Especially in high-risk industries such as oil and gas or construction, enterprises must manage a huge range of hazards, making risk assessments crucial to worker safety. Clearly, the better you asses risk, the safer your workplace can be.
So, how do you communicate why risk assessments are important? Let’s explore.
Why Are Risk Assessments Important
According to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), many companies can do more to prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. When they published their “Dirty Dozen” Most Dangerous Companies of 2023 list, the vice president pointed out rising injury statistics:
“The rate of U.S. workplace fatalities from sudden trauma is on the rise, and so is the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses. So it’s more important than ever that employers meet their legal and ethical responsibility to provide a safe workplace.”Jessica E. Martinez, MPH, co-executive director of National COSH
Therefore, going into 2024, it’s a good time to review your safety processes and how you manage risk assessments.
You can get away with a paper approach if you’re a small company. However, written records can quickly get out of hand once you’re an enterprise with numerous sites. To manage them efficiently, you can consider safety software that streamlines the process.
For this, you need to get buy-in from the board. Therefore, we’ll shine a light on the benefits of risk assessments and common challenges.
We’ll also show you how Pro-Sapien’s Risk Assessment Software helped Peterson Energy Logistics simplify risk assessments. They won an EHS innovation award for their use of the software. It enabled them to significantly reduce the number of risk assessments in their system.
Benefits of Risk Assessments
A risk assessment is the formal process to identify potential hazards in the work settings of an organization. Understanding risks and managing hazards lets you prevent accidents before they happen. Therefore, you can also consider risk assessments as leading indicators.
By having ongoing, scheduled risk ratings, your findings are leading in nature. They become preventive metrics to provide an early indication of problems before major accidents happen.
There are plenty of unsafe workplace situations that you can easily prevent through scoping the risk. Here is a little compilation of avoidable situations that will also put a smile on your face:
There is also a whole Reddit thread on intriguing safety violations and where to find them.
Identifying these hazards before they happen has 3 clear benefits to your EHS:
- Greater Risk Awareness
- Employee Safety and Well-being
- Better EHS Performance
You can significantly enhance these areas with the right safety software. Presenting the value of it can often be a tricky task. The ROI of EHS lies in saving lives rather than in tangible monetary values. However, by outlining the above benefits to budget holders you can create a convincing business case.
Now we’ve pointed out why risk assessments are important. Let’s have a look whether its time for you to make them better.
For this, we’ll look at common obstacles in the process. If you find yourself identifying with at least one of them, it’s probably time to optimize your EHS processes.
Common Challenges in Conducting Risk Assessments
Risk assessments should be a seamless part of your work. The easier and more consistent they are, the more they save you time and enhance your hazard communication.
However, there are some barriers that can stand in the way of an efficient process:
- Lack of consistency
- Time-consuming data collection and analysis
- Many sites with different processes
- Scattered documentation
- Inefficient workflows
- Complex risk rating calculations
As explained by Hannah Stewart of Pro-Sapien, providers of safety software on Microsoft 365:
“The most common challenge around risk assessments that Safety Directors come to us with is standardization. Often, organizations have a ‘mish mash’ of risk assessment processes ranging from paper, to spreadsheets, to specialist systems. Further still, every site could be doing things differently – making it really difficult to run any kind of reports on safety risk across the business. A better approach is to have everyone using the same searchable, structured database.”
Are some of the problems familiar to you? In the next section, we’ll explore how you can improve them with safety software. We’ll also show you how Peterson Energy Logistics has done it.
Standardizing The Process Across the Business
🧩 Are you a large organization with many sites? Then you probably find it difficult to keep track of risk assessments if they are all done differently.
💡Peterson Energy Logistics used to deal with risk assessments on a site-by-site basis, primarily using static documents. This made it challenging to gain a comprehensive overview of the company-wide risk landscape and identify trends and patterns.
Therefore, they redeveloped all risk assessments to reduce the volume and establish a systematic process within the Pro-Sapien platform. This enabled all workers to perform their work to an even higher standard.
Reducing the Number of Assessments
🧩 Without a consistent approach, you may be conducting assessments that have already been done before. As a result, you’re reassessing the same risks in different ways across different departments or locations. This is time-consuming and can lead employees to skip or rush the assessment process, risking unsafe workplace conditions.
💡 By consolidating, Peterson Energy Logistics reduced the number of risk assessments within their management system by 70% using Pro-Sapien’s Risk Assessment software. This translates to a significant time-saving of 700 hours annually, which would have otherwise been spent on reviews.
Making Risk Assessments Easier with Safety Software
Not only are efficient risk assessments necessary for staying compliant, they’re also crucial to foster safe working environments. Large enterprises can tackle common challenges like inconsistent processes and scattered documentation with appropriate safety software. It standardizes risk assessments across the enterprise, saves you time, increases visibility, and improves communication.
Your business case starts with identifying your pain points, some of which we’ve discussed here. We’ve also looked at the advantages of risk assessment software, which introduces automation and standardization—exemplified by Peterson Energy Logistics’ success with Pro-Sapien’s Risk Assessment Software. Their win of the EHS Innovation Excellence Award is a great example to help secure the buy-in from the board.
What’s more, Pro-Sapien’s software streamlines the process by seamlessly integrating with Microsoft 365. It provides users with an easy and familiar user interface to manage actions and gain granular performance analysis.
Does this sound like something you need at your company? Then watch a quick demo video of Pro-Sapien’s Risk Assessment Software today: