Here’s ASK-EHS guide to the 5 trends that’ll make your workplace safer and proactive rather than reactive to its EHS needs.
Design (UI/UX), data and delivery will be the ‘make or break’ factors for digital EHS management systems. Often times, analytics is seen as the most sought after factor, when digital EHS management systems are implemented. From 2019, analytics will take a parallel development mode and progress using legacy data, plus, predictive analytics, but the core pillars of digital transformation in the case of EHS, will be effective design elements that allow the workforce to actually use such systems. Their data handling and management fundamentals, which make it so crucial to develop a ‘data culture’. Finally, better suited delivery systems, that can penetrate even the most adverse and difficult to manage workplaces: by making them a part of the digital EHS transformation.
Behaviour based safety (BBS) will require targeted communication campaigns to ‘nudge’ employees into adopting good practices. There are so many great articles out there on implementing BBS at workplaces – systems, trainings and digital tools to help workforce face their own shortcomings.
What’s missing from this mix? “Communicate and liberate” – failure of relevant communications and ‘push’ lets the employees down and makes them fall into the daily rote of avoiding their safety, health and environment responsibilities. Good communication campaigns in behaviour change have proven to counter this inaccuracy, by increasing the “relevance” quotient against knowledge. If the employee feel that a certain factor in EHS is relevant to them, they will try to gain its knowledge. However, knowledge alone cannot modify behaviour, if they fail to see a “cause and effect”, in action. Strong and bespoke behaviour change campaigns will pay more dividends than our current BBS program formats.
Sustainability factor cannot be ignored by organizations anymore. It isn’t about putting a responsible face anymore, environmental deterioration and climate change have made sustainability, an inevitable part of modern day operations. There are defined and definitive gains in adopting such practices, while the environmental stress generated by some of most polluting yet important industries can be mitigated. Its learning and efficacy is same as any other safety and health program – they trickles down. The better the management are at making sustainable decisions, the more the workforce will engage and address the daily challenges, and therefore, create a well-rounded approach towards sustainable operations. This is not just for the operations domain but for the human resources as well.
Customization in systems needs strong data to succeed, there is no doubt or debate on this point. Digital transformation can only occur when the digital roots of EHS are firmly set within the supporting soil of “good data”. If you seek to invest in custom systems, then come up with a management plan for the ‘layers of data’ that get added on each day, and how can the digital EHS management tool explore and exploit this data for bettering the system, overall. It doesn’t look like much, but in 3-4 years’ time, a process safety ecosystem like chemical plant would have hundreds and hundreds of GB of data sitting in storage without generating much insights i.e. if the system wasn’t built to learn and respond but simply hardcoded to follow instruction it will become outdated and counterproductive, soon
Empower people to perform better rather than just deploying systems. This goes on without saying that in 21st century, we’ve made systems to take care of most of our needs but safety, health and environment needs the human touch. Human life and environmental wellbeing is the main reason behind an elaborate ecosystem of EHS rules and legislations. Therefore, let your workforce see and realize its increasing importance in their lives rather than handing them systems. Systems cannot make safe decisions for them, they can only allow for such safe decisions to be timely and appropriate. Never underestimate the importance of human element in safety.
Here’s to a proactive 2019, for better workplace and domestic safety and health!