Safety demands better tools


“In terms of exploring sustainable practices that are both pragmatic and need based, Indian organizations need to embrace technology first; that may lead to better equipped response for emergency situations”.

A couple of recent business news headlines caught attention:

“Suzuki Moto corp is exploring the idea of shifting from Gurgaon to a new business hub (ET). This despite of its recent 9000 Cr. investment in Gujarat”.

“BPCL to invest in new 40K Cr. petrochemical plant to de-risk Mumbai refinery by shifting LPG and bitumen storage units (The Hindu)”.

While in case of Suzuki, the main reason remains congestion and the time delays that its operations have to face. This also means that crucial time setbacks due to logistics and transport clearances have to be accommodated, to varying degree.

BPCL in recent times have suffered from fire-explosion incidents that posed risk to a large population around the plant. An efficient decision such as this would enable them to de-risk and limit liabilities especially given the unstable nature of the handled product.

Digital EHS solutions for sustainability offer a rainbow of parameter monitoring options. Air emissions, ground water monitoring for both sewage and effluent, noise as well as soil and stack emissions are the options on offer. Organizations can choose to tabulate data via manual inspection or automate it through linking reporting and monitoring dashboards via seamless integration.

The trick is to understand the impact that such integration of technologies can deliver. Not only does it enable a vigilant monitoring system that is compliant, but it also stands to help you understand the ‘resource wastage and scarcity’ equation. The same equation which will help you justify the sustainability goals at the end of the year.

Digital EHS solutions also offer support for incident management as the first line of defence. Further, digitized hazard reporting and behaviour based safety apps stand to nudge the workforce towards ‘safe’ behaviour and practices. The key challenge in decision making suffers from thinking about safety and such tools in isolation. Instead of addressing root causes, a ‘band-aid’ fix by use of only one of such solutions, leads to more confusion. If the safety team has recognizable measures in place, individual solutions or tools make sense. However, if the entire organization is looking for a digital pivot to safety – a closer discussion with vendors on the different digital solutions available, makes more sense.

Needless to say that simple awareness and trainings aren’t enough in the modern workplace. Safety is everyone’s essential right and so is safe work behaviour.

Better digital reporting tools not only collect data from the workforce but enable their safety habits with proactive measures that empower them. The greatest challenge that emerges from years and years of safety research is when the user is disinterested or misinformed about his/her role in safety. Ignorance is definitely not bliss when it comes to the highly critical work related safety.

Take the first step forward by knowing what the digital EHS tools available are and how your organization stands to gain from their use. The logic, deployment and right vendor are the next step, but until you as the safety professional and your workforce show the willingness, safety will struggle to influence performance.


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