How to Effectively Use Occupational Health and Safety Systems in Your Small Business (Safety Management Training is Key)

Occupational health and safety systems are increasingly becoming tech-heavy but so is the new generation of EHS experts

Data from workplace safety management regulatory agencies such as the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and OSHA in the US show startling reports. Workplaces lost the highest number of employees due to occupational health hazards and incidents than in previous years.

The Toll of Neglect

In the period 2017/2018 in the UK, 144 workers lost their lives while an additional 100 members of public were caught up in a work-related incident and lost their lives in the process. In the US, the AFL-CIO found 5,190 workers lost their lives on the job which was an increase from the previous year.

Between 50,000 and 60,000 US workers died from occupational diseases, according to the AFL-CIO study appropriately titled ‘Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect’.

But organizations can avoid the unnecessary loss of lives, morale, productivity, increase in insurance claims, EHS compliance fines, and plummeting bottom lines by training staff to best use occupational health and safety systems already in place or planned.

Establishing a safe workplace and safety management culture at the workplace is necessary for ensuring occupational health and safety systems run and protect workers as they ought to.

Training is Necessary for Several Reasons.

In 2011, it was estimated that the number of safety management and occupational health and safety system experts had dwindled drastically over the last 20 years.

More and more occupational health and safety professionals are getting older and retiring every year, according to a 2017 study.

The US Bureau of Labor forecasts the demand for safety technicians, engineers, and specialist to increase by 7%, 10% and 11% over the next four years. The body also predicts environmental, health and safety (EHS) professionals’ pay to hike due to the demand, attracting younger, highly-qualified people.

As the EHS industry advances to using EHS software, safety management apps, and IoT powered occupational health and safety systems, EHS management will need tech-savvy professionals to ensure effective implementation at their workplaces.

That would be a good thing for small, medium and large business with young workers that are more receptive to technology use to solve problems both at the workplace and in their private lives.

And Then There Are the New ISO 45001:2018 Requirements

The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) published the new set of occupational health and safety requirements in March 2018.

Most of 2018 continues to be a time when organizations are still managing the change.

The ISO 45001 standards, while compatible with other ISO quality management standards, presents a new challenge to organizations. Forward-thinking small businesses are already training staff to adopt the new requirements into their safety management culture.

A small business that has few workers and chose to start early are already adapting to the new change. Others with more complex occupational health and management systems are searching for solutions such as the best EHS software solutions to help them become compliant, competitive, and reap implementation benefits of ISO 45001.

Are you?     

Adam Torkildson