by Greg Lathan
and Heidi Bramblett
Manager, EHS Software Solutions
Fortune 1000 manufacturing firms are increasingly turning to EHS software to better manage and maintain their environmental, health, and safety compliance obligations. The primary purpose of EHS software is to support day-to-day strategic activities related to compliance management, incident management, employee training, hazard recognition and risk analysis. Utilization of EHS software as an organizational and management tool has many benefits. These include improving safety culture, tracking safety compliance training, reducing workplace accidents, documenting industrial hygiene exposure monitoring as well as efforts associated with employee medical screening/monitoring and documenting compliance with air, water and hazardous waste applicable regulations.
There are numerous EHS software platforms available on the market. Choosing the best commercially available product for your specific operation is extremely important.
Considerations When Selecting the Optimal EHS Software Package for Your Operation:
|What is the overall cost of the EHS software package? Is there an annual subscription/support fee?
|Does your operation have any IT restrictions/requirements for technology platforms or architecture for EHS software?
|Will the EHS platform be shared by multiple operations or targeted for only your operation?
|Does the EHS software package include periodic updates? If so, are the updates free?
|Can the software package be integrated into existing systems used by facility HR, finance and manufacturing operations?
|Will the system interact with mobile applications (extremely critical for field data collection and retrieval). Which applications are mobile friendly?
|Can the EHS software be easily customized “in house” for your particular applications or will the vendor or an experienced programmer be required to tailor the package to your operation?
|Does the EHS software possess the standard applications necessary for your facility? Can it produce the routine reports you, facility management and regulators need? Does it supply automated notifications and reporting?
|Does it possess a user hierarchy? Does it contain provisions for securing information?
It is prudent to address these considerations when selecting the optimal EHS software package for your specific operation. You may also want to consider reviews produced by Capterra, an independent research consulting firm which ranks top software platforms for business management, including those which target safety programs and environmental programs. The ranking includes customer feedback on ease of use, the availability of customer service and overall value based on overall platform cost. Top features of each package are also ranked, such as reporting/analytics, ease of data import/export compliance, mobile device navigation and management of documents (including the ability to customize reports), compliance audits, inspections and training programs. Each ranking also provides a link to each individual EHS software platform web site, as well as actual feedback from their industrial customers.
If personalized advice is what you’re seeking, another excellent resource is Verdantix, who provides a comprehensive evaluation and comparison to guide your decision making process. They include these insights in their EHS Software Green Quadrant report that combines a 353-point questionnaire and a two-and-a-half-hour live, global corporate survey.
EHS software can streamline regulatory compliance by improving operational efficiency, facilitating the accessibility of program guidelines to the general workforce and easing burdens associated with regulatory reporting/permitting. These platforms also allow facilities to simplify, prioritize and organize milestones associated with achieving short and long term compliance initiatives. Once the optimal EHS software package has been identified, most commercially available platforms can be further customized and fine-tuned to your specific facility or operation.
Next: “How EHS Software Can Organize and Drive ESG Program Development”
How We Can Help
Implementing and maintaining the large number of commercially EHS software platforms requires specialized user expertise, as well as a deep foundation in EHS regulatory compliance over a broad base of industry types. EI’s EHS software management group offers a team of experts with comprehensive knowledge of EHS best practices, ensuring they stay updated on regulatory changes, emerging technologies, and industry trends. This expertise allows organizations to benefit from our knowledge without investing in constant training and development. EI can help you customize your software to meet the specific needs of the your operation. Our team of users bring expertise to various industries like energy, construction, automotive, and pharmaceuticals.