Complying with rigorous, ever-evolving EHS regulations presents an ongoing challenge. As of January 2015, for example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) increased the expectations with new rules on reporting of workplace incidents. But EHS is not simply about meeting regulatory requirements. It is about preventing future incidents by acting on the information available so your organization can be safe, responsible, and ready to comply with complex legislation.
Many companies are now using advanced management systems to provide organizational benefits such as making fully-informed decisions across the full range of EHS and compliance management: regulatory compliance, minimizing operational risks and liabilities, improving corporate image, meeting customer demands and achieving competitive advantages.
Sophisticated tools allow users to capture a single, consistent version of the truth in a timely manner, obtain meaningful real-time performance updates via detailed dashboards, and build accurate reports using flexible templates and straightforward capabilities.
The following are some best practices for successfully deploying advanced tools:
- Recognize the need for change: Non-specialist tools such as spreadsheets, in-house systems and generic ERP systems can only take you so far when it comes to ensuring compliance and driving EHS performance. They often lack the ability to deliver comprehensive, real-time in¬formation in an easy-to-analyze format, are time-consuming and increases the risk of inaccuracies.
- Be clear about your requirements: Recognizing your precise business needs and clearly articulating the challenges you’re facing are important first steps towards selecting the right software solution. It is important to align every request with a business need, keep in mind key goals such as reducing risk, fulfilling compliance requirements and maintaining a healthy, efficient workplace.
- Engage your stakeholders: It’s vital to engage stakeholders in identifying and mapping out requirements, particularly those who will be using the system. What would help to make their job more efficient and drive progress in reducing incidents and managing corrective and preventive actions? Review in detail why specific processes take time to perform. And what are users looking for in terms of flexibility and ease-of-use? It’s important to ensure that the needs of all users are appropriately considered.
- Focus on a well-conceived deployment: Every system has to be configured and deployed individually and according to the needs of the organization. This includes migrating historical data into new systems to be able to compare performances and benchmark internal processes. If necessary, comprehensive training session for key employees and end users will ensure an efficient use of the system, improving reporting efficiency and engaging positively with users.
Using an advanced EHS or compliance management system can deliver multiple benefits, including streamlining data collection, improving consistency, making reporting more efficient, allowing your employees to log data on the move. Together these benefits may help you comply with regulations, spot issues before they arise and ultimately ensure the safety of employees and the environment alike.
To learn about how implementing an EHS/compliance management system helped improve how Corning Inc. manages its data, register for NAEM’s upcoming webinar on “Transforming EHS Information Management” on June 4 from 1:00-2:00 p.m., featuring presentations by CRedit 360 and E2Managetech.