Occupational Safety, Digitalization

Why you should treat EHS software like a gym membership

What do digital EHS solutions and sports have in common?

4 minutes

Written by Timo Kronlöf 

If you’ve ever been on a health kick, you’ll know that getting good results is about much more than just joining a gym. You need the right equipment to get in shape, but how quickly you lose weight and tone up depends on how effectively you use that equipment during your training sessions.

When it comes to your business fitness, the principle is the same – especially in the field of workplace safety. Many companies are waking up to the value of EHS software to manage safety and compliance, rather than relying on manual spreadsheets. However, the software alone cannot guarantee success; you need the right motivation, commitment and support to see results.

Why it pays to work with experts

Many people hire a personal trainer when looking to improve their health, and businesses should treat EHS software investment in exactly the same way. Like a PT, a technology expert will help you to establish goals, and create a tailored plan to get there as quickly as possible – without the risk of going off-track, or setting yourself unrealistic expectations.

Some companies may choose to use ready-made safety management plans, such as the Bradley Curve, Safety Ladders model, and Zero Accident Vision model, or the ISO 45001 and several ISO standard models. Others might want something bespoke to their business. There may even come a point where it makes financial sense to bring that expertise in-house, rather than outsourcing EHS software support. The important thing is to remain aware and continually assess your needs.

Staying motivated – and educated

Whatever support model you choose, it is important to stay focused on achieving your workplace safety goals at all times. To help with motivation, your EHS software personal trainers may set you short- and long-term objectives to reach, to keep moving the needle on safety management within your organisation.

The reason it’s important to set several milestones is that, like fitness, safety culture isn’t a fad; it’s a way of life and doing business. You need to make the process and attitudes that enable a safe working environment second nature to your employees, and that means helping them to understand why you are investing in EHS software.

Much of your success will rely on how well you can communicate your goals to the wider business. The whole workforce needs to understand why you are bringing EHS software on board, how it influences your strategy, and why it is part of your company DNA. You also need your senior management team to lead by example, understanding how embracing safety culture will influence their professional development, and help them reach their individual business goals. This will create a ‘halo effect’, in which safety advocates will positively influence others within your organisation.

Making manageable changes

While it is vital business stakeholders are bought-in to EHS software investment, many will find such huge changes a daunting prospect. It’s no different to starting a tough new exercise regime when you’re unfit – it doesn’t feel good, and the goals you are striving for feel like they are a lifetime away.

Therefore, it is a good idea to break your workplace safety strategy down into smaller objectives, and give employees one clear (and manageable) focus to start with. For example, it may be to get those who find workplace safety boring to start using your new EHS app, or to focus on managing incidents more effectively, before worrying about generating wider change. You might even want to hire a personal safety consultant to work intensively with staff at the beginning, to give them a kick-start to your organisation becoming the Usain Bolt of workplace safety.

Then, just like an exercise regime, your business needs to vary the plan, to stop employees getting bored. It is the responsibility of senior personnel within your company to continually study your safety strategy, and give staff new objectives to keep them motivated along the journey to safer working practices.

Finding the right equipment

While we started by saying gym equipment alone won’t get you fit, most people realise that the quality of tools you use will determine how quickly you reach your goals – and safety management fitness is no different.

The best EHS gyms are also mobile, offering your workforce digital personal training. Think of it like a home gym; employees can just take their smart device out of their pocket and do the short workout, aka managing and reporting workplace safety issues via their app.

Over time, just as personal trainers increase the intensity of their workouts, your chosen technology partner will up the ante on safety by adding more sophisticated features and functions. It’s important that your business supports staff along that journey, to instill confidence. Often we find the most effective way to maximise results is for companies to appoint or support safety managers, who can build the internal culture from within. Think of them like the instructor of an aerobics or Zumba class, and the wider workforce as the participants.

This may seem like a lot of work, and you will have to put in some hard graft along the way, but as anyone who’s ever lost a significant amount of weight will tell you, it is worth the effort. And the best motivators are the real results generated, which your workforce can celebrate together on your shop floor.

To get your business safety-fit, you need to work with a partner that can offer you market-leading technology and bespoke advise. Quentic is the ultimate safety management gym for your organisation’s needs – get in touch with us to find out more.

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