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Avoid Complacency to Improve EHS Culture

April 11th, 2016 by Dakota Software Staff Industry News

Avoid Complacency to Improve EHS Culture

A successful EHS culture requires vigilance and continual communication. When EHS specialists, managers and executives have a strong handle on environmental, health and safety issues, a wide range of benefits are possible including: successful OSHA inspections and happier, healthier workers to improved performance and output. However, it's vital that company leaders and EHS staff recognize the difference between success and standing pat. Truly beneficial EHS programs don't reach a certain level of effectiveness and then rest, they continue to grow, change and adapt to do the best possible method of addressing new and existing issues.

Keeping EHS fresh and focused
In a recent interview with NAEM'S Green Tie blog, Annette Russo, senior manager of communications and training for environment, health, safety and sustainability at Johnson & Johnson, discussed the advantages of an EHS program that eschews complacency for development. She said there are numerous reasons why strong EHS efforts can eventually lose steam, such as changes to a company's operations that require a reallocation of resources after a successful EHS program is established. Unfortunately, complacency can easily lead to losses and disruptions in EHS programs and cause significant problems across a company. To counteract these issues, organizations must continue to innovate even when their EHS programs are successful.

Russo offered a variety of suggestions for maintaining the continued effectiveness of EHS programs, including developing short- and long-term plans for future changes. While the specifics will change from company to company, the general thrust doesn't: Regularly seeking out areas of operation where improvements and adaptations are needed, or could be needed in the future, will ultimately benefit the organization and its stakeholders. Additionally, EHS professionals should explain this perspective to company leaders to gain executive endorsement as well as work slowly and purposefully toward the new goals they develop. Such an approach allows those involved to focus on making the right decisions first instead of trying to meet deadlines or goals that may not always apply.

Compliance and insight are both significantly bolstered when the right EHS management software is in place. Businesses that want to avoid resting on their laurels when it comes to EHS programs can use such a platform to observe and investigate relevant data and seek out the next areas of operation that require an EHS refresher or overhaul.

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