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Exploring the Conflict Between Productivity and Safety

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on February 23, 2015 at 10:12 AM

Safety and productivity are often seen as working against each other. When “safety first” rules and ideologies prevail, some fear performance will suffer. Conversely, when productivity is valued above all else, employees are often put at undue risk. Production is undoubtedly important, but does it allow enough room for efficient safety standards?

There is an obvious relationship between the two, and modern software provides a way to maximize both. In this article we will explore that relationship and outline the ways software enables a combined focus.

It Starts with Operational Risk Management

When executed properly, operational risk management techniques can effectively streamline productivity while keeping safety as a priority. The principles of work are that through effective risk management, production/productivity, quality and EHS incident mitigation can be achieved concurrently.Operational risk management processes have already matured in financial institutions and taken hold in the essential industries. Not only has risk management become a widely accepted corporate function, it’s relied upon at more granular levels of an organization for making management decisions, facilitating departmental workflow and project planning.

What Does Risk Management Do for Safety?

Safe operations are dictated by both industry standards and government regulations. Operational risk management satisfies these important factors. Risk analysis, identification of threats and vulnerabilities, and assessment of security measures all contribute to a comprehensive risk management strategy in order to minimize loss. Effective risk management protects a business not only from financial crisis or process failures but from employee harm and other dangers to the workforce.

What Does Risk Management Do for Productivity?

In many industries, a reduced-risk environment is also a productive environment. Shareholders like to see their company’s productivity increasing as it often directly impacts financial return. In the eye of the public effective risk management procedures increase a company’s goodwill and positive perception, which adds value as well. When productivity increases, technology can then be leveraged to maintain these levels and other resources are freed up to further expand profitability.

Risk Management Software

Risk management professionals often employ software to manage information related to operational risk. Risk management software is a great solution for a company seeking balance between safety and productivity. By documenting and assessing risks then defining controls, risk management software users can effectively focus on the most important risks for proper planning and resource allocation. 

Increasingly, companies of all sizes are relying upon operational risk management tools. When valuable data is accumulated and information is distributed, an operational risk management system enables effective decision making across an organization. Balancing safety and productivity is made easier when modern technology has streamlined a variety of processes to help businesses thrive while keeping people safe.

Reference
1. Mol, Tania. (2003). Productive safety management: a strategic, multidisciplinary management system for hazardous industries that ties safety and production together. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Topics: Risk Management, Workplace Health and Safety, Safety Tips

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