Key strategies for EHS in COVID-19 crisis

Key strategies for EHS in COVID-19 crisis

Hindsight becomes a true guiding beacon – however, the price we pay for it is by committing to decisions and making them work in our present.

Hindsight reveals itself later.

On a similar note, the unfolding of current crisis of COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected industries, commercial activities and plant operations. The occupational health and well-being aspects are clearly visible, as many in the position to work from home (like us here) have chosen safety of our own homes. As organizations determine the right way forward.

However, key plant operations in manufacturing and production stream or associated essential business sphere must operate to serve the demands of the nation states and their population.

Oil and gas, retail supply chain, telecommunication and FMCG are among the leading industries that fall under this category.

A previous McKinsey classic article from June 2000 ‘Strategy under Uncertainty’ highlights the levels, postures and finally the moves that leaders and managers need to make when faced with unforeseen circumstances.

However, a true evaluation of the current circumstances would only be revealed when we start putting objective outcomes first and identifying the critical ‘chinks’ that may develop in the links of our business operations (or whatever remains operational across the globe, at this instance).

Digital isn’t a frontier anymore

Long are the bygone days of paper filing, manual handling of documentation and messaging relay – gone. Lack of digital platforms perfectly sums up the brewing crisis which businesses are facing. Digitization can be remotely monitored, authenticated and passed onto field operations without much fear of contact transmission of the coronavirus and teams can remain up and running, even in isolation (under the prescribed conditions governed by national health agency recommendation or WHO).

Digital isn’t a new promised land that is waiting to be conquered. It is here and many of the small and medium size businesses are truly harnessing its potential while EHS domain stands to gain a lot of ground under better digital EHS platforms.

Digital platforms can address uncertainty

Or it introduces accountability, thereby making lives easier – holistic EHS system aims at better governance as much as it targets compliance via (3) mechanisms, such as:

  • Vigilance & monitoring
  • Analytics
  • Insight management

The organizations of tomorrow need crucial data pipelines that feed into a robust dashboard visible to stakeholders, today – therefore enabling decision making that relies on trends rather than gut feeling.

Ownership and process-driven response

The latest ISO standard 45001 is a process driven manual which lays emphasis on knowing, upholding and maintaining well-established, well-known and organizations wide applicable – processes, which then give rise to “systems”. Digital platforms make lives easier by connecting the missing links:

  • Your site’s contractor team to the mandatory permit to work guidance and advisory practiced at your organization as well as valid HR-vehicular passes.

  • Scheduled critical training calendar is beamed to individuals who haven’t already completed a mandatory training and run the risk of using that knowledge in their day-to-day operations.

  • Renewal of compliance manifests and documents that may stand scrutiny of audits – or a specialized government inspection.

  • Or in the scenario of a lockdown (as we are facing now) – monitoring available on your digital dashboard and data gathered ready for analytics to be crunched, digested and converted into better insights.

These are but some of the scenarios which are accomplished with tremendous ease, accountability and remarkable speed due to digital EHS platforms.

Here are some industries that have gained better response times and addressed critical compliance architecture in diverse sectors while you mull upon how digital EHS and compliance platforms can make your lives easier in this unprecedented situation of a lockdown across geographies.

Stay safe, wash hands frequently and remember to be frugal in these testing times.

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