How Technology is Underpinning Powerful Improvements in Health and Safety Culture

Matthew Elson
September 12, 2018
Sponsored by: SHE Software
Many of us are passionate about managing and promoting safe and healthy workplaces. Some though, although perhaps not readers of this article, still consider health and safety management a necessary chore and bureaucratic burden. It does not have to be this way.

Increasingly, technology is bringing positive change to the promotion of safe working. While technology cannot be the answer to every health & safety issue, in one particular area it presents a significant opportunity: culture.

We know that for every fatality and injury there are many near misses and risky behaviors. But how do you identify and influence those behaviors?

Part of the answer is creating a positive safety culture - one where acting safely becomes an intuitive part of, and not just an adjunct to, the job. One where safety is everybody's responsibility and not just left to the experts.

The good news is that technology is fast becoming an enabler that encourages people to do the right thing. Gone are the days when corporate IT systems acted as a barrier. We have undergone a technological and cultural transformation in the consumer world. With cloud-based systems employing mobile, easy-to-use consumer-style technologies, this consumer world is now entering the workplace.

Today, technology is becoming a kind of benign, or 'good' virus: with the right support it quickly propagates through an organization because it simply and robustly supports best practice.
Just consider the following ways in which technology can overcome barriers to establishing a strong safety culture.

Technology can present risks, explain procedures and mitigate measures in a timely manner - for example by using geotagging to explain the hazards in a given location. Those risks can be presented in more compelling ways using photo and video. Moreover, smart reporting, increasingly powered by intelligent tools that interrogate large datasets, can provide convincing information on cause and effect - the link between small risks taken and serious incidents resulting.

The EHS Technological Solution
Make it easy to comment and provide feedback. Mobile apps can report safe and unsafe acts. The key is, at the "back end", to raise alerts and make it very easy to respond with feedback - and indeed to intervene, quickly, if required.

With these elements in place, each person is empowered to make an organization safer. From reporting risky behavior to identifying new risks and sharing mitigation measures, technology is the health and safety practitioner's go-to solution.

Technology then has the power to democratize responsibility for health and safety, spreading positive behavior and driving continuous improvement in managing workplace risk.

Complimentary NAEM-Member Invitation
We'd like to invite NAEM members to an event series designed to meet the specific needs and requests of EHSQ professionals. Each session will provide insights to help you succeed in sending employees home safe at the end of every day.

Along with our guest speakers from Golder, Predictive Safety and Cardinus, we will explore:
  • Evolution of EHS and what the future holds for workplace safety
  • Changing your safety program paradigm: manage to the positive instead of the problems
  • Overcoming the challenges of fatigue management
Find out where your nearest SHE Software road show is taking place:

Where When Register
New York/New Jersey 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - Register Here
Chicago - 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Thursday, September 27, 2018 Register Here
California - 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Register Here
Seattle - 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Thursday, October 4, 2018 Register Here

Here at SHE Software, we are experts in the application of technology to solve health and safety challenges. We have 850 organizations globally using our solutions and, in addition, we speak with hundreds of organizations and thousands of safety professionals each year about the health and safety challenges they face.

About SHE
SHE Software is a provider of health and safety software globally. Headquartered in Scotland, the company's core product is Assure, a web-based platform and associated mobile app designed to reduce risk for organizations by making safety real time and predictive. In April 2018, SHE Software launched an updated version of its app called AssureGO.


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About the Author

Matthew Elson
SHE Software
Matthew Elson acquired SHE Software in 2011 and took on the role of full-time CEO in 2014. He has extensive executive experience leading both large and small businesses, including as CEO of ESR Technology and managing director of Atkins Management Consulting. Holding an MBA from INSEAD and a first-class degree in Engineering, Economics and Management from Oxford University, he began his career as an engineer before spending six years at McKinsey & Company as a management consultant.

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