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Your EHS Program in 2023: Learn from the Old, Plan for the New

January 5th, 2023 by Dakota Software Staff

Your EHS Program in 2023: Learn from the Old, Plan for the New

The Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) community is committed to keeping organizations and employees safe year-round. However, the start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to set time aside to reflect on your EHS programs and where you want to take them next. Where are the strengths and weaknesses in your systems and your organizational safety culture? How can you turn any shortcomings into successes, and what tools do you need to get there?

2023 has the potential to be the best year yet for EHS. Let’s take a look at how the events of 2022 can inform your future efforts, allowing you to stay the course where your programs are having a positive effect — and helping you put things right where they aren’t.

2022 EHS Year in Review

As you focus on your EHS efforts, what’s your first, instinctive reaction to the past year? Do you look back on 2022 with pride, maybe even fondness … or are you just grateful that it’s finally over? With that in mind, it’s time to turn an objective eye to your measures of performance and see if they support your impressions. Consider the following in your review:

Other highlights and trends from the wider world of EHS in 2022 that may have impacted your programs include:

A New Start for 2023

As you look to take positive steps forward in 2023, first things first — now that the calendar’s turned over to a new year, you must make sure that your EHS compliance calendar is in order as well. Be prepared for your annual OSHA reporting as well as any other reporting or permitting deadlines facing your company in the coming months to avoid penalties, fines, and increased scrutiny from regulatory agencies.

Now is the time to plan, the first step in the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) framework (a concept closely aligned with Dakota Software’s ProActivity Suite). PDCA can help you throughout 2023 as you work toward EHS success:

  • Plan: Recognize an EHS opportunity or challenge for 2023, and plan to make a change to address it.

  • Do: Test your planned change by carrying out a small study or trial implementation.

  • Check: Review your test actions, analyze the results, and determine the lessons they impart.

  • Act: Take further action based on what you have learned, creating a cycle of continuous improvement.

So, what opportunities and actions should you focus on? Here are a few ideas.

  • Solidify the basics — and maintain them year-round. Understand the hazards facing your organization, determine if and how they’ve evolved, and continually apply the hierarchy of controls to better address them. Stay on top of regulatory developments (a database curated by experts can help simplify this), and always have your finger on the pulse of your organizational safety culture.

  • Look for ways to move beyond compliance. A strong culture will begin to elevate your EHS programs above basic compliance, but you can get creative to find new steps to take. Perhaps your organization would benefit from ISO 14001 or ISO 45001 certification; maybe you can create EHS champions among your entire workforce by forming a diverse volunteer safety committee.

  • Leverage your metrics like never before. EHS is now heavily data-driven, and it’s important to keep pace to push improvement. Take time this year to improve your data literacy, start a data-driven journey, and discover the metrics that will turbo-charge your EHS programs.

A Safer Future Is a Successful Future

Working to protect employees and the environment is crucial, and not merely because it’s a regulatory requirement or even because it’s generally considered the right thing to do. The fact is that organizations with stronger EHS programs are stronger organizations as a whole. A workplace with fewer incidents can realize increased efficiency and productivity as well as incur fewer costs, whether they be environmental, human, or financial. Perhaps most importantly, workers and customers alike are motivated to support companies with solid reputations for safety and integrity — and this means business success is closely tied to EHS success.

Dakota Software’s Proactivity Suite provides all the resources you need to make 2023 a stellar year for your EHS initiatives. View our demo video library to discover how we can help you address the biggest EHS challenges facing your organization, from environmental auditing and incident management to training and culture.

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