An innovation project to digitally transform health and safety reporting processes – and capitalise on other benefits of true mobile EHS solutions – requires a broad but clear vision of the desired outcomes and journey ahead.
Once you’ve identified core ingredients such as your organisation’s maturity stage, established objectives and project leadership, then the following themes can help guide you down a successful path.
Below we’ve outlined three key drivers or factors behind a successful digital EHS transformation. (The post is an excerpt from the full report: Accelerating your Digital Transformation with Safety)
1. Map and improve processes with digital technology
Your organisation will already have safety reporting processes such as near-miss reporting, incident reporting, hazard reporting, safety observations and more. In many organisations (67% according to LNS Research) these processes are run with spreadsheets, paper or clunky legacy software.
By first mapping the processes to understand how they work for users and how data needs to flow, you can then assess opportunities for improvement. With the right approach and technology these processes are relatively straightforward to address – delivering the benefits of saving time, increasing engagement and helping to secure compliance and alignment to modern safety standards such as ISO 45001.
2. Increase data collection and quality
Driving an increase in safety data is a key element of a digital transformation of safety. Increasing data enhances the
opportunity you have to understand, analyse and take targeted actions to prevent safety incidents, while ensuring the quality of this data is the key to succeeding.
There are a number of mechanisms through which you can grow your safety data:
• Efficient collection / reporting of data from staff and contractors
• Connected wearables generating and sending data
• Devices and machines connected to the industrial internet of things (IoT)
• Other machine-generated data
• Utilising a global database of hazard data
Your initiative to drive more safety data collection should be multi-faceted, involving a combination of these different mechanisms, with controls and checks on data quality.
3. Mobilize your data – proactive safety
With a wealth of safety data at your disposal the pivotal action your business needs to take is to mobilize the data so it protects your people and provides tangible benefits to your business. This can involve tactics such as real-time communication and notification of data by proximity or other relevance measures; smart and automated workflows triggered by data; or data interrogation and analysis to uncover key trends between safety issues.
Follow-up actions from these insights will be powerful drivers of transformative improvements.
Vice President of EHS at GE, Ann Klee, captured the importance of mobilizing data as a key driver to safety success in an article on the topic.
“Data from sensors, robots, and the cloud will enable the most transformative part of the new industrial revolution — data analysis.
“We are beginning to apply those techniques to improve safety and compliance, and over time, will be able to use data analytics to prevent injuries, environmental releases, and unplanned downtime. In 2015, GE generated 3.5 million EHS data records to support compliance and operational obligations.
“We are now combining that data with a huge stream of other information (about weather, business activity, etc.) and using data visualization and analytics tools. This provides risk managers with real-time, actionable insights about our highest risks and allows for more efficient resource allocation and risk control,” Klee wrote.(1)
Research also spells out the importance of mobilizing data. Harvard Business School professor Marco Iansiti has pointed out that the way in which organisations utilize their data is a key determinant of their digital transformation success.(2)
Read the full report: Accelerating your Digital Transformation with Safety
(1) Ann Klee (2016 ELI Forum), “The Digital Transformation of Environment, Health and Safety”, https://www. linkedin.com/pulse/digital-transformation-environment-health-safety-ann-klee-ann-klee/
(2) Clint Boulton, CIO Magazine, ‘Digital laggards must harness data or get left behind’, https://www.cio.com/article/3122806/it-industry/digital-laggards-must-harness-data-or-get-left-behind.html