If your organisation is spread across the globe and you’ve been charged with handling some key environmental, health and safety issues, you’ll need to feel confident you know what you’re doing. Also, you and your team members need to know how best to work individually and together, else you run the risk of miscommunication, inconsistency and a damaged reputation – a great shame if the business has been working hard to expand internationally.
With this in mind, here are handful of top tips addressing some of the more obvious challenges. You’ll need to do further reading, seeking training, guidance and other educational opportunities from your organisation, but the advice below is a good place to start.
Firstly, you and your colleagues may have been challenged with promoting a safe workplace, investigating all injuries and evaluating root causes – no matter the location. Without a doubt, the most effective way to do this is to invest in digital health and safety solutions, the kind of EHS software provided by a supplier such as Airsweb is a good example. You may need to make a business case to justify the cost of rolling out high quality software (or improving your existing software), but it’s an argument that’s well worth making. Turning to technology to tackle this challenge will ensure that you’re able to track incidents; complete reports; input, monitor and analyse data; as well as readily communicate with team members across the world without unnecessary delays.
Similarly, technology can be used to your advantage when you’re managing EHS in multiple locations, as well as provide higher quality information to inform EHS practices in your organisation. For example, video can be used to record the immediate aftermath of an incident, secure video conferencing can enable effective communication, and a cloud-based health and safety solution will ensure the appropriate data and documentation is accessible all over the globe. All of these solutions go a long way to reducing hold-ups, confusion or unnecessary administrative tasks.
Another challenge to handling EHS issues across multiple locations is the need to deliver high quality EHS training to each and every employee. While there’s undoubtedly a need for face-to-face, real-world training in many instances, it’s worth considering using e-learning to deliver EHS messages that are appropriate for the medium. This will standardise the message and quality of training in all locations – a particularly important consideration when a business is spread across the globe.
It’s also often the most cost-effective and efficient method of training people en masse if you have a subject that matter that applies to large numbers of employees, and you’ll have the added benefit of being able to translate the training into the necessary languages to ensure it’s properly understood by everyone.
Finally, to ensure that you’re driving continuous improvement projects in every location the business operates in, you’ll need to be proactive and possess excellent communication skills. Keep on top of tasks and be willing to regularly remind others to follow through on actions you require of them if you want to be able to handle EHS issues across the globe.