What’s one thing that the most successful companies have in common? They know their employees are their greatest asset.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the organizations that have embraced this new employee-first mindset also rank among the safest in their industries. Ultimately, putting your people first means creating a work environment that enables them to perform at their best. A world-class EHS program should be built upon a safety culture that leverages data-rich safety reports to make informed decisions and prevent workplace incidents.
You may think you’re already doing all of this. Safety is one of your company’s core values after all. Your field team performs safety inspections as required and you haven’t had any near misses in months (you think). When it comes to employee safety and maintaining Target Zero however, things can’t afford to fall through the cracks. Unfortunately, this is often the case for busy EHS departments that still rely upon paper processes for data collection. Those inspection forms that your employees complete often get locked away in filing cabinets – if they even get filed to begin with. When data does finally make it into Excel, spreadsheets get buried in inboxes or overwritten in shared corporate drives. Safety reporting gets relegated to an annual event, which is far too infrequent to make any real impact on your organization’s safety program.
To improve your safety reports and drive smarter safety outcomes, here are three things safety leaders should consider to enhance their EHS program in 2017:
Say Goodbye to Paper and Streamline Data Collection
Paper may have served you well in the past, but with manual inspection processes comes ample room for data leakage. And when your workers’ well-being and safety is on the line, every piece of data counts. Start 2017 off on the right foot by deciding which KPIs you want to track for the year, identify areas for improvement and consider moving your paper inspections and ad hoc spreadsheets to an online data management system. Moving to the cloud will ensure all your data is in one centralized location, available for the right people to access and review when needed (whether they’re on a job site or in the office) and finally put an end to data loss.
Commit to Continuous Improvement
Many companies cite continuous improvement as a core value, yet according to EHS Daily Advisor’s recent survey of over 600 health and safety professionals, 16% say they do not report on any safety metrics – at all. This begs the question: how do you know your safety program is actually improving if you’re not tracking or reporting?
In 2017, commit to reporting on key safety metrics – regularly. Depending on the needs of your company, it may make more sense to review certain safety metrics on a monthly or even weekly basis, but to benchmark and continuously improve, safety data should be reported on a quarterly basis at a minimum.
Leverage Data to Drive Better Safety Outcomes
Once you’re capturing the right data, compiling it in a central data repository and reporting on key metrics regularly, the next step is to use the data to your advantage to make better informed safety decisions and help prevent incidents.
By analyzing the behavior of your employees and leading indicators (safety inspections completed, employees with valid training certifications) and lagging indicators (near misses, submitted incidents) you can identify trends, proactively address potential issues and make better informed decisions in the future to help eliminate incidents.