Current Challenges for EHS professionals in Transportation & Logistics
16 December 2019 - Evotix
The Transportation and Logistics Sector is an important and growing part of the US economy, accounting for 3.7 million jobs or 2.3% of total employment in 2017. Over the past ten years, annual growth has averaging 13% (compared to 5% for the economy overall), creating 416,316 new jobs.
The sector faces the challenge of maintaining a safe working environment for a rising number of transit workers, truck drivers, flight attendants, baggage handlers, warehouse staff, and others, yet many organizations still struggle with employee engagement and compliance.
Employee engagement was the most pressing safety concern for over 500 EHS professionals surveyed for EHS Daily Advisor 2018 Annual Safety Progress. 48% of respondents highlighted employee engagement as a key safety challenge. Employees taking shortcuts or ignoring rules (44%) and common recurring causes of injuries such as slips, trips, and falls, (32% were also frequently mentioned).
Organizations often encounter problems encouraging staff to engage with EHS due to pre-conceptions of red tape and bureaucracy. An appropriately designed EHS app, with an intuitive user interface and attractive graphics, can help turn this attitude around and empower employees to get on board with the safety journey.
EHS happens out in the real world, yet managers often find themselves tied to desks filling out paperwork and preparing reports. EHS apps can transfer many processes into the field, interpreting the aims, preferences and location of employees and presenting them with relevant information and functionality, such as real-time hazard alerts, information on nearby incidents, or exposure to physical stresses and strains.
Already, organizations are changing safety culture by empowering employees to make a difference. The Assure app from SHE Software empowers every employee to report an incident or near miss, access a risk assessment or record a safe or unsafe act. Assure makes the EHS experience interactive and ensures every employee knows they have a role to play by embedding health and safety in your organization’s DNA. Future Assure releases will be transformative for EHS culture, further enhancing existing functionality by replicating the approach found in the consumer world.
The EHS Daily Advisor report also asked respondents to choose a statement that best-described safety compliance within their organizations. 40% said they are trying to take their safety program to the next level, beyond compliance. However, a significant 24% said they are not yet fully compliant with OSHA standards, and 14% said they are compliant with OSHA standards but have made no efforts to go beyond the minimum.
Issues with capturing and systematically storing data can create a significant barrier to organizations meeting their legal responsibilities. Staff might spend too much time filling out paper documents, entering and reentering data into spreadsheets, or grappling with outdated IT systems.
EHS apps can help them fully digitize this process, then transition from a ‘reactive’ to a ‘proactive’ stance. Some organizations are effective at applying lessons learned from incidents, near misses and audits, but very few can dissect their data and identify trends that allow them to track leading indicators (such as safe and unsafe observations) and predict where preventative measures will be most effective.
If relevant data is captured, it is often hard to access - think of paper reports lost in filing cabinets - and even those organizations that effectively store data rarely have the tools to turn it into actionable decisions that can improve safety in the workplace. This missed opportunity can be highly damaging, given the financial, reputational and legal repercussions of a health and safety incident.
SHE Software’s Business Intelligence (BI) tool, Insights+, eliminates burdensome manual reporting processes. BI tools can provide a real-time view of your compliance status and safety performance rather than a weekly or monthly retrospective snapshot (often using outdated data).
The time we give you back can be put to better use learning from the safety data available, benchmarking, identifying trends and taking preventative action. Relying on data-driven insights, rather than individual stakeholder opinions, reduces the potential for human error and uncovers the unexpected.
Assure combines complete out of the box health and safety functionality (allowing you to be up and running immediately) with an exceptional level of configurability - of forms, organization, permissions, reports and dashboards.
You might be interested in a recent blog post from our CEO, Matt Elson, “The changing face of health and safety”.
You can access the full EHS Daily Advisor 2018 Annual Safety Progress report here.
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