How EHS Solutions can assist in improving and maintaining Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) programs in 4 easy Steps

Implementing a health and safety management system is a good start. But it’s just a start. Every single day, we get a front-row seat to see how technology is transforming how we do business and the speed at which we do it. A great example of this is PayPal. This company was founded to be a cryptography company! As we all know, today it is the default online payment system of millions of people. The company had to adapt and quickly to ensure its success.

As your business changes, so your OHS system will need to not only have to change with it but will need to do so at a similar pace.

Here are 4 steps you can take to you maintain and continually improve your OHS program:

    1. Monitoring, measuring, and assessing your OHS program
      There are two primary purposes of monitoring and measuring.

      • The first is to see if the OHS program is working as intended.
      • The second is to make sure any safety and health problems are identified and then fed back into the OHS planning process with the goal of eliminating and/or controlling them.

      A good technique to achieve this is to Identify and track indicators that help you to predict risk in context of your ever-changing business. Some of these indicators include:

      • Workplace inspections
      • Workplace testing
      • Exposure assessments (air & noise monitoring, distance from dangerous heights, ergonomic risk exposures)
      • Injury, illness, and incident tracking
      • Safety suggestions from employees
      • Occupational health assessments

      Of course, these exercises only add value if you ensure your measurements match or exceed recognized industry standards or best practices, and that the findings are communicated to the relevant parties in your business.

      EHS solutions like Rapid Global are a very good way of ensuring that this important step is done on time, at the required frequency and that the results are communicated real time!

    2. Performing incident investigations
      Investigating incident history in a way that allows you to consolidate results over a longer period allows you to better predict incidents, which in turn allows you to ensure your OHS system is designed to mitigate incident risks. However, it is important to ensure that the incidents are analysed in context of your business as it stands today. This means that you need to perform a “what if” exercise to identify any new factors that your business may face and to incorporate these factors into your calculations.

      Conducting a Consequence/probability matrix is a good way to incorporate these changes. This involves doing a task safety analysis and then creating a table, with each hazard listed in a row and the columns used to identify the likelihood of injury, the possible severity of the injury, and the resulting risk.

      A Risk assessment matrix can be used to map identified risk. This involves creating a table with likelihood or occurrence frequency making up the rows, severity and/or consequence making the columns, and risk level making the “boxes” at the intersections of likelihood/frequency and severity/consequences.

      A good example of this may be a company that is growing quickly and requires another site / office / warehouse in order to accommodate this growth. Your analysis would then need to be updated to ensure that any OHS communications will be made to the employees at the new site / office or warehouse, and that their needs are included in the analysis.

      Fortunately, in today’s fast paced technological revolution, cloud based EHS software solutions are available that allow anyone to report, input data and extract data from wherever they are!

    3. Auditing each part of your OHS program
      Don’t confuse auditing of your OHS program with your daily OHS auditing requirements. This audit is not a compliance audit but is designed to ensure each part of your OHS program is working as intended, especially considering changes that may be required to various parts of your program to adapt to the changing needs of your business.

      Also be aware that, as risk and compliance legislation is ever changing, and it is important that you ensure your OHS program keeps pace with these changes too.It is useful therefore to conduct audits of the viability of your OHS program. The person / team chosen to complete this audit should be:

      • Competent enough to understand the complexity and scope of the audit
      • Not the person who is ultimately responsible for the execution of the OHS program

      The audits should be:

      • Designed to encourage employee participation, so accurate and value adding results are achieved
      • Well documented and audit results should be communicated to:
        • Exposure assessments (air & noise monitoring, distance from dangerous heights, ergonomic risk exposures)
        • Injury, illness, and incident tracking
        • Safety suggestions from employees
        • Occupational health assessments

      If the audit uncovers any situation that might lead to a fatality and/or a serious injury or illness in the near-term future, make sure prompt corrective action is taken to control the hazard.

      Once again, a software solution that can automate audits, what should be audited, when it should be audited and by who it should be audited will contribute significantly to ensuring both the audits and the actions identified are completed accurately, on time and cost effectively.

    4. Performing incident investigations
      It is always hard to keep track of actions identified from audits and to ensure they are completed as delegated and on time. This process is however critical to the success of the process.EHS software solutions often use very effective dashboard monitoring tools, that allow employees to easily monitor and track progress, and to identify gaps that need attending to.

Conclusion
In today’s whirlwind business environment where we are all expected to work at double the pace and where that output is responsible for keeping valuable employees and stakeholders safe, it is exceptionally difficult to keep pace and deliver high quality value adding output. Fortunately, EHS software solutions can assist significantly and cost effectively.

Companies like OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd, the Africa Licensee of the award winning Rapid Global Software, have been delivering EHS software solutions for over 15 years. Their only business is the continued development and improvement of their software, to make sure that the solutions keep pace with the ever-changing landscape. They have used the learning of over 1 million users worldwide to develop a product that speaks to an organizations EHS needs. Login to https://rapidglobal.co.za/rapid-service/ to see what their solutions offer.

OVS Solutions, the Africa Licensee of Rapid Global, also have a great support team who are available to assist with live demonstrations, user guides and relevant information you may require. They can help you deliver on your plan. Start 2019 by engaging with a company like OVS Solutions!