How to choose the best EHS software for your business

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 systems, it can feel like you’re wading through the EHS marketplace.

In fact, independent analyst firm Verdantix found the similarity of most EHS software vendors leaves buyers confused.

Sound 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.

For example, EHS software automates certain (sometimes mundane) data tasks. One theory reckons automation saves 50% of time on administrative tasks, giving you precious time back.

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 application, look out for these four capabilities:

1. Integration

The integration capability is very attractive for buyers searching for suitable EHS software. If it was a game of Mario Kart, integration and configurability would be akin to speed and acceleration – the necessities for winning a race!

Verdantix recently revealed that IT disconnect is the biggest barrier to improving EHS performance, and NAEM found 49% of EHS buyers are unhappy with their current EHS software’s integration capabilities.

So what’s the big deal about integration?

To put it simply, EHS software unable to integrate with your corporate IT 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 align EHS software 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.

Office 365: An EHS Portal No-Brainer?

2. Configurability

Now, let’s look at configurability. As we mentioned, like acceleration, configurability is crucial in winning the Mario Kart race of buying great EHS software.

So much so, Verdantix found the ability to configure forms and workflows is considered ‘Important’ to 92% of respondents, of which 48% said it was ‘Very Important’.

Configurable EHS software has three major benefits:

  1. Improves user efficiency
  2. Increases user adoption
  3. Avoids the need to alter internal processes

Flexibility in your software is an industry standard best practice. For example, ISO 45001 for Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems states EHS software applications must be flexible to make improving safety easier.

To sum up, configurability is king.

3. Functionality

What do you want your software to do? The type of industry you're in comes into play here, of course. An outdoor construction worker and an admin 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 key productivity tool, and Business Intelligence, a powerful 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.

4. Accessibility

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.

EHS software should be accessible for people who don’t know the difference between a programmer and a developer. In other words, every member of staff should be able to use the EHS software.

As we know, a good work safety 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

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.

Although some of their research reports require a subscription, Verdantix often publishes useful press releases, news and blogs about their findings.

Capterra

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.

Take a look at the EHS Management Software category or, if you like, go straight to the Pro-Sapien profile. 😉

Software Advice

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 safety 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.

Office 365: An EHS Portal No-Brainer?

Did you know you can base your EHS software on Office 365? Integration with your Microsoft programs brings a number of benefits, but there are also things you should consider first. Learn more in this free whitepaper for EHS software buyers.

Office 365: An EHS Portal No-Brainer? Is it right or wrong for you? Decide with this PDF →

A University of the West of Scotland graduate with a BA in Journalism, Holly joined the Pro-Sapien marketing department in 2018 with a wide range of experience. Outside of business, Holly enjoys cycling, cooking and yoga.

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