Choosing the Best EHS Software
EHS Software comes in many different shapes and sizes, and it’s not always easy to know the differences between them. Which ones are great? Which ones aren’t? And which one is right for me? Keep reading as we share some tips on how to make a great decision when looking for the best EHS software.
Before we get rolling, let’s start with a quick question. How would you rate your safety knowledge? Experienced safety superuser? Brand new safety searcher? We’ve got you covered either way, but if you already know your stuff, go ahead and skip down to the heart of the article. If you are still learning the safety terminology, this next bit is for you!
Let’s start with an explanation. What is EHS? EHS stands for Environment, Health and Safety. And EHS software can include a wide variety of features such as employee training, injury prevention, incident reporting, safety inspections, audit forms, and so on. A great EHS system will help keep your organization running smoothly, safely, efficiently – and in full compliance with occupational health and safety guidelines.
But how do you choose?
Finding the right fit can be hard. Obviously, you’ll need to look at your organization and determine the most important priorities. And once you know that you can start to narrow down the search. Most systems include a demo or trial – which is highly recommended! You can test drive the system, speak with a representative, and dive deep into all the different features and benefits. While you are doing that, there are a few key features to keep in mind.
Here are five EHS software features you need to consider when choosing your system.
1. Inspections, Assessments, and Audits
Paperwork not only takes up a lot of time, but also a lot of space. In a large company, this can mean dealing with tall stacks of folders and shelves full of binders. What if there is a fire or flood? When you need to access your information remotely, physical documents aren’t always the best solution.
With EHS software, you can change your forms into a digital version, and capture information offsite as well as in the office. Information can be accessed within seconds through desktop and mobile apps, and forms are stored immediately once they are completed. For example, field level hazard assessments (FLHA) can be completed with a mobile app while in the field, and the forms will be securely uploaded for safe keeping.
Have you ever witnessed an employee running through a worksite chasing down a paper form on a windy day? Perhaps it’s time to go digital.
Manual reports are a thing of the past. With the help of a powerful EHS system, you will have access to information and reports in real-time. Keep track of injuries, incidents, and safety performance. Create automatic reports for employee training, gap analysis and risk assessment. Or find trends in your workplace to help reduce downtime in the future.
Good reporting will allow you to answer questions like:
- How many employees have completed the latest safety course?
- Is there a specific area of safety where the company is lacking?
- Which accidents and near misses are currently the most common?
Good reporting is as important as good recordkeeping.
3. Employee Training with an LMS
Learning Management Systems (LMS) allow you to deliver training to your employees (in class or online), track employee participation, and stay on top of training certificates and expiry dates automatically. In a world where safety is increasingly important, finding a good LMS will pay for itself with improved efficiency and reduced injuries.
Picture this – you need to send an employee to a job site, and the site requires a specific level of training. You’re pretty sure the employee has the training, but you can’t recall if it’s current or if it’s expired. Where is their training certificate? When was the training completed? With an LMS, finding this information is simple.
In fact, an LMS can do many things. Need to develop your own internal training programs? Create a system to onboard new employees? Make sure training certifications don’t lapse? How about jobsite specific orientation training? A great LMS can take care of all of these for you.
4. EHS and LMS Integration
There are many options for EHS software as well as LMS providers. Finding a system that does both means a lot less administrative work and a lot more productivity. If training is important to your organization (it is) and finding software that makes your life easier is a priority (it should be), then finding EHS software that integrates with a LMS is the best option.
A Training Record Management System (TRMS) is a complementary module to an LMS and keeps a detailed learning profile of each employee, making it easy for supervisors and managers to keep track of training requirements and monitor learning progress. Add in a training matrix, and you can quickly assign courses to employees based on job role or location.
Following our previous example, what if the employee you assigned to a jobsite calls in sick? Who can you get to quickly replace them that also has the required training? Having the ability to quickly identify staff their current level of training, is just one of the many benefits of using an EHS solution that includes a LMS for training management.
It’s one thing to find the system that has all the features you require, and another thing entirely to find a company that you are excited to work with. This may not be the top item on your list, but the level of support offered by your EHS software provider will go a long way to determining the success of your implementation.
Do they charge for support? How much support is included? Will the company help you with your setup, or are you on your own? This area should not be overlooked in the decision-making process.
Think about it – if you are looking to buy a vehicle, does the warranty that comes with it impact your decision? If a company is less likely to support their product, how willing are you to trust them?
Ask a lot of questions, and make sure you know what you are getting into, and how much help you’ll receive along the way.
Choosing the best EHS Software
There are many options when searching for the best EHS software, and there are most certainly some systems that are better than others, or ones that are a better fit for your needs. The best advice? When searching for a solution to your organizations’ health and safety software, cost will play a large role in your decision making as always. However, it is far more important to find the right system – it will save you time and money in the long run!