You’ve heard of it, read about it, and you may even be doing it: bringing your safety program into the digital age. Companies that are doing this and developing an EHS system are on the cutting edge, early adopters. You are the curators of new technology, which is always a risky route to pursue. Congratulations to you and your organizations!
It’s understandable for those of you who haven’t, and there are a lot of you. Paper forms, inefficient processes, and manually updated Excel spreadsheets have long been the foundation of safety initiatives. That’s what we’ve always known, and getting past it is unquestionably difficult.
However, there is a better way. And, while the road to getting there isn’t always straightforward, there are several things you can do to ensure a smooth transition into new technologies – which will improve your safety practices, employee engagement, and help your organization to comply with OSHA standards.
A Better Way to Manage Your Environmental, Health, and Safety Program
I’d like to share five key points with you in order to assist you in evaluating and implementing a digital EHS program. They’re supposed to be useful, tangible, implementable, and, most importantly, long-term.
But, before I get to those five points, I’d like to give a basic rule for absorbing new ideas or ways of doing things. I always ask individuals three questions:
- Is it implementable?
- Is it sustainable?
- Can we afford NOT to do it?
By the way, the answer to the third question is a huge NO. You can’t afford to miss out on this opportunity! The financial advantages are obvious, and the cultural advantages of including your existing and future workers are equally compelling! But I’ll keep that subject for another blog post.
So, to assist you in planning and preparing your organization for an implementable, long-term shift to include technology in your safety program tool belt, I recommend the steps below.
Understand your pain points and limitations
Making a list is the most effective technique to complete the first task. Make contact with your safety managers, claims administrators, site supervisors, and team leads, as well as essential hourly workers. Speak with anyone who is responsible for completing a form, processing a claim, doing a safety audit, conducting a behavior observation, or any other safety process or form that your organization undertakes on a regular basis.
Allow yourself a 30-day period to construct your list. And at the end of the 30 days, you’ll have identified between 5 and 10 “every day” safety practices that are causing you and your team a lot of grief, inefficiency, and wasted time.
Create a budget
Many technological solutions make processing all of those stringent safety forms and follow-up actions considerably easier. The first step is to establish a budget and determine how much your company is willing to spend on new technology.
With a clear picture of what your company spends now, you should be able to set a budget that is reasonable. Going into the annual budgeting process, it’s usually a good idea to figure out which number has the best chance of surviving the budget review process.
Adjust the features according to your organization’s pain points
This is a crucial stage. Understanding the key nuances of “everyday” safety is the most vital consideration. Also, be sure that any technology solution you’re contemplating solves the exact issues (as stated in Step 1) that are the most bothersome to you.
So, take that list you made during that 30-day period and double-check that it matches the features of the safety technology software you’re considering.
Make sure your evaluation team includes a technical member
I haven’t always adapted to new technology rapidly. I’m a baby boomer at the tail end of the generation, so embracing new technologies hasn’t always been my first choice. But, as I’ve found over the years, there are many clever people in my immediate vicinity who are both capable and eager to assist.
They are not required to be a part of your safety group. They simply need to be people who are comfortable with newer technology. Make sure they’re on the team because I’m sure you have some! This is a key aspect of the “implementable and sustainable” stipulation, as well as part of the evaluation process.
Expect Live Customer Support
One of the drawbacks of technology is that you’re stuck with a chat room, community blog, or Autobot attendant after you buy it. It’s the absolute worst! You and your organization will struggle to get it started and take hold unless you have a lot of help. With your technology provider, this should not be a contentious point. Insist on live help and be specific about the services they provide.
So, when you’re looking for a partner, make sure the “after the sale” assistance is top-notch – and that a real person will reach out to you and participate in your continuous training.
This is the most crucial aspect of the “implementable and sustainable” criterion. Make sure you have a partner who is willing to help you get through the unavoidable bumps and bruises along the path.
Stay committed and Engage Your Team Early and Often!
The last piece of advice I have is to get started if you’re thinking about making a change to your EHS management. Make it a project for your group. Put the above-mentioned items on a timeline; I’m sure you’ll think of a few more to include. Make it a top priority. Many aspects of your organization have advanced thanks to technological advancements, and now it’s time to do the same with your safety program.
The good news is that excellent solutions, such as CloudApper Safety, are available. So devise a strategy and go for it!
Best of luck, remain safe and take the lead. Your workers are relying on you!