Digitalization, Occupational Safety

EHS software: State-of-the-art technology to promote safety and efficiency

How to set up your environment, health and safety activities for long-term success

6 minutes 09/15/2021

Creating a safe work environment, getting people interested in EHS issues and integrating them in corresponding processes – environment, health and safety specialists have a challenging and wide-ranging remit. When wrestling with how exactly to achieve this, the tools and equipment that could assist is a key consideration. Which technologies make it possible to manage complex EHS processes in a way that keeps effort and administrative work to a minimum, while simultaneously maintaining or even improving quality? How can you get employees interested in adhering to all statutory regulations and reaching safety objectives? The answer is a software solution that enables you to meet specific requirements, ensure fast access to up-to-date data, and use it anywhere and anytime.

What is EHS software and what does it do?

An EHS software solution is a comprehensive tool that enables users to compile, document, save and visualize relevant data in a single location. The software can be used to manage all related processes and activities – from conducting audits and recording environmental and accident data to examining whether legal requirements have been met. A software package tailored to the needs and requirements of environment, health and safety activities provides EHS specialists with effective support and monitors fulfillment of compliance standards. 

Companies can deploy EHS software to assist with a wide range of activities in various areas of environment, health and safety: 

 

EHS area 

Example uses of EHS software

General occupational health and safety

  • Recording data from accident and incident reports  

  • Conducting risk assessments and analyses  

  • Providing and hosting online training and instruction sessions

Risk and audit management

  • Defining and determining objectives 

  • Ensuring all risk aspects are considered 

  • Carrying out internal audits 

  • Integrating external stakeholders 

Legal certainty

  • Updating the digital inventory 

  • Supporting change management 

  • Ensuring content is always up to date 

  • Handling inspections 

Hazardous materials management

  • Structuring approval processes 

  • Auditing areas of use and storage areas 

Air pollution, waste and wastewater management

  • Environmental reporting 

  • Sustainability reporting

Controlling operational procedures

  • Managing safety permits and safety arrangements 

 

Benefits of using EHS software

An EHS software solution compiles and analyzes all key occupational health and safety data in a single central location. As a result, users always have access to structured, up-to-date information. This makes processes and tasks more transparent – and ensures that relevant staff are always notified and integrated efficiently. Thanks to personalized overviews, every single employee knows which information is important for their current task, no matter whether they are company executives or domain specialists. 

An EHS software solution is particularly helpful in relation to implementing ISO standards such as  ISO 14001 and ISO 45001. Beyond optimizing and standardizing processes, EHS software can also help you to examine the status quo in your company and highlight potential improvements. This is because, in most cases, EHS software enables users to derive and manage important KPIs for occupational safety and environmental management. 

Example: Risk assessment

The logic behind introducing EHS software and the benefits such solutions offer becomes particularly clear when looking at risk assessments. By providing a clear, intuitive interface, the software guides managers through the process of a risk assessment – identifying existing risks, carrying out the assessment and then deriving appropriate safeguards and precautions. Then, if they wish, they can convert the completed assessment to a standardized print format – without any risk of information loss, without having to change system, and without having to navigate any workarounds. Once data is saved, most EHS software solutions make it quick and easy to access on various end devices, such as desktop computers, tablets or smartphones. Beyond the risk assessment itself, however, EHS software also supports all other directly and indirectly related processes, such as: carrying out the assessment and then deriving appropriate safeguards and precautions. Then, if they wish, they can convert the completed assessment to a standardized print format – without any risk of information loss, without having to change system, and without having to navigate any workarounds. Once data is saved, most EHS software solutions make it quick and easy to access on various end devices, such as desktop computers, tablets or smartphones. Beyond the risk assessment itself, however, EHS software also supports all other directly and indirectly related processes, such as: 

  • Providing training and instruction 

  • Organizing operational procedures 

  • Carrying out internal audits 

  • Hazardous materials management 

  • Managing safety permits 

Dependable EHS software solutions, can break down complex matters, present them clearly and show who should be involved in specific processes and decisions. 

HSE or HSEQ?

Some HSE software packages also comes with an additional letter – Q. Whether the acronym is made up of three letters or four depends on the extent to which it covers quality management processes. Although, not all software providers use the designation HSEQ, many still cover key elements of QM activities, such as those relevant to ISO 9001 certification: 

  • Users can document, revise and manage processes and responsibilities in real time and create links within documentation.  

  • By assigning responsibilities and setting schedules for measures, training programs and audits, the software also provides added transparency. 

  • The software makes it possible to define which information in a quality management system different users can access, meaning that individual users can only view data relevant to their own work. This improves employees’ understanding of the quality management system, makes it easier to find relevant regulations and avoids information overload. 

What is the right EHS software for your company?

The international EHS software market has become increasingly professionalized. There are now numerous providers in the North American and European markets, offering products that differ in terms of their functions and focus topics. Some solutions focus on individual areas, such as environmental management or health and safety. By contrast, other packages pursue an integrative approach and cover the entire EHS spectrum. Many functions help EHS specialists to document, evaluate and control company processes. Some software manufacturers have adopted a modular approach and enable users to combine individual software modules with different focuses that fit together like children’s building blocks. This allows users to create a solution precisely tailored to their individual requirements. 

Summary

The central role of EHS software is confirmed in our Safety Management Trend Report, which features insights and perspectives from leading environment, health and safety specialists. 

“Demand for a single, central platform that combines and makes it possible to control different EHS systems will play a role. Rapid access to all important information, data and facts can facilitate improvements in work processes.” 

Equipped with the right software, you will be able to simplify procedures, eliminate bureaucratic barriers, and integrate employees. This, in turn, will enable you to make lasting improvements to occupational health and safety, drive up efficiency, and ensure you comply with all requirements and regulations. Whether you only opt for individual modules – such as for hazardous materials management or to support legal compliance – or implement an integrated solution covering all EHS activities, EHS software is an effective, long-term investment to improve your environment, health and safety management.

 

 

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