One of the major management challenges is to comply with the many regulations and the increasing need to manage risk. Competitive advantage in the market place is enhanced if the cost of compliance can be reduced while at the same time improving the safety of employees and ensuring the quality of products. Furthermore, EH&S incidents can quickly become major legal, ethical and financial issues that are visible to the wider community and can include penalties and damage to the brand image.
The Aberdeen Group state that the “Best-in-Class” organisations use the following metrics that the workforce and workplace safety:
Recordable injury frequency rate
Operating margin versus corporate plan
Operating Equipment Effectiveness, and
Audit action items completed on-time.
If we are to achieve the WorkSafe Victoria theme of “Victorian workers returning home safe every day”, companies will need to review their current EH&S systems and identify areas requiring change. These can include:
Lack of executive commitment
Use of number of disparate Excel spreadsheets to manage data
Different departments collecting their own non-standard information
Employees not being aware of risks due to lack of specific and awareness training
There are many EH&S technological systems available that purport to manage EH&S within a company. It is not surprising that systems range from the more simple systems designed specifically for a particular industry or that target issues such as inductions to the more complex systems that address the majority of requirements.
A comprehensive EH&S system may address such items as Audits, Chemical Management or Hazards, Compliance, Contractor Management, Emergency Management, Employee management, Environment, Governance, Incident Management, Investigations, JSA’s or SWIM’s, KPI’s , Plant and Transport, Policies and Procedures, PPE, Reports, Risk Management, Skills Matrix, Training, Injury , Return To Work, Inductions, Permits to Work, Risk Register, Visitor Management, Document Management and Claims Handling.
Furthermore, today the comprehensive system is more likely to be “in the cloud” rather than being host based and will be supported by Apps and mobile devices to manage audits and record instant observations. Most importantly it should enable the ready reporting and on-request reporting of dashboards.
To achieve the best outcome, the technology must be supported by:
Top-down management support
Standardised company –wide policies
Company-wide risk management strategy
Decisions made from this “once source of truth”, easily accessible and timeliness of information retrieval document and data system
Training of users
All changes to processes / procedures must be authorised through a formalised request system prior to being implemented
A “Best-of-Breed” EH&S system will complement a Company’s EH&S culture by providing accurate and timely information that is “the one source of truth” company wide.
Risk and Safety Templates
For strategic safety professionals.
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