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Leveraging digital technology for health and safety

Lara El Saad, Benchmark Gensuite. (Image source: Benchmark Gensuite)


Digital transformation plays a pivotal role in achieving evolving safety goals, says Lara El Saad, director, subscriber engagement – Europe/Middle East and director, business development – Middle East at Benchmark Gensuite

Keeping your most important assets, your employees, safe is critical to every organisation. Occupational health and safety are more than just a box-checking exercise; they have evolved to consider and strategise how organisations can enhance safety across operational processes, engaging team members at all levels from shop-floor employees to leadership in various ways, improving workflows and reducing the time and resources required. 

Digital transformation plays a pivotal role in achieving evolving safety goals. The use of digital tools optimises health and safety management, enhancing organisational workflows and resource efficiency in several ways:

1. Efficient Safety Action Tracking: When safety concerns are reported, prompt corrective actions are at the core of any organisation’s safety culture. Digitalisation can help site leaders ensure a safe and secure work environment by promptly addressing any safety hazards and concerns that arise, taking corrective actions to ensure their people are safe and secure. After all, employees are every organisation’s greatest asset, and prioritising their health and safety is an important part of good corporate governance. 

2. Comprehensive Team Engagement: Engaging every single employee and building accountability across enterprise-wide teams – from shop-floor employees to leadership – is the first step in developing a strong safety culture at the workplace. If safety is made a priority, employees can engage and openly communicate their safety concerns and report any unsafe acts and conditions promptly. 

Innovative and easy-to-use digital solutions can help employees and contractors engage in seamlessly reporting safety concerns. Employees can use open-access forms to report their workplace issues and get them resolved faster. As an Occupational Health & Safety Executive, you can seamlessly manage and escalate the issues to achieve your safety and compliance objectives. 

3. Streamlined Leadership Review: Managing safety data manually and in spreadsheets can lead safety managers and officers to overlook trends and metrics that are crucial to safety management. Yet again, digital tools play a vital role in aiding these professionals in performing their duties systematically. It can be anything from analysing safety metrics, KPIs, and results to empower leadership to take decisions that promote safety culture. 

Digital tools can consolidate and analyse large amounts of safety data and compare them swiftly, analysing safety metrics from across multiple programmes on a single platform and generating powerful dashboards and reports that highlight critical data and help safety leaders make key decisions, analysing data from multiple applications.

4. Proactive Safety Measures with AI: Promoting a proactive safety culture requires careful planning of safety programmes, hazard assessments, and taking actions to facilitate operations being performed in the safest way possible. Safety first is the motto of such a proactive safety culture! Artificial Intelligence and other advanced technologies have the capability to capture critical trends intelligently and minimise workplace incidents.  AI-powered solutions can define the risk profiles for recorded incidents, helping prevent potentially serious incidents (PSIs) with greater accuracy than traditional manual identification methods, which are widely utilised in several industries. 

In conclusion, organisations should leverage digital technologies and solutions, such as Benchmark’s digital EHS Management Systems with advanced AI and analytics. Embracing these tools is essential for sustaining environmental, safety, and health performance excellence, ensuring a proactive and effective safety culture.

Lara El Saad spoke on advanced tech strategies for HSE leaders at the MENA HSE Forum. For a review of the event, see the latest edition of MENA HSE Review here