Let’s face it; the world is subscription-based and you’re living in it. In a recent online article titled, “It’s a subscription economy, and you’re just living in it” found on Fortune.com, it’s pointed out that subscription-based programs are actually not that new. Businesses have been selling monthly subscriptions for all sorts of goods and services for years. But more recently, lots of unexpected industries have started dabbling in subscription-based business models, offering anything from toothbrushes to genome sequencing for a flat monthly fee.

Most of us can immediately identify with popular innovators of subscription-based selling models such as Netflix, the leading provider of movies and television on demand; or Spotify, the go-to subscription site for music lovers. These popular services offer us convenience and selection without ever having to leave our houses. Even our pets feel loved in our subscription-based world. If you’ve introduced your dog to BarkBox, you won’t be surprised to find them waiting patiently each month for their box of toys and treats delivered right to the door for a monthly fee.

Even the few examples above make it clear that subscription-based models are a part of our everyday lives. But what about our professional lives? What about utilizing subscription-based services to improve employee safety within the workplace?                                   

Subscription-based safety: Is there a trend?

In fact, several subscription-based models have surfaced within the safety industry. In May of this year, the Hudson-Hub Times of Kent, Ohio, published an article announcing the nation’s first subscription-based driver safety training program. Every year in the U.S., there are more than 390,000 truck crashes. The article explained that most companies with delivery trucks cannot afford to provide their truck drivers with ongoing safety training. Ohio-based company DriverSheets.com offers a program that delivers ongoing, targeted and easy-to-understand safety sheets and small safety posters to professional drivers for a monthly fee.

“It’s an affordable way for companies to keep safety on the minds of employees behind the wheel,” said DriverSheets.com founder, Brian Diehl.

HNI, headquartered in New Berlin, Wisc., specializes in insurance, benefits and business advisory for many industries. Their subscription-based program, Safety On Call, gives you 24-hour access to the safety information and answers you need, when you need them. When a subscriber has a safety question or problem, a safety consultant is standing by 24/7 to address any concerns via phone, text or email. Many subscription-based models offer peace of mind and convenience and Safety On Call is no different. Rather than flooding their customers with information that is impossible to navigate or digest, subscribers receive exactly what they need, when they need it, for a monthly fee.

ISN, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, has a subscription-based program called ISNetworld that standardizes contractor management across multiple sites and geographic regions. The result is lower incident rates and higher compliance numbers. ISNetworld brings together hiring clients and contractors to create safer work environments and lasting partnerships.

All of the mentioned subscription-based safety offerings have one thing in common — a goal to keep people safer on the job. These services simplify the day to day, and solve customer pain points in various ways. It only seems logical that more subscription-based programs will be introduced, offering convenient solutions to difficult challenges facing safety professionals today. As a result, this will likely lead to improved safety.

Gas detection as a service

Let’s look at the challenges faced in gas detection. Gas detectors are easy to buy, but difficult to own and manage. There are several challenges associated with managing a fleet of detectors. First, gas detectors require maintenance including regular “bump tests” and calibrations. In addition, and similar to your car, there are consumable items associated with gas detectors such as sensors, batteries and filters that must be checked periodically and replaced, as needed. Second, recordkeeping is critical and necessary in the event you are called upon to provide records. However, manual upkeep is time-consuming and prone to error. Finally, it is important to have field visibility into how your people are actually using the detectors and what they are being exposed to, and at what levels. Without this data, you’re not able to correct unsafe behavior and your people aren’t motivated to use the life-saving equipment.

Managers of gas detector fleets have the hefty responsibility of ensuring their people are kept safe from hazardous gases and that they go home at the end of each day. The above requirements are not easy to manage and are really, really hard to not only do, but do them right. Subscription-based gas detection programs can help. These programs are designed to give you peace of mind that your detectors are properly maintained and proactively serviced; that you are able to provide required records on demand with minimal effort; and that your people are kept safe from hazardous gases. When no one else has time to think about your gas detection, subscription-based programs do.

The future

More subscription-based services exist today than ever before to assist us in our busy lives. We subscribe to these services for various reasons, but at the end of the day, one common one is that we are all looking for “peace of mind.” The freedictionary.com defines “peace of mind” as the absence of mental stress or anxiety. Couldn’t we all use a little more of this?

For the safety industry, subscription-based programs carry more weight in that they have the potential to not only reduce our stress and anxiety, but they can also truly keep workers safer. Only time will tell how quickly and to what extent the safety industry gravitates to subscription-based safety programs. However, one point that will be difficult to argue is that improved workplace safety is inevitable with further introduction to and adoption of these types of programs. So, when will you make the switch?