Picking the best EHS software solution for your company is a massive task. As a result, the journey from selection to implementation can span months.
It’s no wonder, though. So many vendors promise the ultimate (and safest) solution. However, with little differentiation between softwares, it can feel like you’re wading through the EHS marketplace.
In fact, independent analyst firm Verdantix found the overwhelming similarity of EHS software vendors leaves buyers confused.
Sounds familiar? Then you’re in the right place. This blog post is here to guide you in finding the best EHS software for your company.
First, we’ll ask why EHS software is essential for worker safety. Then, we’ll look at the recommended capabilities of the software, and how it fits with your company. Finally, we’ll discuss the best comparison websites to aid your search.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Why you need EHS software
First things first, what are the benefits of EHS software?
In a nutshell, EHS software collects and manages a wide range of data on a company’s occupational health and safety and environmental impact. This data is analysed to provide incident insights, letting you put preventative measures in place.
The software eases the management process by pulling together forms, workflows, notifications, dashboards, libraries and the data warehouse into one place, consequently improving transparency and performance.
Lastly, and most importantly, configurable and flexible EHS software moves with any new health, safety and environmental compliance legislation. Also, it helps plan and document inspections and audits, so you’re never caught out.
Now, we know why you should get EHS software. But to get the best EHS software, look out for these four capabilities:
The integration capability is very attractive for buyers searching for the best EHS software. If EHS software was a game of Mario Kart, integration and configurability would akin to speed and acceleration – the necessities for winning a race!
What’s the big deal about integration?
To put it simply, an EHS software unable to integrate with your workplace systems is a major inconvenience. Switching between systems (and learning a new interface) only increases time-spent. That’s not what we want.
Integration between IT programs builds a unified business process and if something is easier to do, your users are more likely to do it. When it comes to user adoption, integration with your other IT is a no-brainer—especially if it means no new log-ins to remember.
Furthermore, if you're able to fit EHS software in with your company’s IT strategy, your IT team is more likely to be on-side. You’ll be making use of what your company has already invested in. Don’t reinvent the wheel!
Now’s a good time to mention Pro-Sapien’s seamless, and unique, integration with Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365.
Now, let’s look at configurability. As we mentioned, like acceleration, configurability is crucial in winning the Mario Kart race of buying the best EHS software.
So much so, Verdantix found the ability to configure forms and workflows is considered ‘Important’ to 92% of respondents, with 48% citing it ‘Very Important’.
Configurable EHS software has three major benefits: it will better support efficiency, improve the rate of user adoption, and avoid the need for you to drastically change your internal processes.
Flexibility in your software is an industry standard best practice. The recently published ISO 45001:2018 states EHS software applications must be flexible to make improving safety easier.
To sum up, configurability is king.
What do you want your software to do? The type of industry your business is in comes into play here, of course. An outdoor worker and an office worker will be at risk of wildly different incidents.
EHS software functionality is essentially what the software does. So, if you’re wanting to get to grips with your company’s environmental impact, then Waste Management – among other functionality – is for you. If you’d like to assess the risks associated with operations, you’d be after Risk Assessment.
However, there are a few tools essential for every industry. Pro-Sapien’s core functionalities – the Action Manager, a productivity tool, and Business Intelligence, a reporting tool – arrive with every implementation, regardless. We like to think capturing the data is only half the story, it’s how you use it that makes the difference.
As an EHS professional, having the tech skillset of an IT whizz is not in the job description.
When EHS software is not accessible, it can be a headache to work. No wonder so many buyers consider integration so important.
The best EHS software is accessible for people who don’t know the difference between a programmer and a developer. In other words, every member of staff can use the EHS software.
As we know, a good safety work culture is perpetuated by making everyone responsible for safety. And to do that, accessible, user-friendly software is a big help.
For example, you might want to give everyone – even contractors and site visitors – the ability to report a hazard they observe onsite. This is a great use of mobile forms, which have become a must-have in the EHS software marketplace.
Use EHS software comparison websites
Now you know what you’re looking for, you can begin comparing vendors. We recommend the following online resources:
Verdantix is an independent analyst firm specialising in environment, health, safety and quality management. Their annual reports include the annual EHS global survey, covering 411 decision-makers across 25 industries and 35 countries.
Capterra is the home to reliable software reviews, all 700,000 of them. The website allows you to compare features, deployment, users and product rating of all EHS vendors.
Software Advice is similar to Capterra and is actually run by the same company, Gartner.
However, there is a different selection of vendors on each site, so it might be worth checking out their EHS category.
Comparison websites are a good place to start, but the most reliable information you’ll get is from the vendor themselves. Create a list of systems you’re interested in and contact the vendors for a conversation. Another option is to involve an EHS consultant who can guide you through the process.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail
You know the saying.
The EHS software marketplace can be overwhelming at the first glace. However, when you know exactly what you’re looking for, the search becomes clearer and more attainable. By doing your research and knowing what you want, you’ll accelerate on your EHS journey.