates, your organization will be able to ensure that all permits are readily available and current, and ensure that compliance is always met.

Closing Thoughts

An automated EHS management solution can help pave and maintain a strong path for a successful business. It helps to stay in compliance and protect employees by ensuring that they are knowledgeable and responsible in their role. Businesses today have a great ability to communicate their processes effectively and beyond their four walls, widening the scope of safety and compliance.

A system that helps assess and mitigate risk is important to ensure ease of use in tasks and ensure that the highest most efficient safety measures are set in place. Using the EHS to automate your business processes will result in a standard and consistent method for your organization that can be repeated to ensure all processes are truly effective and intuitive to help ensure that your safety goals are achieved.