What is EHS Software?

Environmental, health, and safety software is a major innovation for any company or business that operates in an industry subject to environmental, health, and safety compliance, regulation, and reporting. It doubles up as a powerful business intelligence (BI) tool.

A growing number of businesses are required to adopt more stringent health and safety rules.

Local, regional, national and international regulations are placing greater regulatory responsibility on businesses, particularly when it comes to environmental reporting and sustainability.

Statista shows that the EHS software market is steadily growing, expanding from $930 million in 2016 to $1.4 billion in 2020.

EHS software provides a powerful, robust and centralised platform to control and report EHS information and data. It replaces traditional paper processes and manual logging in spreadsheets and legacy systems.

Harvard Business Review highlights that the managers of today still waste a significant portion of their time on manual reporting that can be easily optimized by automated, digital platforms, including EHS software.

Not only does EHS software provide a quick and powerful means to report and measure EHS data, but it’s also much more secure than manual reporting.

Modern EHS software serves many businesswide purposes, but it mainly revolves around controlling rules, regulations, and policy; incident reporting, safety briefings, H&S/HSE compliance, environmental policy, etc.

EHS software saves time, reduces risks and helps businesses meet local, regional, national and international compliance demands as well as environmental and sustainability goals.

This is a guide to EHS software, what it is, what it does, and why you need it.

EHS Software in a Nutshell

Environment, health and safety software is typically provided on a licence or through a SaaS platform. It’s designed to monitor and report EHS data but doubles up as a business intelligence tool.

Here are some features you can expect to find in EHS software:

  • Regulatory and legal compliance
  • Reporting and tracking incidents, workplace injuries, and other risks
  • Risk assessments (environmental health management, occupational health management, industrial safety management, etc)
  • Employee training
  • Developing and maintaining internal business policies
  • Monitoring PR
  • ID checks
  • Monitoring sustainability and environmental responsibilities, e.g. carbon offsetting
  • Auditing, environmental reporting, and quality control (e.g. for OSHA or ISO)
  • Analysis of EHS data
  • Document automation, storage, and organization
  • Root cause analysis, predictive maintenance, and predictive analytics

EHS software caters to all individuals within a business. It typically comes with tiered access, connecting everyone together from the factory floor to management, C-level executives, and stakeholders.

It helps secure the safety of the working environment for employees and enables them to quickly and efficiently report problems or incidents.

EHS software can be updated with new features as governments roll out new legislation and regulations for industry compliance.

Whilst most EHS software has a wide remit and featureset, some are more industry-specific.

What does EHS Software Do for Businesses?

Fundamentally, EHS software is management software for all things environmental, health, and safety. This extends to other areas of the business that require risk monitoring. EHS software also measures KPIs and is useful for data analysis.

EHS software is designed to completely replace manual reporting and paper processes. Prior to the advent of EHS software, businesses typically used manual reporting systems and/or spreadsheets. Whilst manual reporting may work on a smaller scale, e.g. a building site, it’s much harder to scale manual processes across the entire company network.

The demand for robust, centralized tracking and reporting systems has spurred on the EHS industry – there are now many EHS software brands competing in the space, some with thousands of clients covering many countries.

By providing a centralized, unified platform, EHS software enables the tracking and reporting of all manner of EHS data.

EHS software provides a powerful business intelligence (BI) tool that can help optimize business processes. By discovering where, when, and why key productivity-damaging events occur, businesses can hone in on bottlenecks and other problematic processes.

EHS Today says that EHS software helped two Fortune 150 companies reduce injury rates and lost workday rates by 67% and 97% respectively. By clamping down on inefficient or dangerous processes, businesses can boost employee safety and productivity.

Integration With Other Data Platforms

EHS software can also connect to various other data platforms, IoT sensors, and mobile devices. Connectivity via APIs allows modern EHS software to integrate with everything from CRMs to OMSs and ERPs.

This allows businesses to efficiently monitor networkwide processes and systems across multiple touchpoints.

Cloud database storage ensures that EHS software can be accessed securely from anywhere with a data connection.

By plugging EHS data into one centrally accessible dashboard, businesses can analyze their data safely and securely from one interface that also doubles up as a reporting tool or data studio.

What are the Benefits of EHS software?

The benefits of EHS software primarily revolve around replacing outdated, inefficient paper processes.

Using paper documents to run a business is woefully inefficient and the time wasted organizing and sorting paper documentation is better spent elsewhere.

When it comes to reporting, compliance, and other legal or regulatory processes and checks, well-maintained, properly organized reports and supporting documentation is crucial.

Failing to provide sufficient documentation to authorities can result in fines, or may even be a breach of the law. Compliance information can be directly uploaded from an EHS to governing bodies, insurers, or auditors.

If companies are storing business-critical information then this also poses a security risk. Using secure EHS software is far more secure.

1)   Saving Papers Costs

Paper has become an unnecessary business expense. It can cost businesses some $25,000 a year to store and maintain paper records, and then there’s the cost of the paper itself which can eat into a company’s ROI. Gartner estimates that some companies can waste as much as 3% of their annual revenue on document storage and paper costs.

Businesses also waste a staggering amount of time looking for lost paper documents; Gartner found that some employees waste as much as 20% of their working week on organizing physical paperwork that could be stored online.

