Third-party environment, health, and safety (EHS) software is superior to internal software and manual programs in terms of both cost and effectiveness. That’s according to “State of the Industry: EHS Program Trends,” a recent report from KPA and EHS Today.

The report surveyed hundreds of EHS professionals in various sectors, including manufacturing, construction, oil and gas, automotive, medicine, transportation, and more. Respondents worked at organizations of all sizes, ranging from fewer than 50 to over 5,000 employees. Initial results focused on the differences between high and low performing companies.

Following the report’s release in late 2019, KPA analyzed the data further to uncover insights about EHS professionals and their use of software. This secondary research sought to answer the question: What is the return on investment (ROI) of EHS software?

EHS software correlates to confidence in workforce safety and organizational spend

Participants were asked if they agreed with the statement: “The benefits of our EHS program exceed its costs.” 61% of companies that use third-party software agreed, compared to 54% that use internally developed software, and 51% that don’t use any EHS software.

Leadership teams in companies without EHS software (28%) were far more likely to perceive their EHS program as a necessary evil (compared to only 17% EHS software users). By contrast, a majority (53%) of leadership teams in companies with EHS software viewed their program as delivering a proven ROI.

“We’ve seen time and time again that buy-in from senior leadership is essential for a functioning safety program,” said Kathryn Carlson, KPA’s Vice President of Product Management. “When the C-suite doesn’t recognize the value of investing in EHS, injury rates remain high, productivity suffers, and legal and compliance costs soar. Ultimately, that means these organizations spend more money per year than they would have by harnessing EHS software.”

Benefits across the board

In addition to demonstrating a positive ROI, software-based EHS programs led to numerous cost savings and better overall results when compared to manual programs.

Respondents who used software rated their programs as “very good” or “excellent” more often than did non-software users in the following areas:

  • Inspections and audits
  • Incident reporting and tracking
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Communication and reporting

“Organizations that use EHS software are able to prove how safety pays off, and to engage their teams in targeted interventions to specific problems,” said Carlson. “They can point to root causes and determine the actual scope of issues. As a result, these organizations manage workforce health and safety cost-effectively, minimize absenteeism, get people back to work quickly, and experience fewer incidents. That’s what we all want to see.”

To read “The ROI of EHS Software,” click here.

The original report, “State of the Industry: EHS Program Trends,” can be found here.