The top 6 ways social and mobile tools can benefit EH&S

December 22, 2016

Just one workplace incident can have a major impact on employees, the community and the organization within which it occurs. This is why risk management remains a mission-critical aspect of every business.

Managing risk relies on EH&S staff being equipped with the best tools that enable them to create more effective strategies. In today’s society, that means an increasing reliance on social apps and mobile technology.

Effective risk management requires data collection, near-miss reporting and organizational collaboration to be simple and effective, but disparate systems and the inability for teams to communicate efficiently have hampered such efficiency in the past.

Not anymore. The rich digital world in which we now find ourselves is proving a real boon for EH&S professionals.

In this post, we’re going to consider exactly how mobile and social tools can benefit EH&S.

  1. User engagement

If employees are daunted by a cumbersome EH&S management system, they simply won’t engage with it. In turn, that means the risk of workplace incidents increases.

This simple equation is all too easily forgotten, but with the right tools in place, employees will become far more engaged with EH&S and feel empowered to get involved.

Social and mobile EH&S tools feature approachable user interfaces that provide clear indications of the expected input and offer tangible recognition of positive actions. As a result, engagement increases and risk reporting becomes second nature. Another simple equation!

  1. Field event reporting

Incidents are rarely confined to one physical location within a business. Risk is prevalent everywhere, be it in the warehouse, factory or while visiting a customer.

Managing risk in locations beyond the reach of the EH&S team is inherently difficult, but with mobile tools, the process becomes far easier. Near-misses, hazards and incidents can all be reported from smartphones and tablets, which greatly expedites the remediation process.

The world becomes a much smaller, more connected place when mobile technology is leveraged correctly.

  1. Increased visibility

Anyone working within the field of EH&S will tell you that great communication lies at the heart of their job. Equally, the ability to gain an unobstructed, bird’s eye view of the entire business estate is key to creating a safer workplace.

With mobile apps available to every employee, hazards, near-misses and incidents can all be reported instantly and to the most relevant parties.

Similarly, social tools enable employees to gain an immediate overview of the risks that are relevant to their role and even view regulatory update feeds from HSE and OSHA.

  1. Better task management

Addressing workplace incidents usually requires a number of actions to be undertaken. Coordinating these multiple actions and doing so in a way that properly mitigates future risk is, unfortunately, a task in itself.

Mobile and social tools can help here, too, by providing solutions for task management that enable the responses to incidents to be organized and delegated based on role. Reminders and a clear audit trail ensure that these essential tasks are far more likely to be completed.

  1. Document and information sharing

Even the best EH&S strategy will struggle to weave its way into the fabric of a business if employees don’t feel able to share information with their colleagues.

Thanks to mobile tools and the inherent sharing culture built into social apps, EH&S now benefits from the ability for anyone to publish policies, documents and video content directly from their smartphones.

  1. Improved compliance

If you work in EH&S, the sight of ‘improved compliance’ might raise a smile.

Maintaining consistent compliance with ever-changing health and safety regulations is a constant battle, but modern technology can simplify the process by enabling inspection checklists, audit protocols and other relevant EH&S information to be pushed directly to the mobile devices of the right personnel.

Large, multi-site organizations find this particularly useful, as it helps ensure that all locations remain compliant, thus preventing one building or department from having the ability to undermine the entire EH&S strategy.

Conclusion

Mobile and social tools in EH&S increase visibility, reduce errors, improve data collection and encourage buy-in from every corner of the operation.

A risk management strategy is nothing if it isn’t light on its feet and mobile. With modern technology, this essential element of business is more accessible to all.

Learn more about how social and mobile tools can benefit EH&S in our whitepaper, Six Ways That Social and Mobile Apps Are Revolutionizing Corporate Risk Management. Download it here.

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