Author Bio ▼

Scott leads integration of the EHSQ Alliance in thought leadership and building partnerships with key clients and other top influencers in EHS. He is responsible for the engagement of EHS professionals across the globe to provide a platform for sharing information and collectively driving solutions that mitigate workplace loss. Before joining Intelex, Scott was Vice President, Global Environment, Health, and Safety for Coveris High Performance Packaging Company, Executive Director of Global EHS for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Global Director of Occupational Safety and Health at Kimberly-Clark and GE Company as EHS Director. Mr. Gaddis has been published in various EHS trade journals and has lectured at National and International EHS conferences. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Safety and Health from Murray State University in Murray, KY.
July 18, 2023

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Data, data everywhere – managing tech for HS professionals

Scott Gaddis at Intelex Technologies says we should embrace new technology to enhance tired processes.

CREDIT: Joshua Sortino/Unsplash

When COVID-19 sent people home to work, many businesses discovered how unreliable their processes were. When people were together in the office, there were ad hoc processes helping people get through the day. However, with that accessibility gone, process problems were badly exposed.

Digital technology, automation, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are already proving to be critical components of making businesses stronger and more resilient. Integrated systems that provide common standards for data quality help to ensure accurate measurement and reporting of everything from EHS incidents to emissions for ESG reporting. Without an integrated system, data can sit isolated and redundant, which means organisations need to revert to spreadsheets and manual methods of managing data. However, despite the rapid innovation taking place in digitisation, many organisations continue to struggle with implementing the right tools to collect, manage, and report on their data for EHS and ESG requirements.

EHS culture

Following the return to workplaces, a heightened cultural awareness of employee health and safety quickly emerged – however, there is more to be done to translate this awareness into engagement and action to drive better worker support and protection.

We know that employee engagement is fundamental to uncovering incidents and near-misses faster and more effectively. The question that many companies ask themselves is how they can get front-line employees engaged in the process. This can differ from organisation to organisation, however being able to demonstrate that the health and safety initiatives introduced are having an impact is a sound place to start. As a result, many organisations are prioritising and using technology and training specifically targeted at improving health and safety processes.

Data is key

Companies must have their data in order. If not, they will be unable to track and measure their health and safety performance effectively, and as such, will not be able to demonstrate to their workers the new practices in place are having an impact.  However, many EHS and ESG professionals report feeling overwhelmed and ill-equipped to manage these often vast sums of data.

Research from Intelex found that of those health and safety professionals who have experienced at least one health and safety incident in the last 12 months, almost were struggling to extract, format and submit the data they need to deal with the challenge successfully. Other findings from the report identified that:

  • 32% said they lack the correct technology to collect and analyse the data needed.
  • Only 9% report having fully integrated systems.
  • 62% in EHS are using technology solutions not designed for EHS.
  • 21% are still using paper for tracking and managing incidents.
  • 44% don’t have consistent EHS data.
  • 38% don’t collect the data they need when incidents occur.

However, almost nine out of 10 respondents believe implementing technologies and applications specifically designed for monitoring, managing and reporting health and safety would resolve the majority of their organisation’s health and safety issues. This highlights that an integrated system to manage the data-intensive tasks of EHS and ESG is quickly becoming a necessity for any organisation that wants to meet regulatory requirements.

Siloed data

While many leaders might consider these shortcomings to be simple process inefficiencies managed by their IT departments, the potential consequences are far more significant. When an organisation has siloed data resulting from unintegrated systems, it requires human specialists to collect and analyse that data manually, requiring significant time and money. This means that AI and other analytical tools fall short of the data required for predictive analytics – it means the information needed to make real-time decisions that could save lives.

The easiest way for companies to improve their safety culture is to implement proven and experienced technological solutions alongside a well-supported internal communications programme from senior management. Using the right technology enables businesses to access the information they need quickly and efficiently, and to produce accurate and timely reporting.

Tech at the heart

There are technology applications available that help organisations adapt to a dynamic and demanding future. Through technology, companies can collect and manage the data they need for predictive analytics that can prevent incidents, create standardised reporting and contribute to sustainable and environmentally responsible methods of doing business.

Discover more…

  • Click here to listen to Intelex’s latest webinar in association with SHP, The five elements of a successful data-driven safety culture.
  • Click here to download Intelex’s latest whitepaper for SHP, The Intelex Environmental, Health & Safety Blueprint: How to drive proactive improvements across your business.


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