New EHS management tools let every employee be part of a “virtuous circle” of safety. We talk to an expert from a leading safety software maker about how and why automated safety management can improve compliance and reduce injuries.

Fourteen workers die on the job every day in the United States on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And every year, businesses report millions of injuries and incidents to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Most businesses, except for in a few exempt industries, must report severe injuries to OSHA if they have 10 or more employees. Those reports of severe injuries—an amputation, in-patient hospitalization or loss of an eye—account for more than 11,000 reports a year based on 2018 reporting, the last complete year of OSHA data. 

But severe injury reports are just the tip of the proverbial safety iceberg. There are inspections, audits and other safety and incident reports that companies must also provide OSHA—or simply document and maintain throughout each year.

“You’re building a full-circle safety culture because everybody is getting what they need.”
Joshua Yulish
President and CRO, SHE Software

Plus, there are the costs associated with injuries on the job. OSHA pegs direct workers’ compensation costs alone at $1 billion a week.

The automation of safety reporting can help not only improve safety management but let a company engage workers in the safety compliance process, which is shown to reduce injuries and save money, says Joshua Yulish, president and chief revenue officer for SHE Software, a leading safety software maker.

We share more benefits about why to automate safety management in our article “5 Safety-Forward Reasons to Adopt EHS Software.”

EHS Automation and the ROI of Safety

Traditionally, safety has been a highly manual process for many businesses, particularly in manufacturing. Often if someone is injured or worse, a company makes a report using pen and paper after the incident has happened—maybe the safety manager adds the information to a spreadsheet.

But there are problems with relying on paper when it comes to safety reporting, compliance and management, Yulish points out:

  • No. 1: No one really looks at paper anymore.
  • No. 2: Paper gets lost.
  • No. 3: Valuable data doesn’t get extracted, making it difficult to cull insights that help drive systemic change.

EHS software that is intuitive—and can be used by people and safety managers on the shop floor—gives employees the ability to report near misses, detail incidents and identify potential hazards, Yulish says.

Want to ask a safety specialist about preconfigured EHS tools? You can in the Better MRO Manufacturing Forum.

These tools do more than save time. They also can help avoid incidents and reduce the costs that arise from workers’ compensation claims, legal support, medical care and fines associated with on-the-job injuries.

By using EHS software to gather data in a central repository, the safety team and leadership can act on it proactively and respond back to employees. “It closes the loop with employees who are on the front line,” Yulish says.

It also gives managers the ability to conduct risk assessments and audits, to prepare incident reports as needed for management and OSHA, and to follow up with any necessary process or safety product changes.

These automated tools also share insights and show where safety teams can look for trends to be proactive rather than reactive. The data identifies where the gaps are and what must be done to achieve compliance.

“You’re building a full-circle safety culture because everybody is getting what they need,” Yulish says. “Employees feel better because people actually care about their safety, so the morale’s higher, so they work a little harder.”

That adds up to more productivity, which leads to a quantifiable value to company leaders who can clearly see the return on their investment in safety and want to do more to improve it, he explains.

“You get a virtuous circle,” Yulish says, and that’s what leads to a culture of safety.

How Safety Automation Drives Up OSHA Compliance

Automated assessments and reporting will not flag or tell a company that it is or is not compliant with a specific standard or regulation, but EHS tools provide the regulatory information to help a company identify what it needs to do to become compliant.

Companies can also use the software to share details with their employees about safety processes and policies. That way, employees can access information on their phones or other mobile devices to see if they’ve gone through the correct safety processes or checklists and ensure that they’re compliant and safe.

“What we’ve found is that by automating these reporting tools and making them available across a business, you can drive change,” Yulish says.

That’s because the software “translates the information into dollars and cents, which is what leadership cares about,” he adds. “Of course, they care about the employees, but they need their bottom line.”

MSC Launches an EHS Management Solution

A new subscription EHS software tool from MSC lets employees and companies track, report, view and complete safety information, on-site or off-site.

MSC SafetyMax is a software as a service application that businesses can subscribe to and use to move away from manual paper processes to a software platform that centralizes how organizations manage health, safety and compliance.

Learn more about MSC SafetyMax and how to sign up for a subscription.

MSC SafetyMax is an exclusive subscription-based safety management platform for those who thought enterprise-level software was out of reach.

The new MSC product takes a web-enabled approach. It can be used on any device that can access the internet, such as a smartphone or tablet. That means a worker or safety manager can take a picture of a hazard, fill out an incident report or pull up the appropriate OSHA form on their mobile device while they are roaming a facility.

“The safety of their people should be the top priority of a company,” Yulish says. “If your employees are getting injured or not making it home, your company is not going to succeed.”

How would a move to automation help your company improve safety?

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