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If you could improve one thing about your EHS department, what would it be? Fewer accidents? Better employee training? Making better use of your data? Creating a stronger safety culture?
If these top your list, you’re not alone. Whether you’re in mining or maritime, manufacturing or oil and gas, these challenges are commonly felt throughout the EHS industry and can impede your organization’s ultimate success.
Which is why you might be surprised to learn that a possible solution to each of the challenges (and others) point to the way you’re reporting EHS activities.
Many companies have found themselves at a unique crossroad as they try to marry their traditional paper-based systems with digital paperless solutions. Apps and software are continually being integrated in daily activities to solve problems.
However, many companies are reluctant to give full control to the digital takeover. Instead, they retain their own hybrid of paper forms and files and computer-based programs. They write sticky notes and memos out of convenience. Systems don’t speak to each other, creating multiple silos within a single department without an easy way to link them.
Let’s be honest – compiling data isn’t so easy, especially if you’re hoping to transform it into usable insights.
Because of this lack of integration, reporting procedures and data collection becomes a practice that no one is properly prepared to leverage. Insights go undeveloped. Key data points are overlooked. Training opportunities are missed. Engagement isn’t maximized. And perhaps most importantly, issues that could be reduced or eliminated with better reporting continue to occur.
How and what you report have a lot to do with your department’s success. When you do it correctly, you can uncover new information about your operations, which can lead to making crucial improvements.
Take a look at these four key ways you can start changing your reporting methods for the better.
Part of the problem of erroneous reporting is the lack of integration with your existing systems. You might use a specific software for one function and a different program for another.
Switching to an EHS software solution gives you and your team a single anchor point to handle your data collection. All information is processed through one source, which could help you connect dots you never knew could be related.
As a result, safety reporting and data overview evolve from a once-a-year event into a routine practice. You can determine at a glance where your metrics stand so you can take action immediately rather than waiting for the year-end results.
Do you take notes as you go with the promise to record them once you return to your desk? Even the best intentions don’t always go as planned.
Taking notes on paper as you work certainly has the convenience factor, but notes can become misplaced or lost. Or worse, you’re in a hurry while you’re writing and can’t transcribe your own handwriting later.
One of the greatest features about today’s EHS software solution is the mobile aspect. You can take your software anywhere you go and do real-time data entry and reporting from your mobile device. It offers the same convenience as taking quick notes on paper, but with the time-saving benefit of going directly into your reporting software.
Plus, most mobile devices are equipped with voice-to-text, so just dictate your notes without having to type them in.
Training is often the culprit behind poor reporting practices. Take time to ensure your people don’t just understand what to do, but also why it’s important they stick with protocol.
There’s no better encouragement than seeing the positive fruits of your labor. If you’re making changes to how you report information, make sure you share the results of those changes with your team. Doing so will make them see the new course of action was worthwhile, and encourage them to continue their contributions.
It’s 2018, a time when data collection runs rampant and you’re expected to do something with it. Learn how you can achieve better reporting practices with EHS software solutions today.
Since 2009, the team at EHS Insight have been on a mission to make the world a better place. Join us by subscribing to our Blog and receive updates on what’s new in the world of EHS, our software and other related topics.
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