EHS software practically eradicates the cost of paper reporting and storage. This also helps businesses progress towards their paper-free targets, which are mandated in many countries.

2)   Automation

EHS software automates some time-consuming tasks that dent business productivity. Business Money reported that UK employees waste some 40 days a year on tasks that can be easily optimized by robots.

Much of these tasks relate to data input, organization, and the management of everything from rotas, stocktakes, inventory management, accounting, etc. Whilst not all of these tasks lie within the remit of EHS software, EHS software does automate paperwork filing, incident reporting, and data analysis exceptionally well.

An advanced use case would be feeding EHS data into machine learning models or AI algorithms to automatically tune processes for maximum efficiency. An example here is HVAC air-conditioning units – a study published on Towards Data Science optimized business HVAC units using machine learning models to save some 25% energy expenditure across the network.

3)   Predictive Analytics

Predictive analysis allows businesses to respond to developing risks as they develop. An example might be when attendance within a factory is getting dangerously low, risking a serious staff shortage that requires a factory shutdown.

By monitoring data, EHS software algorithms can trigger alerts that enable businesses to act before problems become more serious.

EHS software also simplifies the process of drawing up complex graphs from EHS data, allowing businesses to monitor everything from incident rates to employee attendance, equipment failure, and maintenance schedules.

4)   Visibility

Much EHS software is compatible with smartphones or tablets or comes with mobile phone apps. This allows all employees to benefit from the EHS software, allowing them to check-in/out of sites, monitor and report incidents, and stay in the loop of important business news.

EHS software updates in real-time and increases businesswide awareness of key events, issues, and risks. Keeping employees in the loop boosts their morale, EcoOnline found that over 50% of employees care about sustainability reporting and would like to feel more involved in key business issues.

5)   Process Optimisation

EHS software enables businesses to optimize their processes. Everything from employee management, rota design, attendance reporting, manufacturing/production uptime, and KPI reporting can be optimized with EHS software.

EHS Today highlights how EHS software quickly highlights key issues and risks, allowing businesses to optimize processes to maximize production uptime.

6)   Environment and Sustainability

Environmental and sustainability compliance is eminently important across many industries today. EHS software places significant focus on environmental reporting, enabling businesses to track their carbon neutrality goals, carbon offsetting initiatives, and green and renewable energy usage.

EHS software also simplifies the process of submitting environmental KPI reports to regulatory bodies and other key stakeholders.

What Businesses Benefit from EHS Software?

All businesses are subject to some form of legal and regulatory compliance, but the manufacturing, construction, energy, technology, environmental and financial services industries are amongst the most heavily regulated worldwide.

Any business that finds itself monitoring many processes using outdated methods like paper reports or spreadsheets can benefit from some form of EHS software.

It’s worth mentioning that not all EHS software is maximally outfitted for complex business environments, some are much simpler and more straightforward, aimed primarily at businesses looking to migrate manual processes.

Manufacturing, Construction, and Industrial

EHS software for manufacturing and construction companies enables quicker reporting on key tasks and projects, e.g. production schedules and manufacturing targets. Data can be inducted via machinery software, IoT sensors, mobile devices, and on-premises databases.

Networkwide data can be analyzed from a central dashboard, allowing C-Level executives to hone in on important data, draw up graphs to submit to stakeholders, and monitor the efficiency of their employees and production processes.

EHS software also simplifies environmental and sustainability reporting, as well as compliance.

Energy Industry

The energy industry is fast-moving, diverse, and large in scale. EHS software enables energy companies to report green and sustainable energy compliance, problems across the energy grid, and maintenance schedules.

EHS software also speeds up the process of submitting energy reports to clients and shareholders.

Financial Services and Banking

EHS software for financial services and banking is excellent for storing and organizing business-critical documents. Document storage and automation are big savers in the finance industry.

By eradicating paper processes and streamlining document creation, storage and report, EHS software can cut costs and improve efficiency in the financial services industry. It also simplifies the process of submitting audits and other regulatory or legal documentation.

What is the Cost of EHS Software?

EHS software varies between smaller, scalable platforms that are suitable for smaller businesses and SMBs to large, enterprise-ready SaaS platforms with customizable dashboards and advanced connectivity to other architectures using APIs.

Most EHS software provides an efficient means to track incidents, accidents, injuries, employee attendance, workplace activity, and KPIs. Businesses can set their own goals and create reports within the EHS for submission to authorities, clients, or stakeholders.

How Do You Get Started with EHS Software?

There are many brands and providers of EHS software around today. Selecting one will depend on your desired features, budget, and industry.

Some EHS comparison resources include Capterra (UK and international), Software Advice (international), and G2 (US and international).

Since EHS software has become more popular, there are options out there to suit every business and every budget.

Summary: What Is EHS Software?

EHS software enables the efficient tracking of businesswide environmental, health, and safety data. This covers everything from regulatory and legal compliance to tracking KPIs, monitoring risk, and data analysis.

The main aim of EHS software is to replace manual reporting and paper processes, equipping businesses with a secure, centralized platform to monitor EHS data.

Modern EHS software has become extremely sophisticated and can be integrated into other data architectures. It’s even possible to automate AI or machine learning algorithms using EHS data.

Businesses across virtually any industry can benefit from EHS software. It simplifies the increasingly problematic and time-consuming task of compliance reporting, saving time, money, and effort for both the business and its employees.

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