EHS is an acronym for Environment, Health, and Safety, an aspect of facilities management focused on risk reduction and safety regulation compliance. An EHS manager compiles relevant data in a centralized data management application, runs risk analysis, and works to reduce or eliminate potential dangers to employees, the community, and the environment.
EHS management concerns itself with the practical applications of workplace safety and regulatory compliance. Wikipedia describes the role of EHS as “what organizations must do to make sure that their activities do not cause harm to others.” While a simple definition, it’s also accurate: as an EHS manager your primary goal is to prevent harm.
What is EHS Software?
EHS Software is a centralized data management application that gathers and stores data on environment and waste management, safety, industrial hygiene, and occupational health. Often modular in nature, EHS software deals with a wide range of data within these larger categories, including:
- Confined space entry permits,
- EHS-Emissions Tracking,
- Environmental analysis and reporting,
- Greenhouse gas emissions,
- Health and Safety
- Incident investigation,
- MSDS management,
- Personal protective equipment,
Reparatory fit test data,
- Spill calculator.
How Can EHS Software Help Your Company?
So, what is EHS software good for, and how can you use it? EHS management applications make it possible to analyze your organization's data that would otherwise be difficult, leading to positive change. Advantages include:
- Completing audits and inspections.
- Complying with local, state, and national EHS regulations.
- Identifying and reducing/eliminating workplace hazards.
- Implementing a company-wide occupational safety and health system.
- Managing and tracking air emissions, hazardous chemicals, and waste.
When used correctly, EHS management fosters a culture of safety excellence, encouraging employees to continuously improve health and safety habits.
Why is EHS Software Modular?
EHS data management systems are often modular in nature. This is in response to the wide range of environment, health, and safety issues companies face. Issues which are of high importance to one company--such as gas emissions--may not be a factor for another (few office buildings need to worry about lockout/tagout procedures). By designing modular systems, EHS software providers allow companies to pick and choose which data to track. This makes EHS applications cost-effective, as you’re only purchasing the modules you need.
Implementing EHS Software
Implementing EHS software is a major undertaking, and requires careful planning and preparation. The process begins with an analysis of your company's needs and the larger network in which EHS software will operate. The advice and recommendations of your software provider are available at this time.
Once installation and initial configuration are complete, the tedious process of legacy data transfer begins. Challenging though transferring 5-10 years of data may be, the payoff is well worth the effort, as you’re providing the new system with the data needed to identify and correct existing issues. Moving forward, EHS management constantly revisits and adapts the use of EHS software to remain in alignment with business and regulatory requirements.
Proper training in the use of EHS management software is essential in order to get the most use out of the application. With the right data, risk assessment becomes more effective, protecting your employees and others from potential hazards while ensuring regulatory compliance.