We’d like to think that all companies are ethical, and that none would dare violate the environmental health and safety codes put in place for them. Of course, we know better than that. While some companies are guilty of committing widespread, knowing violations, others break the rules on a much smaller scale. These cases can be arguably more harmful than those that make the news, precisely because nobody is talking about them. Employees aren’t talking about little moments of seeing their coworkers break a rule or forget a step. They aren’t reporting such incidents to their supervisors. Why? Well, this is because, in part, reporting such violations can result in serious retaliation. This may not be the intent of the company. However, supervisors have been known to retaliate against “whistleblowers”. People who report suspicious goings-on or violations within companies can be at the very least ignored or passed over for promotions, and at the most fired. While this isn’t necessarily legal, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Furthermore, it can be difficult for employees to fight back. This is where EHS compliance systems come in. EHS compliance systems help people anonymously report environmental safety violations. And their benefits, as you’ll discover below, are manifold.
1. EHS Compliance Systems Protect Employees
As hard as it may be for some to believe, many employees simply do not feel comfortable in reporting unsafe behaviors to their supervisors and peers. How many employees feel uncomfortable? Well, roughly speaking 45% of the employees feel this way. At the same time, 75% of employees report that feeling personally safe and secure at the workplace is very important to them. We can’t expect employees to risk their sense of job security for the sake of environmental compliance. In an ideal world, they wouldn’t be risking anything — but as it is, it’s important for employees to maintain their anonymity while reporting illegal or unsafe activities. EHS compliance systems do just that, and much more. There is a reason why these systems fall under the umbrella of health and safety software. Not only are they helping EHS teams to keep companies are physically safe as possible — they’re also ensuring that employees don’t have to worry about suffering professional consequences for doing the right thing.
2. They Keep Employees In Touch With EHS Teams
EHS teams should be easy for employees to reach; and this isn’t to say that they are inaccessible as it is. However, it’s undeniable that 72% employees remain unaware of their company’s EHS function. Whether or not this limited accessibility is intentional, there needs to be a change. After all, 43% of employees want to give feedback to their EHS teams. This is not only good for the employees, but for those working to better a company’s EHS functions. EHS software is as much for those working in the EHS realm as it is for those reporting. The point of this software is not to simply acknowledge that something wrong is happening, but to encourage change and prevent those same violations from happening again.
3. They Create Long Term Changes
It can be difficult for companies to make changes without first knowing how serious the issues they need to change really are. Reporting software allows employees to take that first step, and from there on it is the company’s responsibility. They can make changes through firing individuals who purposefully break rules and violate codes. They can also implement new employee safety programs, training employees from the start so that they have a better understanding of work safety and rules. It’s important that this alternative to traditional reporting exists. That way, reporting can become more widespread and commonplace — and in turn, so can change. In regards to environmental health and safety in particular, change is not just about protecting one person, but dozens. Certainly, this kind of software is valuable and worth installing.