How Increased Visibility & Control Minimizes Risk

November 15, 2016

No matter how big or small your business, gaining full visibility over every inherent risk it contains is a near impossible task. With so many intricate processes, varying departmental layouts and differing personalities on display, minimizing risk in the workplace is one of the biggest challenges businesses face.

Sadly, it is for this reason that EH&S is sometimes placed at the back of the queue when it comes to the priorities of a commercial organization. We’re all guilty of occasionally leaving the hardest tasks until last, and controlling and mitigating risk at work is no different.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and the key lies in an organization’s ability to increase the visibility of risk across the entire business. Everyone, from those sitting around the board table to the people on the front line, plays a key role in this process.

Let’s consider the results of increasing visibility and control in EH&S and how businesses can go about achieving it.

It starts with commitment to EH&S

For any EH&S program to be successful, buy-in is required, company-wide. As usual, that starts at the top, which is why it is essential that businesses make a solid commitment to EH&S in everything they do.

Just as you would map out the commercial strategy for the organization, the same should be done for health and safety. It should be a regular topic during departmental meetings and praised during larger staff get-togethers when risk is proven to be under control.

The trickle effect when leading from the top on EH&S can be very powerful indeed.

The importance of audits and inspections

By implementing EH&S software, businesses can far better inspect and audit the health and safety aspects of the business.

Regular audits and inspections are two of the best ways to increase visibility of risk within an organization. By capturing key data, the wellbeing of employees and their environment can be assessed in far greater detail. Potential accidents can be predicted and processes changed to be made more safe.

Visibility in EH&S usually refers to numbers and statistics. And, far from being a turn-off, such analytical data provides a fascinating insight into how the company operates from a health and safety perspective. It can also span incredibly diverse areas including facility management, training and competence and asset reporting.

The results of increased EH&S visibility

So, how does the ability to gain a detailed insight into the EH&S performance of a business translate into real, tangible results?

We think there are five key benefits to investing in tools that lift the lid on health and safety within an organization:

1) Significant incident reduction. Greater visibility of risk will always result in a reduction in workplace incidents. And, assuming buy-in has been achieved across the business, that reduction should be significant.

2) Return on investment. Increasing the visibility of risk requires investment in the right systems. On the surface, this can seem like another unnecessary overhead, but the result of implementing such technology will be a fabulous return on investment. Incidents cost businesses greatly and any reduction in risk will all but eradicate expensive insurance payouts and severance packages.

3) Improves approach to risk. When you can see the types of risk that are prevalent within your organization, the natural inclination is to improve your approach to EH&S. A company-wide focus on the matter will therefore foster a far more strategic approach to risk that will ultimately result in fewer incidents.

4) Encourages standardization. Processes and EH&S data should always be standardized in order to mitigate risk, and better visibility enables business to also keep on top of key regulatory differences at regional level.

5) Increases focus on safety. Once the veil is lifted from the risks inherent within a business, the focus on EH&S and its sustainability will permeate from board level to every function of the organization.

The benefits of increasing the visibility of risk within a business are compelling, but they require top-down direction and full co-operation, company-wide, if they’re to be fully realized.

Summary

EH&S transparency is vital if businesses are to remain safe places to work. When lifting the lid on inherent risks, organizations can greatly reduce the number of incidents, approve the company-wide approach to EH&S and gain a healthy return on investment.

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