Managing Safety in Manufacturing is Easier With the Right Support

woman factory worker

Before coming to VelocityEHS, I was a Global EHS Coordinator for a large manufacturing company. Even with good systems, programs and resources in place, I often felt like had an endless punch-list of safety tasks.

After walking in and gulping down my morning coffee, I’d set out to do a scheduled inspection, update the safety data sheet (SDS) library, or scramble to put together an agenda for an upcoming safety meeting. Come to think of it – I probably needed to send out a reminder to all of those people who were scheduled to attend that meeting, too. Sometimes I’d have to put down everything, grab my safety glasses and head out to the shop floor to begin an investigation of an incident or accident that had just occurred there. And that’s not even factoring in time and effort spent managing all of the follow-up from my work, including corrective actions needed to address issues identified through incident investigations, inspections, and safety meetings.

To have any hope of staying on track, I needed detailed visibility of safety performance so I could see where I needed to focus my energy. With responsibilities for multiple facilities, that was often a complex challenge. I sometimes needed to call up a plant manager at one of our other facilities and ask her to scan a document and email it to me or place it on a shared drive so I could access it.

These delays and difficulties in completing tasks and accessing safety data risked undermining our whole safety management system. It created the risk of falling out of regulatory compliance, including OSHA Recordkeeping Standard requirements for occupational injuries and illnesses. This is an even bigger concern now than it was when I was an EHS Coordinator, because many establishments including all manufacturing establishments with 20 or more employees are now required to electronically transmit 300A injury and illness summary data to OSHA via the Injury Tracking Application (ITA). Additionally, OSHA indicated in its most recent site-specific targeting program (SST-16) that it is now using ITA reporting discrepancies as a key indicator in determining which establishments to target for inspections, so the stakes for getting it wrong have never been higher.

The Importance of Worker Engagement

I firmly believe that worker engagement with our safety management systems is the single most important factor in the effectiveness of those systems. Unfortunately, roadblocks to accessing safety information can negatively impact worker engagement with our workplace safety programs and culture. I have seen this phenomenon first-hand. If we fall behind on corrective action progress, or fail to regularly update employees on the status of issues they’ve brought to our attention, employees start losing interest in workplace safety programs. They stop giving you information about workplace hazards and risks because they believe that nothing ever happens and their concerns go unanswered. That subsequently hinders your ability to identify and fix workplace risks and hazards before a serious accident occurs, which even further damages worker engagement. It’s a vicious cycle.

How the VelocityEHS Safety Management Solution Can Help

My old job would’ve been much easier if I’d had the benefit of the new VelocityEHS Safety Management Solution. If any of my experiences in safety management sound familiar to you, and you feel like you need some additional support, our solution is right for you.

Here are some of the ways our Safety Management Solution can make your life easier:

Data-Driven Decision Making

You’ll get quick and easy access to critical safety data to drive better decision making. Performance dashboards provide the most important and actionable safety indicators at-a-glance, helping you save time. You can also create custom reports and schedule them for distribution to the right people throughout your organization, meaning you spend less time responding to information requests.

Worker Engagement

Improving worker engagement starts with visibility and follow-through. With our Safety Management Solution, your employees are empowered with tools to easily report workplace incidents, near misses, and hazards anywhere, using any mobile device. They can also schedule safety meetings, track action items, and conduct Job Safety Analyses (JSAs) on the fly, making it easier for workers to actively participate in workplace safety management.

Streamlined Compliance

Our solution helps you easily confirm compliance with regulatory requirements like OSHA’s Hazard Communication (HazCom) and Recordkeeping Standards. For example, your workers get immediate online access to safety data sheets (SDSs) for the chemicals in your workplace, while employers get the ability to instantly generate OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301, and export recordkeeping data for fast, direct electronic submission to OSHA’s ITA.

Here’s some additional ways VelocityEHS’ Safety Management Solution simplifies key workplace safety tasks:

  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Access: Make companywide SDS right-to-know access and site-specific chemical inventory management simple and easy with VelocityEHS’ MSDSonline Chemical Management system.
  • Job Safety Analysis: Systematically and easily complete JSAs/JHAs to evaluate job task hazards, prioritize risks for follow-up, and assign responsibilities.
  • Incident Management: Document and investigate all types of workplace incidents, including near hits and recordable illnesses and injuries, maintain OSHA logs, and easily complete and submit electronic 300A injury and illness summary reports—all with online and offline mobile capabilities.
  • Inspections: Easily schedule workplace inspections, create and deploy interactive checklists for individual facilities and operations, complete inspections from anywhere using your mobile device, then instantly assign follow-up actions to verify safety and compliance.
  • Safety Meetings: Easily schedule and track meetings, assign meeting roles, log meeting minutes, for easy reference, set up automated notifications for attendees, track pending topics and agendas, and monitor action item status.
  • Action Management: Capture and manage all of the action items generated from your incident investigations, inspections, safety meetings and JSAs in one centralized location on the cloud, enabling easier access and reporting. Notify assigned personnel and send automatic notifications when actions are upcoming or past due.
  • Dashboards and Interactive Reports: Quickly view key safety metrics anytime and anywhere to drive better decision making. Create customized reports and schedule distribution to ensure data reaches the right people, right when they need it.

The VelocityEHS Safety Management Solution gives you the simplicity of use, control and visibility you need to improve safety management and build a stronger EHS culture. For more information about best practices for managing safety in manufacturing environments and the ways that software can help, please feel free to check out our upcoming webinar “Simplifying Safety Management in Manufacturing: How EHS Software Can Help During COVID-19 and Beyond," on September 17, 2020 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET.

Let VelocityEHS Help!

We’re always happy to talk to you about the ways our software can help you improve safety management in your workplace. Please feel free to visit our Safety Management Solution page for more information, or Contact Us anytime.