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.
January 11, 2024

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Navigating the future: EHS workforce and training in a new era of tech

In the first of a new mini-series, Scott Gaddis at Intelex looks at the challenges and opportunities in 2024 for EHS professionals, beginning with training and technology.

As we reflect on the achievements of 2023, the EHS sector continues to evolve, driven by technological advancements, regulatory changes, and a growing public awareness of the importance of sustainability. In this developing landscape, the workforce continues to drive organisational success. It also requires workers to understand both traditional safety practices and complex EHS challenges in the modern workplace.

CREDIT: Javier Allegue Barros/Unsplash

Critical factor

Technical competency is still a critical factor in what we do, so I believe acquiring knowledge about the regulations and standards governing our industry is vital. Robust compliance management standards – such as ISO 45001 and ISO 14001 – guide much of our work in EHS, so EHS leaders must have a deep technical understanding of these and other related standards.

With the workplace becoming home to increasingly sophisticated technology systems for other business functions, including maintenance, HR, and finance, EHS leaders need to understand how this additional complexity will impact workplace safety. Systems thinking will be a critical skill as EHS leaders manage how integrated or disparate technology systems could increase risk or loss potential for frontline workers. In addition, they will also need the ability to understand and employ technologies that directly move towards removing risk and loss potential from the working practices of their organisation.


Worker training is a critical element of workplace safety, and I love being in the classroom and speaking directly to workers. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to reconsider the value of such traditional training methods. The changing worker demographic is a further consideration; with younger workers expecting more virtual and mobile training options, the way we teach safety must change. Millennials and Gen-Z workers – who will make up more than 50% of the workforce by 2030 – want short, concise, and engaging learning experiences that use technology instead of classroom teachers to deliver material. That does not mean we eliminate in-person, face-to-face training, but we must adapt to a blended macro- and micro-learning approach, which will allow for a more tailored and effective training experience relevant to the needs of the future workforce.

We also need to make sure our EHS programmes incorporate the post-pandemic physical environment of the workplace. As the physical working environment changes to accommodate new technology and new production approaches, the safety management system needs to remain a dynamic system that constantly learns and adapts for continual improvement. The use of digital training resources to increase knowledge is key, as well as providing easy-to-access virtual portals to every employee to host virtual calls.

Complete wellbeing

While EHS has traditionally focused on physical health in the workplace, mental health has become an important area of focus. Workers are increasingly under more psychological pressure at work, with the risks from this including worker absenteeism or distractions that could result in injuries or fatalities. In addition to the physical workplace, remote work presents its own unique challenges to psychological health. The EHS practitioner must therefore consider a more comprehensive approach to foster a safe and healthy work environment through continuous assessment, employee feedback, and ongoing improvement efforts. As we move forward, EHS plans must not only adapt to the traditional challenges of a changing landscape but also proactively promote the complete wellbeing of the workforce.

Unprecedented change

In conclusion, the EHS industry faces unprecedented change. Navigating this future landscape requires a workforce that is not only well-prepared for current challenges but is also equipped to anticipate and adapt to the uncertainties that lie ahead. By prioritising technological proficiency, continuous learning, personalised training, and collaborative working, organisations can build a resilient EHS workforce ready to shape the sustainable and safe workplaces of tomorrow.

Find out more…

Click here to listen to the on-demand webinar, Increase Safety Engagement for Frontline Workers: How to Unlock a Culture of Safety with Mobile Digital Devices, in association with Intelex.

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