Implementing and managing a digital Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) program is an important step in overcoming the attitude that safety is merely an expense. Having access to your data shows, instead, that safety is an incentive for higher productivity and growth.

The ROI on safety is high. And yet, studies conducted by the Aberdeen Group show that more than 40% of executives have difficulty demonstrating a return on investment for safety programs. A solid digital EHS program allows for just-in-time data collection, reporting, and corrective action – all of which makes it easier to see the benefits of workplace safety initiatives. (Learn 5 Ways to Get Executive Buy-In for Health and Safety.)

To make sure you're getting the most out of it, here are ten tips to help you manage your digital EHS program.

1. Integrate Mobility and Cloud Options

Mobile apps and cloud storage options will improve employee engagement with the program, help support a fully integrated culture of safety, and enable real-time participation in the program under all circumstances.

Because of this, you and your team will be able to collect more data that you can then use to enhance the safety program and make more meaningful safety decisions.

2. Connect Your Digital EHS Program to All Aspects of Your Operation

You should not treat your EHS program as a something entirely separate from the rest of the way your organization conducts business.

By connecting and sharing your digital EHS program with all business functions across multiple locations, you can ensure that decisions made throughout the organization can take into account their implications for safety.

3. Use Your Digital EHS Program as a Driver for Your Operational Excellence Program

You can use the data you collect through your EHS software or platform to improve operations and monitor the effectiveness of employees, equipment, and other resources.

The more data you collect, the more you will be able to facilitate operations changes. You will also be able to secure buy-in from those affected more quickly than you would without the data on hand. (See Safety Data: The Game Changer You Might Be Ignoring to learn more.)

4. Leverage Your Digital EHS Program to Help Your Organization Stay Compliant

Many EHS platforms have digital compliance modules that allow you to remain compliant with OSHA and other regulatory agencies.

Keeping an easily accessed digital record of all incident reports, inspections, and other safety activities is also an effective and convenient way to demonstrate compliance to regulators and auditors. (Learn 6 Steps to Prepare for Unexpected OSHA Visits.)

5. Report Incidents Quickly and Monitor Workplace Conditions

EHS software empowers you and your team to report incidents more quickly and efficiently so that you can focus on dealing with the issues instead of dealing with the paperwork.

Analyzing the data you collect and documenting workplace conditions will also help you identify areas of concern and potential hazards.

6. Use Your Digital EHS Program to Assist with Audits and Inspections

By facilitating real-time reporting and reducing the backlog of paper reports, digital data input from members of your organization keep your records up-to-date and makes preparing for safety audits that much easier.

Many digital EHS systems, moreover, come with audit modules and checklists to ensure that you are ready for inspection at a moment’s notice.

7. Target Relevant Issues and Incidents for Your Next Safety Meeting

With more accurate and up-to-date reporting, you will be able to prepare a safety meeting agenda that focuses on the most relevant topics for your workplace and your employees.

8. Create Time and Financial Efficiencies

Mobile point-of-incident reporting, coupled with a dramatic reduction in the preparation of paper reports, your digital EHS system will alert you when tasks are completed and reduce the time and dollars spent on preparing and submitting reports. You'll also save time and resources by not having to manually administer your records.

9. Keep Track of Employee Training

Training is not a once-and-done event but an ongoing process, even for long-time employees. Your digital EHS platform allows you to monitor the status of your employees' training, notifies you when an employee needs refresher training or an update to their qualifications, and keeps track of training certificates and performance reviews.

Some systems make it even easier by including a library of training resources.

10. Digitize Your EHS Program without Delay to Remain Competitive

Almost every aspect of industry is going digital, and that includes safety programs. Countless companies now use digital EHS programs to collect and analyze large volumes of data. With this data, they can modify processes, reduce risk, engage in predictive analysis, and maximize profit – all of which gives them an advantage over competitors who are still using an analog program. (Learn about Predictive Modeling and Its Role in Safety Prevention on the Job Site.)

Your Safety Program Needs to Be Digital

Creating a positive safety culture is not easy. But by implementing a company-wide digital EHS program, you will be encouraging everyone in your organization to make safety a priority and a part of their daily routine.

Digitizing your safety program also means keeping a close watch on your company's safety performance and facilitates continual improvement.

With a well-managed EHS program, you will see a reduction incidents and accidents, along with an increase in efficiency and productivity.