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Part of the HSE management – Comply, improve, excel series
Many organisations continue to face challenges executing effective Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) programmes, despite the widespread availability of digital systems intended to bring structured, user friendly and robust replacements for error prone ‘pen and paper’ approaches.
"Few organisations have explored the potential impact of today’s more innovative technologies on HSE"
There is a strong case for reinvention of the way businesses achieve HSE outcomes. Many incumbent digital solutions were born in a time when the ambition was to replicate paper forms in digital format. Since this period of earlier adoption, the world around us has since progressed at an astonishing rate. Few organisations have explored the potential impact of today’s more innovative technologies on HSE – where a wholesale redesign is possible, rather than a simple ‘digitisation’ exercise (think of the leap to automated passenger recognition via CCTV rather than simply having a ‘digital boarding pass’ on your phone).
There are a number of clear examples where application of the right technology could free up time burned completing ‘HSE processes’, redistributing that effort to focus on managing an organisation’s most pressing HSE risks.
"A need for documentary, rather than documented evidence"
The recent publication of ISO 45001, the first globally recognised standard for health and safety management (replacing BS EN OHSAS 18001), brought a subtle but key change;– a need for documentary, rather than documented evidence – paving the way for organisations to demonstrate compliance beyond the constraints of the written word; video, photographs and audio will be pervasive forms of communication in the HSE management system of tomorrow.
Technology products that leverage ‘non-written’ media will be front and centre of the paradigm shift in HSE management. Solutions that are within our reach today include:
- Integration of multiple data systems to automate previously cumbersome efforts to collate incident investigation information; such as CCTV footage, training history, operational data, and past relevant incidents.
- The use of video analytics to automate observation based auditing (such as behavioural based safety audits). Managers will be able to measure compliance levels ‘round the clock’ in place of the snapshot previously provided by a single auditor. Real time results enable managers to measure the impact of their instructions; i.e. "did my start-of shift safety briefing help reduce the number of non-compliant actions compared to yesterday?"
- Location tagged photos to report hazards and trigger notification to managers who enter a defined ‘geofence’; i.e., walking within ‘X metres’ of the reported hazard, allowing prompt action – reducing the reliance on computer access to ‘search’ for issues.
Making use of available technology to achieve HSE outcomes can help bridge the long-standing gap between business expectations and employee engagement levels on the topic; bringing simplification to users, reduce processing time and help make the outputs more impactful.
Are you ready for change?
- Where have you already used technology in your HSE arrangements, and are those systems in good health (being used pervasively, and producing good quality data)? If you use multiple systems, is there a "single truth" dataset used by all?
- Do those systems meet the needs of the operators; presenting information when and where it’s needed, in a format that’s easy to interact with?
- Where you have deployed digital systems, does this positively support employee engagement across all levels, or does the use of technology exclude the engagement of ‘non-computer-based’ colleagues?
Confidence to succeed responsibly
Many of the most impactful opportunities facing businesses today require vision and confidence as they largely don’t exist as ‘off the shelf’ solutions. Technology is advancing rapidly and digitising processes in a business saves time and resources which can be allocated elsewhere in your business. In our current world, where HSE is an ever increasing importance for companies, technology can reduce the likelihood of incidents and in turn increase productivity and general morale for the company.
Coming next: Re-thinking your approach to HSE compliance
For any further information, please contact:
Director | Deloitte LLP
+44 20 7303 6277
Over recent years, the range of subject matters that companies report on under the banner of ‘non-financial reporting’ has proliferated. No longer is non-financial information limited to select few environmental or social KPIs, such as carbon, energy, water, waste, and community investment. Companies are now reporting – both voluntarily and in line with increasing reporting requirements – a more holistic and diverse set of indicators, with subject matters including gender pay, occupational health, culture and corporate behaviours, board composition, and workforce diversity.
In our recent blog – General Regulatory Outlook 2018, we pointed out that the “good corporate citizen” agenda is progressing and will be trending in 2018. This agenda will be even more relevant and topical for the consumer products and retail sectors who, partly due to their close and constant interaction with the public, are facing increasing investor and consumer pressure to act ethically.
While businesses around the world are busy getting ready for GDPR, another wide-reaching EU regulation crept up and took many outside the Financial Services industry by surprise in January 2018 – the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2).
PSD2 removes the previous easy-to-use exemption for electronic communications providers. Instead, it introduces a much more limited exclusion – and if they want to exercise it, they must provide an annual independent audit opinion relating to it. If they are unable to use the new exemption, they may need a full Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) licence as a payment institution.
As electronic communication becomes ever faster and ever easier, and the EU ramps up its Digital Single Market Strategy, 2018 will see a steady stream of regulatory change for Telcos and online services providers beyond the GDPR. Key themes include security, consumer protection and competition management.
We’ve pulled together the headlines on EU and UK developments, as a brief overview of what’s coming up. If you want to know more, please click through here for our background document, including a timeline.
As 2018 begins to take shape, the regulatory outlook seems dominated by one particular area - data. As the value of the data held by organisations increases, so does the risk from cyber criminals and pressure from regulatory authorities. There is also increasing thought given on how to regulate social media such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
However, there are other topics on the agenda – this update covers briefly:
Potential net annual cost savings of £250,000 or more should be music to corporate ears. Those ears however seem resistant to the siren song of plain language for regulatory compliance communications.
Evidence shows that small investments in clearer messages save significant time (and therefore money), and improve reader understanding and compliance. For example, in the US Federal Express revised its ground operations manuals, which staff had to search for an average of 5 minutes to find information, with only 53% then finding the right answer. Average search times with the new manuals fell to 3.6 minutes, with an 80% success rate and conservatively estimated annual savings of $400,000. 
The second UK corporate offence of failing to prevent a crime committed by an associated person has just been introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017, covering facilitation of tax evasion and following in the tracks of the similar UK Bribery Act 2010 offence.
Most corporates would agree that aiming to prevent associates from committing crimes within the business is the right thing to do, and that the defences of having adequate procedures (for the UKBA) or reasonable procedures in all the circumstances (for the CFA) appear sensible. So this approach could provide a sound solution to the problem of corporate criminal liability. It should, however, be used with caution.