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What You Gain from Efficient Access to Safety Data: Behind the Numbers

Jade Brainard /

Organizations using EHS software experience a three-fold benefit over those that don’t. They report having more accessible data to evaluate safety program performance. They reap benefits of EHS technology that go far beyond the costs to implement such technology. And, they experience better employee engagement and streamlined communication. These are all topics we uncovered in the 2021 EHS State of the Market Survey.

But, let’s look behind the numbers. What does the data tell us?

Despite all these benefits, a lot of organizations still use spreadsheets and email to manage their EHS programs. The survey showed 70% of respondents relied on these methods and that 40% reported using paper-based systems. Under 40% said they use internally developed software—followed by about 34% who are using EHS software.

The use of EHS software is gaining in popularity, though, and there are several reasons to take note about how EHS software can help with data collection, storage, and retrieval.

EHS software’s gaining in popularity. Here’s why. 

The survey showed a whopping 84% of companies using EHS software reported being able to identify and remedy potential issues before they happen. That’s a 33% improvement over those that don’t use EHS software.

This makes sense since having data housed in an all-in-one solution puts companies invested in EHS software in a better position to:

  • Analyze the overall health and safety of their EHS program
  • Quickly identify potential issues from a centralized dashboard that can be customized with specific reports and displays to flag potential issues before they happen
  • Compile data to ensure timely and accurate annual OSHA reporting to reduce the risk of costly fines and penalties for noncompliance.

 And the survey data supports this. 

For instance, 35% of EHS software uses reported access to reporting and analytics being something that’s generally easy to do. But, that’s not generally the case with non-software users. In fact, nearly half of non-software users said the process of accessing analytics was very or somewhat challenging, and they also reported facing more challenges in their EHS programs, particularly in accessing data to prevent safety issues and in analyzing performance compared to EHS software users.

Is your safety program facing manual hurdles?

For companies that aren’t using EHS software tools and are instead relying on email communication and Excel spreadsheets, they’ve got the “manual” hurdle to contend with. In practice, this means those EHS managers spend more time having to retrieve the right data so they can drill down to recognize where improvements are needed.

How well are your data collection, storage, and retrieval processes working?

Regardless of whether a company uses EHS software or not for data management, it’s important to ask whether the current process and method of gathering information, storing data, and retrieving it when it’s needed for evaluating the success of EHS policies and practices and for compliance reporting is helping the organization. And regardless of the technology or paper-based solutions being used, having a streamlined process for accessing the data is key because deficiencies can easily arise if you don’t.

KPA can help streamline data collection, retrieval, and storage practices to help reduce risks before issues arise. If you would like to discuss how to improve efficiencies in accessing your data, please contact us to schedule a demo.

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