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What Keeps Safety Leaders Up? The Biggest Challenges Facing EHS Programs

Toby Graham /

We asked safety leaders to describe the challenges they face in terms of meeting their EHS-focused initiatives. Here’s what they had to say.

These are the latest study findings from this year’s State of the Market: EHS Program report. It’s our third year partnering with EHS Today on the study, surveying trends in Environment, Health, and Safety programs.

This is the second in a series of blog posts based on the study, in which we present the data and our conclusions in a quick-read format.

You can catch the coming topics here:

  • What Are the Top Priorities for EHS Programs?
  • The Biggest Challenges Facing EHS Programs
  • What Are Your Peers’ Priorities for EHS Reporting?
  • How Are Companies Incorporating Technology into their EHS Programs?
  • How Your Peers Rated Their Safety Program Engagement
  • Does EHS Software Affect Safety Program Performance?

Over and above, all respondents faced the challenge of engaging employees in EHS initiatives and in successfully incorporating safety programs into the workplace culture.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of respondents reported that their biggest challenge is employee adoption/culture.

Workforce shortages are no stranger to any industry, coming in as the second most pressing challenge.

Securing the commitment of leadership came in third and was noted as a challenge by 40% of respondents.

Download the full study to learn how high-performance EHS programs elevate safety as an organization-wide priority.

Differences by Industry Type

Here’s how safety leaders in different industry types ranked their challenges.

Both heavy and light manufacturers reported a much bigger challenge with a shortage of workers.

Companies in heavy manufacturing also struggle with a lack of tools and resources.

Oil and gas companies tend to struggle with leadership commitment, ranking that as their second-highest challenge.

Similar to what we’ve seen in the rest of the survey results, it’s interesting to see the blend of people challenges and program challenges.

Tying it all together:
EHS Software Supports both the Participation and the Systems Sides of Safety Programs

While reviewing the data, KPA’s Product Director, Jade Brainard stated, “The report shows us that the focus on reducing incidents, workplace culture, and employee engagement are all connected. If EHS software can help reduce workplace incidents and encourage more employee engagement with improved technology processes and training, it will contribute to a greater culture of safety, ensuring people feel safe and more engaged at work.”

So, if the results are clear, how do you choose the right EHS software for your business?

Ultimately, the best EHS software is employee-centric. It generates better safety outcomes because it’s easy to use, and people have an incentive to use it. In other words, a system needs to be built for your workforce. If it’s too complicated, unwieldy, or unintuitive—if it doesn’t align with their existing workflows—they won’t use it.

To determine if a solution is the right fit for your organization, ask the following questions:

 

Are self-guided forms available?

EHS reporting should take minimal time and effort on the employee’s part.

Can every user access forms and an information library?

If the system creates silos, it’s hardly better than a spreadsheets-and-binders approach.

Is the solution mobile-ready?

Business today happens on phones. Any employee should be able to quickly pull out their mobile device and enter information at a moment’s notice.

Are data dashboards included?

Any software you purchase should have strong reporting and dashboard capabilities. Again, ease of use is critical. Keep in mind that EHS might not be a user’s only job. When someone’s busy, they should be able to log in and find the exact data information they need, when they need it.

Want help making a smart decision? Grab a copy of the EHS Software Buyer’s Guide.

KPA EHS – The Backbone of Your Safety Program

KPA EHS helps you develop a comprehensive EHS program that harnesses technology, best practices, and the concerted efforts of your workforce to maintain a safe and productive workplace.

Introducing an EHS software platform tailored to the needs of your business. Manage your safety program in an all-in-one system designed to engage your employees, instill a culture of safety, and enable regulatory compliance.

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