Why is that?
The importance of safety culture maturity is well documented. As it should be — workplace fatalities decreased by about 90% in the 20th century, in large part due to an increased emphasis on a culture of safety. A healthy safety culture means not just talking about safety, but also gathering internal buy-in (from the top-down and across the organization). It also includes transparent communication and having programs in place at every level to proactively reduce incidents and injuries.
Facing increasingly complex EHS challenges, it’s not enough to simply have EHS programs in place — organizations also need to have the software systems to support those programs. In fact, the right technology can:
- help leaders “clone themselves,”
- ensure key corrective actions do not fall through the cracks,
- be leveraged for training,
- justify additional resource investment into your safety program.
This means that a second, necessary component of EHS maturity is technology maturity.
To help practitioners determine where they sit on a scale of safety culture and technology maturity, the Origami EHS team developed an online EHS Maturity Assessment. Based on the results of the 17-question, multiple-choice assessment, respondents are put into one of four categories. Let’s walk through what each result means.
If an organization falls into this box, it means they are less mature in both safety culture and technology maturity. Organizations in this category are likely to struggle to put in place programs and processes that prevent incidents and injuries and make the workplace a safe environment. From a safety culture perspective, it could mean that there is a lack of executive buy-in, a lack of incident reporting due to limited engagement with frontline workers, or both. They are also more likely to rely on paper, spreadsheets, and manual processes to get work done, meaning that events or incidents are more likely to slip through the cracks. This can potentially result in more claims, negative impacts on the brand, OSHA citations, and employee turnover. To improve, the first step is to gain executive and ground-level buy-in to get the resources needed to invest in training and education. Check out our guide on building a sustainable safety culture for ideas on where to start.
Those in this category are more mature in terms of their technology approach but less immature in terms of their safety culture. While these organizations may have the infrastructure to improve safety and reduce incidents and injuries, they still require a cultural shift that promotes safety throughout the organization and makes safe workplace behaviors a top priority. Without a strong safety culture, workers may not return home safe, which can result in compliance issues, negative financial impacts, and poor retention. To improve, a great deal of work will have to be done in order to make sure executives prioritize safety as a value and that front-line workers understand the importance of reporting incidents and talking about safe practices.
These organizations are more mature in terms of their safety culture but less mature in terms of their technology approach. Organizations in this category are more likely to place safety as a top priority but lack the infrastructure to make it a reality. Without the right technology in place, items like corrective actions may slip through the cracks, meaning that workers are more likely to be injured. For these companies, the good news is that leadership is likely already on board with programs to make the workplace safe — they simply need to be convinced of the value of a technology investment in order to prevent incidents and injuries. Some of these organizations may even have technology budgeted and need help selecting a vendor.
For these organizations, there is higher maturity in both safety culture and technology. These companies are more likely to value safety as a top priority (with technology solutions in place to support those initiatives). However, in the spirit of continuous improvement, there’s always more work to be done to further prevent incidents and injuries. Investing in a comprehensive EHS suite that includes proactive measures can help make sure employees are as safe as can be, especially given the evolving risk landscape.
Want to know where you fall? Take the EHS Maturity Assessment in less than 10 minutes! Curious about how you compare to your peers? Register for the webinar on May 4 to learn more about the EHS Maturity assessment and the results.