How Mobile Will Be Critical to the Future of EHS Risk Management

Kaileigh Peyton

Technological innovations have made our lives easier and more productive in many ways. With the introduction of mobile technologies, everyday tasks that once required a great amount of time and energy – such as navigating travel directions, conducting in-depth research, and managing complex finances –have become streamlined and simplified, and we’re now able to stay in touch with people around the world with ease. The same is true for EHS risk management. In the past several years, an increasing number of companies have begun adopting mobile technologies to expand their capabilities and resources in the field. As a result, operational risk managers, EHS managers and their teams are able to perform a wider array of operational tasks with greater agility and efficiency than ever and access to information right at their fingertips.

Why Mobile is More Crucial Than Ever in EHS Risk Management

In its 2021 Green Quadrant report – in which Benchmark ESG was positioned as a market leader for EHS software solutions – independent research and consulting firm Verdantix found that mobile EHS technologies will be the greatest technological investment of high-risk organizations. According interviews with 15 EHS software customers in high-risk industries, Verdantix found that 23% of respondents said they would be increasing their EHS mobile software spend by 1% to 9%; 17% said they would increase by 10% to 25%; and 6% said they would increase by more than 25%. As a wider variety of EHS mobile applications are developed, it’s not surprising that more risk managers are getting on board with EHS risk management applications. Without these critical tools, your organization may be missing opportunities to improve operational efficiencies.

1) Improved Efficiencies & Opportunities

Collecting data at the point-of-action is an important aspect of EHS risk management, allowing for timely trend analysis and identification of unsafe behaviors and conditions. On-the-spot, immediate logging of data improves accuracy compared to traditional methods of logging in excel spreadsheets and later logging it into a system, which can reduce the accuracy/integrity of data. There’s also great benefit to being able to funnel data into an enterprise database rather than residing on an individual’s device.

Data is a powerful tool when entered into a digital database through EHS applications and can fuel modeling programs to track leading indicators of safety incidences. Occupational injuries and illnesses cost U.S. businesses $170 billion annually, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Using comprehensive Audit Management Software and mobile-connected solutions not only helps safety managers keep their workers safer, but it also saves organizations money.

Another cost savings is likely to come following a year of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CEOs of major airlines American, United, and Delta estimate that between 19% and 36% of business travel could be eliminated permanently. The use of software platforms that connect teams remotely will in many instances continue to replace that travel well after the pandemic travel restrictions. Fortunately for EHS risk management leaders, there are specific solutions for connecting them to worksites, such as U Connect™. Compared to other communications platforms, U Connect was developed especially for EHS leaders in mind, allowing them to connect in the moment with functional supporting roles such as on-location experts for audit, inspection, maintenance checks, and more, from desktop and mobile devices, for a streamlined experience similar to if they were actually out in the field.

2) Increased Employee Engagement & Development

Not only can mobile technology help improve your safety operations, but it can also be a powerful tool to engage with your workforce and develop their skill sets. By integrating organization communications through a mobile app, both on-site and remote field workers can stay connected with general company news and pertinent details specific to their functional teams, enhancing their engagement with the organization and improving employee buy-in throughout the implementation of new technologies and processes. With a built-in real-time feedback feature, organizations can also collect information as it happens to reduce risk and protect workers from unsafe conditions.

Often for workers who are not stationed at a desk, developing their knowledge and skills can be a difficult endeavor. A growing trend for learning in short segments over time is called microlearning, which entails brief instructional courses, usually featuring multimedia videos and presentations, geared toward immediate application of knowledge. This type of instructional framework based on mobile devices is highly effective and can teach workers in a fraction of the time of lengthy coursework, saving time and money. Microlearning also provides the benefit of on-the-spot training. When behaviors can be corrected immediately after they have occurred, it’s easier to address and train in real-time, as opposed to after the fact. By reacting proactively, instead of reactionarily, field teams’ skills stay sharpened and your risk of safety incidences can be lowered.

Another result of the pandemic that may remain in some capacity is employee self-certification, where workers have used their mobile devices to self-assess their health for infection prevention. These assessments have also been used as a checklist to ensure safe working conditions, including reminders for handwashing, disinfecting of high-traffic areas, workstations, and equipment, and ensuring ventilation systems are maintained and filters are changed. By creating custom assessment lists and procedures, organizations can tailor their safety programs to best fit the needs of their workers and on-site visitors.

3) How to Implement Mobile at Your Organization

With so many opportunities for operations improvement and employee engagement, mobile apps integrated with robust EHS software will become increasingly prevalent in the future. To implement mobile EHS software for your organization, you should work with a knowledgeable expert who can identify solutions that best fit your operational needs. At Benchmark ESG, we stand ready to consult with you on your pressing EHS needs and ensure your organization’s successful implementation. Contact us to learn how to get started!

In addition to our Mobile App, we also offer cutting-edge enhancements with every Benchmark ESG subscription, including artificial intelligence virtual assistant Genny®, U Connect®, IOT: Connected Enterprise/Worker, Analytics by Tableau®, pSIF AI Advisor™, and availability third-party API integrations. It is our mission to offer best-in-class digital transformation software solutions to help you deliver on your operational risk, compliance, and sustainable business management goals. Through our relentless dedication to innovation and collaboration with subscribers, we will ensure you have all the tools and data-driven insights you need to achieve EHS & ESG success.