As 2021 is steadily marching forward, there are four notable trends for Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) that are already emerging this year.
1. Embracing Digital Transformation
The first of these is digital transformation, which is expected to reshape the EHS arena during this year and beyond. Organisations were looking to software to remain relevant before Covid, but the pandemic has only accelerated this in all sectors.
Paper-based processing of EHS data, while more familiar, is also riskier. Embracing EHS software has become the safer and more efficient option. Successfully transforming EHS systems entails streamlining manual processes by automating them; using software to integrate disparate processes to increase efficiency and finally, leveraging big data and analytics to identify what improvements can be made.
2. Leveraging mobile platforms
A second major trend in EHS management entails the leveraging of mobile platforms to manage EHS data more effectively.
Using mobile technology enables organisations to report safety risks and incidents, and gives workers a means of doing so from anywhere, and at any time. Furthermore, mobile tech eradicates wasteful and inconvenient paper-based processes. Data can be more quickly captured, and viewed in real time, and then subsequently analysed for further action.
3. Mental wellbeing gains ground
The third major trend that is expected to become more prominent this year is that mental wellbeing will gain wider acknowledgment when considering the overall health of workers. Certainly, this has been spurred on by both the impact of the pandemic and the measures to contain it. Forced isolation, increased stress, grief over losing loved ones, economic uncertainty and wariness around physical contact have all taken a toll on many, bringing depression and loneliness.
The unfortunate reality is that workers who are taking psychological strain could inadvertently generate safety risks in a workplace, due to impaired alertness, for example. Therefore, EHS software that includes data on the wellbeing of their workers physically and mentally, as an essential part of their feature set, will likely be more valued. In turn, this will likely result in more comprehensive EHS management.
4. Proactive employee engagement
The fourth and final trend we can expect to see this year is a move to engage with employees more proactively. There is a practical reason for this, with correlations being drawn between more engaged employees and a reduction of incidents.
Essentially, how we work with EHS data moving forward, and conduct EHS management, will largely come down to streamlining processes and more effectively caring for one’s people. That will likely define not just 2021, but the next several years to come of reducing EHS risk.