Technology Takes OverHow the Internet and computer power is changing your job
A survey mailed to 1,000 Industrial Safety & Hygiene News subscribers finds Internet use exploding. Software programs are proliferating. It's not unusual for pros to spend 3-4 hours a day in front of a screen. Has computer power created an army of 'desktop safety and health pros?'
Can't live without 'em?Do you use a personal computer for job-related activity?
Yes 98 %
No 2 %
Desk bound?How many hours per week do you spend on your computer at the office?
11-20 hours 30 %
21-30 hours 24 %
6-10 hours 19 %
3-5 hours 15 %
30+ hours 8 %
1-2 hours 4 %
Almost one in every three EHS pros spend at least half of their time in front of a screen. 62% spend at least 2 hours a day on the computer.
Bringing it homeDo you use a computer at home for work-related activity?
These are certainly fast times for EHS professionals. Two-thirds (66%) of the survey respondents say they spend up to 1 hour per day at their computer at home doing job-related activities. 59% say they spend 3 to 10 hours per week working on job-related activities on their home computers.
Constantly upgradingWill you purchase job-related hardware or software in 1999?
Buying hardwareWhat job-related hardware will you purchase in 1999?
Desktop computer 18%
Laptop computer 18%
Selecting softwareWhat job-related software will you purchase in 1999?
Employee training materials software 42%
Safety & health database software 31%
Recordkeeping software 28%
MSDS management software 27%
Word processing 21%
Presentation software 19%
Budgeting/accounting software 12%
Audit tracking software 11%
Desktop publishing software 10%
Workers' comp case management software 7%
As fewer health and safety professionals take on more responsibility, they're turning to computer software to give them the efficiency and speed necessary to do their jobs.
Into the Internet . . . Big timeDo you use the Internet?
Yes - 36%
No - 17 %
Yes - 71%
No - n/a
Yes - 83%
No - n/a
Cruising alongHow many hours per week do you use the Internet?
1-2 hours 33%
6-10 hours 30%
3-5 hours 27%
11-20 hours 9%
20+ hours 1%
New tools of the tradeHow do you currently use the Internet?
Regulatory compliance 60%
Researching Projects 59%
Random surfing 55%
Reading on-line versions of magazines and newspapers 31%
Peer group chat forums 10%
Purchasing EHS training materials 6%
Purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) 6%
Communication and regulatory information and research are the most frequent uses of the Net for EHS pros. In a professional environment where time is scarce, and resources are dwindling, e-mail and the Internet represent convenience plus a savings in both, cost and time.
Future opportunitiesIn which ways do you expect your Internet usage to increase in the next year?
Regulatory compliance 59%
Researching projects 59%
Random surfing 35%
Reading on-line versions of magazines and newspapers 32%
Peer group chat forums 13%
Purchasing EHS training materials 11%
Purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) 8%
Over the years . . .Of all ISHN survey respondents,
|36%||71%||83%||used the internet|
|22%||59%||86%||used it for e-mail|
|13%||40%||60%||went online for regulatory information|
|21%||81%||spent more than 5 hours per week on their computers|
|36%||70%||98%||went online every week|
|13%||43%||59%||used the Net to research projects|
|22%||31%||read newspapers and magazines online|
|12%||10%||participated in peer group chats|
|12%||shopped for training materials or personal protective equipment|
|9%||shopped for safety equipment and products|
Survey demographicsHow many people are employed at your location?
101-500 employees 38%
Less than 100 employees 32 %
Over 1,000 employees 20%
501-1,000 employees 10%
In which industry sector are you employed?
(Responses do not add up to 100% because multiple responses were allowed)
Which of the following best describes your primary job function?
Industrial hygiene 8%
Editor's Note: ISHN Computer Usage Editorial Study, January 1999. Total respondents: 212; Response rate: 21%.