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How Can Construction Companies Streamline EHS Without Sacrificing Quality?

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on March 5, 2018 at 9:58 AM

If you’ve been in the construction industry for more than a day, you already know that it’s one of the most demanding industries when it comes to safety.

There are countless regulations, rules, precautions, and laws to understand, and it doesn’t help that the state and federal requirements continue to evolve. Spend any length of time reading about building codes or workplace safety requirements and you’ll quickly realize that construction takes no shortcuts when it comes to ensuring client, worker, and citizen safety.

Which bears the question:

Can a construction company streamline EHS operations without sacrificing quality or performance?

When Streamlining Isn’t an Ideal Solution

Streamlined EHS sounds attractive enough to give it a second thought. The industry is fraught with mounting rules and laws regarding building safety and procedures, and for good reason. As new data becomes available, governing bodies step in to ensure that safety remains a central focus.

A lot of thought and research goes into creating these laws. They aren’t dreamed up out of the blue. Rather, when a change in regulation occurs, there was likely something dire prompting that change. Construction leaders and foremen know the importance of safety and that cutting corners rarely results in a better final product. Working quickly in construction often results in oversight of important details or not following procedures correctly. When this happens, both company and client are at risk for project failure.

This is why many construction companies are hesitant to tamper with their current system of managing environmental, health and safety. Many believe that shortening time spent on building activities, such as performing audits or inspections, could result in a drop of quality or performance.

That’s absolutely correct. If this is the only option, then streamlining is never a sound choice. The good news: you don’t have to cut back on quality to streamline your processes.

Successful Streamlining Lies in a Robust Strategy

Cutting back to make improvements sounds like an oxymoron, but when leveraged correctly making cuts can solve a lot of problems. The problem many construction companies experience is where to make those cuts, and it usually starts with reducing the biggest expense: labor.

Other industries, like retail, make the same mistake. They slice employee hours and positions, which means there are fewer people to take care of customers. This triggers a reduction in business traffic, at which point more cuts might need to be made to compensate for lower revenue.

While construction companies are serving the general public, they do need plenty of human talent to finish projects on time and on budget so they can move on to the next job as soon as possible. This is why many construction companies are now exploring ways to boost their processes and strategies to streamline company efficiency, and EHS is a key department in this overhaul.

Programs like EHS software exist to assist in managing environmental, health and safety in the construction industry. Depending on your program, you could have the ability to log data and workplace observations, gain mobile access to data, provide safety training workshops, keep up to date on compliance, schedule tasks and audits, and report incidents from a single platform.

For construction companies, streamlining your EHS program with a comprehensive software solution is a dream come true.

How to Use EHS Software for Construction Project Success

It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of streamlining EHS programs with software, but let’s be honest: software is a tool, and it won’t work unless you know how to use it.

The real success comes from understanding what you hope to get from your EHS software and how you can make it work to your advantage. If you’re exploring EHS software as a viable solution, consider the following tips:

  • Determine your goals for EHS success using the software.
  • Onboard your team to help them ramp up quickly and gain total adoption of the new system. Software, no matter how wonderful, won’t deliver results unless it’s used correctly.
  • Discover potential barriers to using the software: will your team be motivated enough to use it? Do you have to train your team? Do you have systems in place regarding its use?
  • Give yourself enough time to test the software and work out any issues.

Download our latest eBook for more insight on how to use software to improve the way you work.

Topics: EHS Management, Safety Management, Building Materials & Construction, EHS Software

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