Managing environmental, health, and safety (EHS) risks is important for protecting the welfare of your employees and even your customers. You may feel you have a good handle on EHS risks, but changes can cause new risks to arise or can heighten certain hazards you’re already managing. Understanding the causes for increased EHS risks can help you take a more proactive approach to EHS risk management. 

For What Types of Changes Should You Watch Out?

Watch out for these changes because they can all lead to new or increased environmental, health, and safety risks for your organization:

  • Personnel Changes

Many companies today are experiencing significant turnover, and this can create an EHS challenge. New employees or contractors may not fully understand your safety standards or may have a general lack of expertise and experience that can introduce more risk to a jobsite. 

In fact, research shows that employees in their first month on the job are more than three times as likely to experience a lost-time injury compared to employees with more than a year of tenure. Needless to say, safety training should be a top priority for new employees to minimize these risks.

  • Internal Process Adjustments

Sometimes, it’s necessary to make updates to your business processes or procedures. Though these updates often lead to improvements such as more efficiency, they can also introduce new EHS risks.

For example, maybe you’ve installed new manufacturing equipment that will make employees’ jobs easier and improve quality control. That’s a great move, but employees may not be as familiar with how to operate the new equipment safely, which could lead to possible accidents without the proper training and new safety policies.

  • Supply Chain Shifts

Even if everything remains consistent within your company, new partnerships with outside service providers or new suppliers can introduce some unknowns. These unknowns can sometimes involve risks. A weak safety link in your supply chain could cause problems for your own employees or customers. 

It’s best to ensure safety is a priority for every company in your supply chain as it is for your own company. The deputy general secretary for the International Trade Union Confederation recommends companies include a safety clause in all supply chain contracts for this reason.

  • New Products or Services 

When a company creates a new product or a new service offering, they need to look for new risks that could be inherent in that new product or service. For one thing, new products must go through rigorous testing to ensure they meet your safety standards for your customers.

For your employees, new products or services often mean new types of work, which can bring about unfamiliar hazards. For example, a construction company that is taking on a roofing job for the first time must consider the distinct hazards inherent in this type of work and be sure to mitigate these risks with the proper training, procedures, and protective equipment.

  • Updated Regulations

An important part of EHS is complying with regulations from authoritative bodies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). New or updated regulations introduce new risks of noncompliance. 

Some companies are in heavily regulated industries, such as energy, automotive manufacturing, or pharmaceuticals. Especially in these cases, these companies must stay abreast of ongoing regulation changes in order to ensure they comply with the current standards and requirements. 

How Can Automation Software Help You Manage EHS Risks During Changes? 

Software solutions can help you identify, evaluate, and mitigate all EHS risks arising from changes affecting the enterprise. Here are just a few of the ways a software solution could help your company improve EHS risk management:

  • Monitor hazards through automated pattern detection. The right software can use automatic pattern detection to help you monitor live footage of workers. The system can compare what it’s “seeing” to historical data to identify things that seem to be amiss and alert you to the possible hazard.
  • Digitize EHS compliance checklists and forms. Checklists can help you ensure you remain compliant with your own safety standards and official safety regulations, but trying to manage these manually can be a hassle. A digital EHS program streamlines the process so you can better manage the forms and checklists you count on to stay compliant.
  • Keep careful safety records. Another aspect of digital document management is maintaining detailed safety records that you can easily search for and access as needed. You may even be able to gain insights into future risks to address based on past data.

  • Create and optimize custom workflows. Every company is different, so a one-size-fits-all solution to managing EHS risks is not ideal. Fortunately, you can customize your own solution on a no-code platform, creating workflows that are unique to your company so you can directly manage the risks that are specific to you.

Get Started with Pulpstream

When you have a solid understanding of all the sorts of changes that can affect your organization and the impact of each of these changes on EHS risks, you’re ready to enhance your EHS performance through a custom software solution.  

Schedule a demo to learn how Pulpstream can give you the tools you need to expertly manage EHS risks.