Bottomline! The magic word that casts a long shadow on all of our business decisions, and yet there is never a point where we can say, “Ah! I don’t want any additional profitability”. In fact, one of the key drivers of tangible profitability - Employee Health & Safety – is increasingly stealing the spot light while simultaneously undergoing an unprecedented state-of-the-art transformation. This transformation is triggered by the realization of the potentially endless possibilities of connecting industrial IoT to robust and comprehensive safety management software.
Know dangerous areas
There shouldn't be any guessing about whether an accident will occur on any given day. With a sound strategy and enterprise hazard analysis software backing an organization's decisions, companies can keep their workers safe.
In Part I of this 2-part series, we discussed commonly used strategies that may be used to target Reduction of Frequency. Specifically; how health and safety management software has encouraged many organizations to refocus and rededicate their current-state EHS training management system. Also, continuous improvement efforts have greatly enhanced traditional approaches with the digitization of behavior-based safety software applications. All of these are significant contributors on the path of frequency reduction – but a focus on severity reduction may be approached in an entirely different manner.
As a Safety professional, I have been on both sides of this question and different arguments are presented by different stakeholders.
- Should your organization have a risk function that operates autonomously from the EH&S Function, the debate may be more focused on reduction of severity.
- Should EH&S align with an operational component, the benchmark may be slanted towards reduction of frequency.
Metropolitan areas across the U.S. saw temperatures drop to historic lows during the first week of 2018, as frigid Arctic air circulated through the Midwest and Northeast, according to data from the Southeast Regional Climate center published on the Weather Channel. With lows falling below zero, families forewent the outdoor activities usually associated with winter for safety reasons. However, many workers braved the dangerous temperatures and wind chills to perform critical tasks, risking their health to keep utilities up and running or roads clear. It is likely such work will be required again over the next two months. With this in mind, businesses with extensive outdoor workforces should prepare their workers for the frigid cold.
Data analytics in manufacturing facilities has provided safety managers with in-depth knowledge on worker performance, efficiency, and even maintenance and operations. As manufacturers aim for operational excellence, data analytics is also helping to improve overall safety within facilities and plants. By gaining insight into safety-related issues, safety managers can proactively manage workplace risk and mitigate on-the-job injuries.
While workplace injury rates have improved in recent years, many businesses are still struggling to protect their employees. Approximately 2.9 million American workers sustained injuries or contracted illnesses on the job in 2016, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In short, there is room for improvement. Firms looking to close the gap should consider embracing incident management strategies and tools.
Workplace safety lapses continue to occur despite the development of preventive engineering solutions. Employers reported 2.9 million nonfatal worker injuries and illnesses in 2016, according to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. More shockingly, more than 5,100 employees died on the clock over the same 12-month span. While both of these figures constitute historical lows, room for significant improvement exists. Environmental health and safety stakeholders can catalyze progress and see further reductions in worker injury and fatality rates by putting into place formalized incident management strategies and the tools that support them.
The diversity of modern work environments means that while the majority of the workforce spends its days in a building, it is equally likely others work in the great outdoors. And while the latter work hazards may differ greatly from those encountered inside, companies still need to make sure that their occupational safety protocols are compliant with federal regulations.
The end of a year is a time for companies to reflect, review and, inevitably, make business-orientated resolutions for the next 12 months. Irrespective of the size of an organization, the roadmap for 2018 will have been planned, with the expectation being that stated goals will not only be achieved before the end of 2018, but also contribute to a healthy bottom line.