EHS Software: Everything You Need to Know
Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) software can help you elevate occupational and process health and safety at your organization. With one, cloud-based platform to house all your documents, data and more, you can easily identify gaps in your safety program. This will help you gain a 360-degree view of safety performance at your organization and help prioritize key areas of risk. With such visibility, you can gain greater insight into strengths and weaknesses present within your health and safety program to create a safer work environment for your people.
In this blog, our team of experts at EcoOnline answer all your questions concerning EHS software to help give you a deeper understanding of the topic and point you in the right direction. Discover everything you need to know about EHS software as we explore:
- What is EHS Software?
- What does EHS software do?
- Benefits of using EHS software
- Features of EHS software
- Things to consider before buying
- How much does EHS software cost?
- How is EcoOnline different from others?
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What is EHS Software?
Let’s start from the very beginning: What is EHS software? EHS software can be described as a digital desktop and/or mobile solution which allows organizations to navigate compliance according to specific legislation in their region, gain a greater understanding of their safety performance, as well as greater insight into their sustainability metrics. With this robust tool you can mitigate risks faster and protect your people from potential hazards.
What does EHS Software do?
As a one-stop-shop for all things health and safety, EHS software can house all your safety policies, internal audits, employee training, certifications, and data in a digital format, reducing the time spent on traditional manual processes. This will help centralize all information into one cloud-based platform, making it easily accessible to all key stakeholders from boardroom executives to the front-line workforce. With more time saved, you can now focus on key areas of your organization rather than administrative tasks.
With a more comprehensive view of your entire safety program, EHS software also makes it easier to spot gaps or deficiencies within your safety program. This allows key stakeholders to prioritize areas of concern and work on implementing corrective actions to mitigate risks which may be present. EHS software can simplify this by allowing you to send automated notifications to those responsible and alerts when a risk is present. EHS software provides greater guidance which in turn, leads to greater efficiency when keeping your people safe.
This robust tool can also help you build dashboards to gain greater visibility into key areas of your safety program. With all data customized to your liking, you can now easily present these metrics to senior management or investors, providing them with accurate reports on performance. This also makes it easier to spot trends and patterns in data to get to the root cause of certain incidents or injuries which may have occurred in the past.
Benefits of using EHS Software
There are several benefits to using EHS software rather than paper or Excel-based systems to manage safety at your organization. Other than having a positive impact on the environment with less consumption of paper, here are just a few benefits EHS software can offer:
1. Reduce incidents and accidents
With this enhanced view of your safety program as well as robust reporting, organizations can start to take a more proactive approach to safety rather than a reactive one. As mentioned earlier, safety trends and patterns start to become visible, making it easier for key stakeholders to implement corrective actions.
For instance, an EcoOnline customer was able to see with our reporting engine, that new hires with less than a year’s experience were injured most on site. This allowed the organization to start to put the necessary measures in place to reduce these injuries including changing the new hiring process company-wide and implementing a mandatory five-day training period.
“EcoOnline gave us the data we needed to stop being reactive,” Cassandra said. “This solution let us be proactive and get ahead of injuries because we were not limited with the questions we could ask on forms.” – Roseburg Forest Products
2. Greater insight into your safety program
As previously mentioned, EHS software can provide greater insight into your safety program and performance. With all aspects digitized and centralized into one solution, you can easily spot gaps or areas of concern. This 360-degree view allows you to more efficiently mitigate risks and implement the necessary corrective actions needed to create a safer work environment.
This is much more difficult to do with paper or Excel based systems as all information is found in different areas, creating data silos. When everything is not visible in one system, it becomes a challenge to evaluate your safety program and performance with so many scattered elements.
“We went from a place of having no transparency and not knowing where our gaps were, to immediately having this light shone on our system.” – WinSport (EcoOnline customer)
3. More time saved
EHS software can help you save copious amounts of time. Picture this: A front-line worker has completed an inspection form and has placed it on his supervisor’s desk, amidst a pile of other papers. The paper is crumpled and hard to read as the worker was in a rush. By the time the supervisor gets back to their office, they need to find this paper which may get lost amongst all the other forms on their desk. They then need to decipher the handwriting and either log that information into Excel or place it in a folder or drawer with other forms like it. By the time this has all happened, the information may become stale.
With an EHS solution, the worker can immediately upload their inspection digitally and the supervisor will be notified once it is completed. They can easily read the form and assign the necessary corrective actions. Those involved will instantly receive a notification and will do what is necessary to mitigate the hazard. With a few simple clicks, you can create a safer work environment by focusing on key areas of concern, rather than administrative tasks.
“EcoOnline has made at least 30% of my time more efficient, freeing up time for more important EHS management tasks.” – Richcraft homes (EcoOnline customer)
4. Streamlined communication and employee engagement
Organizations who use a digital EHS solution experience more streamlined communication. This is because the platform is accessible by all key stakeholders, across multiple sites and locations. New information such as changes to safety policies and procedures, safety data sheets, and more can be seen once it is entered into the system, and the necessary people can be alerted or notified of any follow-up actions. This also creates greater accountability, as it is evident who submitted an inspection form, for instance, and who is required to complete certain actions.
Most EHS software can also be accessed through a mobile app which further streamlines communication and makes it easy for employees to participate in safety activities. Now, workers can continue to work on-site without missing a beat and submit all the necessary information once they are online to the necessary stakeholders. This helps lead to increased participation and adoption rates from your workforce.
