Did you know that the most common injury at work is caused by overexertion due to external forces? This means that people get hurt when lifting, pushing or throwing objects. This alone can cost a company in the United States $13.1 billion, as stated in an infographic by Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Overall, disabling injuries set back the finances of businesses by $55 billion. Fortunately, these are costs that can be mitigated, as long as the workplace has the right tools that can help them enforce safety policies. One of them is an EHS solution.
What is EHS software?
In a nutshell, it is software that assists businesses in reducing and preventing injuries in the workplace due to hazards. On top of that, it can help them in staying in line with local, national, industrial, and internal EHS regulations.
Companies are using EHS features in innovative ways to ensure that they can avoid damaging incidents.
1. To reduce workplace risks
According to the 2019 Workplace Safety Index, the construction industry has the most reported injuries in the workplace. Among the causes of injuries are:
- Overexertions or physical reactions,
- Falls, slips, or trips,
- Being struck by an object,
- Road accidents, and
- Getting caught in or between equipment or materials.
These are the industries with the most injuries. Construction is at the top while wholesale is at the bottom of the list.
Such injuries, illnesses, and fatalities were caused by the violation of standards regarding construction, workplace safety training, and more. However, these can be avoided by practicing workplace safety stringently. That could sound like a tall order but it could be less challenging with the help of a well-placed environmental health and safety program and an efficient employee onboarding guide.
With that, employers and employees can increase workplace safety. As a result, there would be fewer accidents, thus preventing detrimental interruptions in the work processes.
2. To implement sustainable practices
Sustainability is becoming a concern for customers, so sustainable products are attractive to them. This is the finding of research conducted by NYU Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business. Half of the CPG growth from the period of 2013 to 2018 was contributed by items that are touted or advertised as sustainable.
This should be enough for manufacturers and producers to raise their sustainability efforts. After all, the letter ‘E’ in EHS standing for ‘environment’. And since consumers are now more conscious of their impact on the environment, they are more likely to spend their dollars on sustainable brands.
But how are companies supposed to go about becoming sustainable? There are a few common ways of doing so:
- By reducing carbon footprint
- By reducing energy consumption
These are methods that an EHS management system can help track and enforce. It can do that by letting organisations know the status of their water and air emissions. On top of that, it can assist EHS manager in monitoring wastes to ensure that they are not damaging the environment. By doing so, not only can a company do its part in the green movement but it can also appeal to consumers’ values.
3. To meet customers’ demands
In the period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2018, over 165 million people spent an average of $313. And in the following holiday season, they bought 16 items to give away as gifts. Therefore, they account for 30% of retailers’ sales in a year.
Because of that, manufacturers are hard-pressed to produce as many items as possible to meet the demands of the consumers. During this hubbub, a few individuals could get injured and affect the continuity of the manufacturing workflow. What happens then? The business is unable to produce as many items as the market requires and lose potential revenues.
To prevent such a scenario, it is imperative that a company enforces workplace safety policies. When workers are safe in the production area, a manufacturer can keep up with the requests coming in from clients or from consumers themselves. The workforce becomes efficient, allowing them to complete the necessary tasks faster and without event.
4. To comply with regulatory standards
In the fiscal year 2018, OSHA took note of the top ten regulatory standards that workplaces violated often. Among those are fall protection in construction, respiratory protection in general industry, and eye and face protection.
But OSHA is not the only body that has workplace safety rules a company complies with. There are also industry-specific regulations and state-enforced requirements. Because of the vast amount of stipulations, a business could find it difficult to keep up with them and to apply them in their workplaces.
An EHS software can reduce the burden of employers and employees alike in that regard though. It can be tailored to the specific industry a business is in and would provide users with a comprehensive regulations checklist. With that, EHS managers and workers can make sure that they adhere to every single item.
5. To decrease insurance expenses
Whenever there is an incident in the workplace, it is the company that shoulders the expenses. And those costs can be steep, particularly when insurance agencies determine that a work setting is unsafe because of frequent accidents, illnesses, and injuries. With this, the profit margin of a corporation can be reduced since they would have to pay high premiums and settle compensation, civil liability damages, and litigation expenses.
Those are things that can be avoided, though, as long as employers themselves enforce the safety of workers in the workplace, especially if they handle dangerous or hazardous materials or equipment. To that end, it would be beneficial for the company to utilise EHS software to help them track the compliance of employees regarding safety policies.
Putting an EHS program in place
No matter how hard an EHS manager works, total workplace safety and compliance are not possible without the full participation of the workers themselves. That is why it is imperative that they have access to the organisation’s EHS solution so that they can see for themselves what they need to do and what are the repercussions if they do not comply. Also, EHS software pricing is not too steep. Hence, businesses would not find it too difficult to invest in one.