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Make your EHS program more productive and efficient with digital field inspections

By The Fulcrum Team
November 15, 2022

Environmental, health, and safety inspections (EHS) are one of the most effective measures to identify, prevent, and remediate threats to employee and public safety, quality work, and overall business operations.

Potentially dangerous conditions, if undetected, can lead to workplace or public injury, illness, or fatality, but also extend beyond the worker to include property damage, extensive rework, poor quality work and products, and more. And any one of these exacts punishing business costs, including higher insurance premiums, a tarnished reputation, loss of revenue, or costly lawsuits and fines.

But however important the work, EHS managers often find themselves between a rock and a hard place, juggling limited, if not shrinking resources, amid a growing list of tasks and inspections. That wider socioeconomic issues cause much of this dilemma makes solving it that much more challenging.

To help alleviate the burden, many EHS departments are turning to field inspection platforms with custom digital checklists. By helping EHS managers collect and share more reliable, consistent, and value-added data, digital platforms help prioritize resources, so they can do their jobs better and with less effort.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the broad issues currently faced by EHS managers and how digital field inspections platforms can solve them, even under these adverse conditions, so that potentially EHS threats are identified and remediated as quickly and efficiently as possible.

A gathering storm: current issues facing EHS managers

Worker shortage and higher wages

Long-term inspector shortages across sectors – whether for food, fire, or infrastructure – are not just reducing team sizes, but new hires are showing up on site with limited work and safety experience. With labor demand outstripping supply, we are seeing higher wages and minimum wage increases, which means EHS managers need to do a lot more with a lot less.

Unstable economy and cutbacks

Organizations are reacting to an unstable economy by tightening belts, trimming fat, and asking EHS managers to find more efficient ways to get inspections done.

More environmental regulations

After years of neglect and with consequences becoming more drastic, at both the global and national level we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of environmental regulations that need to be enforced.

Increased EPA funding

To combat entrenched and emerging environmental issues, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing more funds in the coming years. To access these funds, EHS managers will need to prove the quality and ROI of their inspection programs.

Higher EPA fines

Failure to meet EPA regulations now also results in higher fines, as the EPA annually increases its maximum monetary civil penalties for violations of air, water, chemical, and hazardous waste programs to keep pace with inflation.

Public demand for more transparency

More than ever, consumers want to know about the products and services they buy. Growing concerns around everything from food safety to data security, law enforcement to the environment, has turned organizational transparency into table stakes.

Increased investor demand for EHS responsibility

When 76% of consumers will not buy from companies that perform poorly on environmental and social issues, investors take notice and are themselves pushing for increased transparency. Because compliance is now directly linked to investor confidence, EHS managers have a bigger role in creating financial value for their organizations.Worker using tablet to perform safety check in industrial setting - EHS efficiency via custom digital checklists

How custom digital checklists can help improve EHS

To overcome these challenges, field inspection software quickly and consistently manages and coordinates all the data, tasks, and workflows that comprise a comprehensive and reliable EHS inspection program.

Leading digital platforms like Fulcrum make it easy to overcome the major roadblocks that EHS managers face every day, setting them up for continued success in the following ways:

Fewer people, more efficiency

Digital field inspection software streamlines the inspection process so that it takes less time, even with fewer people. Inspectors efficiently collect real-time data on mobile devices, including geolocation and multimedia. Comprehensive reporting eliminates redundant tasks and travel for report completion, enhancing team communication and remediation efficiency.

No experience, no problem

Digital checklists make it easy to onboard new staff, even if they lack experience. EHS managers can customize inspection checklists with SOPs and step-by-step instructions that are easy for new hires to follow. Cloud-connected platforms then let managers monitor them to help ensure compliance, quality work, and timely remediation.

Proving your ROI

Digital platforms simplify ROI demonstration in three vital ways, crucial to meet internal KPIs and access external funds. First, platforms help carry out more inspections quicker and with less resources. Second, the subscription pricing model of inspection software adds ever more value while containing costs, boosting ROI. Lastly, digital platforms serve as a database for inspection data and history. They enable managers to swiftly access and compile inspection information for those evaluating ROI.

Better insights

Digital inspection software establishes a pipeline of reliable field-to-office data. This data aggregates into high-level dashboards for EHS managers, offering unprecedented visibility. This single-pane view allows managers to identify trends and gain insights that enhance company-wide efficiency.

Better interactions

Digital platforms segment data and generate reports, delivering them automatically to stakeholders. This ensures smooth information sharing and enhances interactions with executives, clients, and regulators.

Doing more with less has never been easier

Being an EHS manager has never been easy, but nowadays it’s especially hard. Just remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Fulcrum aids EHS managers with custom digital checklists, improving efficiency. Team members update environmental data on mobile devices in real-time, providing managers with vital information. This is particularly valuable in challenging conditions.

Getting bogged down by inspections? Sign up for free trial and let Fulcrum help!