“I’m getting the information and access to it far sooner than I ever was before, and I have so much more time on the operational end to do other things.” – South Country Coop (EcoOnline customer)
5. Robust reporting
Customized dashboards can also be built within the EHS software to help leaders identify trends and patterns in safety data. Easily track leading and lagging indicators, KPIs, and more to evaluate safety performance at your organization. With this insight, leaders can then pinpoint areas which need improvement and work to mitigate hazards more effectively.
Automated features are also available like having specific dashboards emailed right to your inbox at a specific cadence. This will help you stay on top of the numbers and easily share these reports with your peers and management.
“EcoOnline was so smooth to capture the data and see it. It was simple to figure out how to make forms and didn’t take a lot of time. The flow from start to finish was easy.” – Roseburg Forest Products (EcoOnline customer)
Features of EHS Software
Depending on the software, EHS solutions can have multiple features and capabilities. Some of the key areas an EHS software should be able to help you with include:
1. Incident Management
This allows professionals and teams to immediately report incidents, near-misses, injuries and so on in a digital format. This allows key stakeholders to take the necessary measures to rectify these issues quickly. It also helps to increase participation from your front-line employees by putting safety at the palm of their hands with a mobile app.
2. Reporting and Analytics
Reporting and analytics are essential in any EHS software as they help you track metrics like leading and lagging indicators, Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART), Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates (LTIFR), and more. With the help of customized dashboards and reports you can start to track trends and patterns and act accordingly.
3. Hazard Identification
Make hazard identification and reporting easy with EHS software. This digital tool simplifies the process by allowing you to take photos on the spot, customize your forms, and assign follow-up tasks wither you are online or offline.
4. Audits and Inspections
EHS software should also allow you to streamline the inspection and audit process. This can be done by allowing you to easily create action items and keep track of all completion statuses. This will help create a sense of accountability among team members and can drive employee participation rates.
5. Training Management
Effective training is a key part of any safe work environment. With an EHS software you should be able to easily assign, manage, and track all training and certifications easily. An extensive eLearning library with multiple courses in several language is also an added bonus in any software.
6. Compliance Management
Maintain compliance with all legislative requirements within your industry with the help of an EHS software. This will allow you to house all of your documents in one spot and help you stay on track with guidance on the steps you must complete to stay compliant.
7. Document Management
When compared to paper or Excel-based systems, EHS software makes document management far easier. Easily digitize all forms and information, in one centralized platform, accessible to all key stakeholders across your organization. Instantly find what you’re looking for in a few clicks, rather than sifting through boxes or file cabinets.
Things to consider before buying
Buying EHS software is a big decision. Luckily, our team at EcoOnline has come up with certain criteria for you to consider when looking at different EHS software solutions. Let’s dive in:
Ease of use and user configurability
Having a system which is easy to use and user configurable is key. A user-friendly, intuitive interface will help increase adoption rates among the organization and make it easy for users to participate. The ability to configure your own forms and reports gives you the flexibility to make changes when needed and align the solution with your safety goals.
Mobile-first with offline capabilities
Having an EHS software which works on desktop and mobile devices can help increase efficiency. A mobile application allows your team to use it wherever they are and a reliable offline mode, allows them to continue tasks even with no connection to Wi-Fi. This makes it easier to capture information when in remote locations and will empower your workforce.
Strong reporting functionality
A strong reporting functionality is a game-changer in any software. This allows you to build dashboards to track key safety KPIs and metrics, allowing you to identify trends and patterns. This will give you greater visibility into safety performance at your organization and the strengths and weaknesses which may exist in your safety program.
Onboarding and customer support
The onboarding process and customer support team at the organization you choose, are also incredibly important. You must have a highly responsive team on your side to set you up for success, driving your return on investment. Make sure to inquire about the process itself and how their teams will help streamline your experience.
To learn more about what to consider when looking at EHS software according to our EcoOnline experts, download Your 5-Step Guide to Choosing the Optimal EHS Solution.
How much does EHS software cost?
Now that you know what to look for in an optimal EHS solution, the next question is how much will it cost? The cost of EHS software depends entirely on how many users will be using it, the features chosen, and more. It’s important to have a budget in mind when speaking to different software providers and discuss pricing openly so all expectations are set from the beginning.
A perfect opportunity is during initial conversations so as not to waste your time. At this point you can ask the company representative all your questions and begin to understand how much it will all cost. Transparency is key, so make sure you have already agreed on a budget, so you are aware of how much you can spend.
How is EcoOnline different from others?
With over 10,000 clients and 50,000 contractors globally, the EcoOnline EHS management solution has helped eliminate over 1 million incidents across North America. Our cloud-based, mobile-first solution is unlike others in the market as we have a breadth of capabilities:
- We offer a portfolio of solutions that cater to your safety needs ranging from EHS management, asset inspection , contractor safety management, and ESG – no matter the size of your organization
- We allow your safety program to scale and grow with your organization as your needs change
- We provide a user-friendly interface which is easy for users to adopt and a mobile solution
- We allow you to deliver key performance insights fasters and uncover hidden gaps with advanced analytics and artificial intelligence
- We are a highly configurable solutions which makes it easy for you to customize your apps to fit your procedures
- We provide a comprehensive onboarding experience so you achieve a quicker return on investment
- We have a responsive and highly efficient global support team – no matter where you are located
“Take a close look at the ROI for the current systems you have in place and what these new systems offer. The return on investment of EcoOnline is so much more than we predicted. It’s definitely worth it.” WinSport – Sporting customer
Curious to learn more about how we can help you create a safer work environment to protect your people? Speak to an EcoOnline representative today.