For many companies operating within heavy industries, managing the safety, health, environment, and quality (SHEQ) aspects of their operations is crucial.
Mining, oil, gas, renewable energy, manufacturing, and utilities companies all need to have controls in place, visibility to evaluate their performance and progress in these areas, and the ability to generate reports to indicate compliance with industry and regulatory standards.
Digital transformation has revolutionized SHEQ management for companies in these industries.
Whereas before a company would need to laboriously and time-consumingly manage every aspect manually, using Excel spreadsheets for example, (or worse, not manage these processes at all), the advent of dedicated software to administer these processes has made this entire operation far more efficient in every aspect, from data collection via IoT devices at the start of the process, to digital report generation at the end.
As such, many companies have already transformed their SHEQ processes by making the switch to digital. If you’re one of those considering doing so, or are evaluating your current software, here are the important aspects or components that your SHEQ management should include.
Your software should include some form of ability to collect data from a ‘ground-level’ perspective. This may manifest via some type of Inspections or Observations module.
These empower organizations to understand whether workers are performing all aspects of specific tasks the correct way, and lay the groundwork for implementing corrective actions before observations materialize into negative incidents.
Organizations need to be able to log and classify incidents and near misses, both for reporting purposes as well as for internal performance management and improvement, and software will enable this.
Once incidents have been logged, good SHEQ software will also automatically activate the appropriate workflow(s) within your organization to investigate root causes, minimize incident fallout, and reduce the potential for future occurrences.
The ability to periodically check and evaluate your HSEQ systems and the data therein should be part of your software’s functionality. Audit scheduling, audit execution, management of findings, logging corrective and preventative actions, and compiling audit reports and dashboards are all important components here.
A centralized risk register contains the hazards, stressors, impacts and aspects, and any other EHS risks your company may face. The risk register brings visibility to the effectiveness of controls in place (or lack thereof), and enables you to pinpoint leading indicators before risks materialize.
The logging of non-conformances should form the core capability of a quality component. This should ideally be supported by various other quality-related software functionalities, such as setting and managing objectives and targets, implementing training, conducting inspections and audits, and implementing corrective and preventative actions.
Actions follow inspections, incidents, and audits, and an Action manager component aggregates all SHEQ actions across the organization. A good Action management component should enable you to monitor outstanding actions, ensure actions are carried out properly, and minimize overdue actions, whilst also allowing you to filter by action type, site, region, action owner, etc.
Dashboards are key to providing instant accessibility to information in an easy-to-understand manner, increasing visibility and saving time. Dashboards should highlight trends, flag areas of concern, and provide a high-level performance overview that can be dissected by region, risk owner, site, process, etc. Furthermore, they should contain a degree of configurability according to your organization’s requirements.
Reporting to internal and external stakeholders on SHEQ matters can be a routine responsibility, and the ability to compile reports should form an integral part of any SHEQ software. Ensure that yours possesses this ability, and as with dashboards, displays customization in this regard.
There is much to consider when implementing a SHEQ software system. Not only may the process of moving away from traditional manual processes be a daunting one, but there is also the need to evaluate potential digital solutions in the context of your company requirements.