Without a doubt, 2020 will go down in the pages of history as a year where our lives were completely transformed. From actions as simple as going to work or as large as international travel, we have been forced to look at the world differently. By shifting our lifestyles and workflows, we’ve taken the necessary precautions to protect what’s most important: our people.
2020 has taught us many lessons enabling us to rise to the occasion. Though this was not easy to do, safety professionals and individuals in varying industries have done what they can to mitigate risks in order to endure.
The following are the prime lessons we found were key to help EHS organizations survive in 2020, which can be carried into the new year and beyond…
1. Safety is the Number One Priority
First and foremost, this year has taught us safety must always be our number one priority. Whether it’s the safety of our own families or colleagues, we must always put the well-being of ourselves and others first, with production requirements and demands coming second. Protecting one another amidst this pandemic is a community and organizational responsibility which cannot be accomplished otherwise.
Throughout this pandemic, organizations have created pandemic response plans to design their approach to mitigating COVID-19. These plans include new measures taken within their daily workflows to reduce touchpoints and maintain social distancing, as well as increased sanitation stations around the worksite. Organizations have also required team members to use the proper PPE, including masks and gloves, and to wash their hands regularly to maintain not only their physical health, but that of their co-workers as well. Many have also been working from home, with those on the frontlines avoiding large groups and social distancing. These factors will definitely still be in effect next year and should always be top of mind.
While physical health has been an extremely important focal point, let’s not forget mental health has also played a very large role this year. Being separated from our loved ones has been extremely difficult for many, as we have isolated from others to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. This has increased levels of anxiety and depression in many, which has taught us mental health is just as important as physical health. This cannot be neglected and deserves attention. Many organizations have highlighted this at work this year, encouraging workers to speak up and seek help if needed.
In 2020, the notion of community responsibility for the physical and mental wellbeing of those around us has been brought to light and must be carried on into the new year. As safety champions, we must always do our part to remind everyone safety deserves a seat at the table, as this year has so painfully proven.
If you’re having difficulty communicating this message to senior leadership at your organization, check out our whitepaper on “How to Demonstrate the Return on Safety to C-Level Executives”. Learn how to remove initial barriers and how to align your safety goals to your organization’s business goals, to make safety a priority.
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2. Digital is the Way Forward
2020 has also taught us a digital solution is needed to persevere and even succeed, especially in the world of EHS. Relying on a paper-based system at such a time makes it difficult to gain full visibility into the efficacy of your safety program and properly track leading indicators, not to mention the series of touchpoints that result. With a digital EHS solution, mitigating COVID-19 and strengthening your approach can be hassle-free!
This year, several organizations have used EcoOnline eCompliance to protect their team members and gain visibility into the health of their employees. One example is through our Digital COVID-19 Forms and Employee Self Assessments. These forms allow safety professionals to gauge the physical health of team members within their workforce by collecting data from the self-assessment forms, making it easier to prevent an outbreak on-site. By getting the information and data in real-time, remaining proactive has been much easier. Find out how one of our customers, Avenge Energy Services, has been able to mitigate COVID-19 using EcoOnline eCompliance and ClearMe™.
Mitigating the risks of COVID-19 is also easier with a digital solution, as it reduces the need for travel and additional touchpoints. Safety professionals have the ability to keep up with what is happening on one or several sites through remote access. It can even help create a sense of accountability, as actions within the system can show who completed an inspection and what action items were assigned.
Training employees has also been possible thanks to eLearning within the digital EHS system. An eLearning solution has allowed people working from home, to use this as an opportunity to hone their skills and expand into new horizons with more proactive training.
Technology has allowed many to persevere through this pandemic and has even allowed some to thrive. This will no doubt continue to be utilized and implemented in the years to come.
3. An Adaptable Approach is Necessary
With all the ups and downs we have seen this year, being open and adaptable is essential. Many have had to pivot their approach to the market to remain successful and survive. 2020 has taught us, with a flexible approach which allows for changes and modifications, you can succeed.
Companies are gravitating towards those that have strong safety records, so consider expanding your approach to include new forms of compliance and certification. By enhancing your credibility within the market, organizations will be more inclined to work with you, so don’t be afraid to try new things and modify your course of action.
Don’t forget to ask for feedback! Enhance your safety program and daily job-tasks by speaking to those in the workforce who are on the frontlines day after day. With comprehensive insight from various angles, you will be able to strengthen your approach and plan for a more prosperous 2021. Find out more about what the safety landscape looks like in 2020 with our eBook, “Safety Landscape in North America During COVID-19”.
At the End of the Day…
It’s important to reflect on all the lessons 2020 has taught us, to prepare for a brighter and safer tomorrow. By keeping what we have learned top of mind as we go into the new year, we will emerge stronger than ever before.
With these key lessons at the forefront, we want to help you optimize your safety program. To learn more about how EcoOnline eCompliance can help you simplify safety, fill out the form below and one of our Safety Experts will be in touch.