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There’s No Certainty in Health and Safety! Dealing with Persistent EH&S Risks Lead Firms to Increase Investments

BASF, one of the world’s largest chemical producers with €70bn turnover in 2015, witnessed a deadly explosion at the Ludwigshafen plant in Germany on 17 October. The explosion that claimed four lives and seriously injured eight others was likely caused by a contractor error. This tragic incident, at a firm with an enviable safety record (1.4 work related accidents per million working hours in 2015), confirms that no matter how robust EH&S management systems and risk management activities are, firms are never safe from incidents and need to constantly strive to improve performance.

Data from Verdantix’s new global survey of 301 environment, health and safety executives shows that employee and contractor safety is perceived to be a high or medium risk to more than 75% of firms. In response, firms are increasing investments on employees, audits, equipment, EH&S consulting services and commercial EH&S software. Commercial EH&S software is particularly prioritised. More than one-third of firms plan to increase spending on this in 2017, of which the majority expect to increase spend by more than 5%.

Detailed analysis of the global survey data shows that 10% of firms in the chemical sector are planning to replace existing software with software from a new vendor for incident management. This is not surprising considering the speed of development of new capabilities such as mobile applications with offline functionality offered by vendors such as Enablon, Intelex, ProcessMap, and VelocityEHS. We are also seeing frequent new product announcements such as last month’s release of Gensuite’s new Gensuite Mobile application with enhancements in the layout for navigation, design and access to the QR code scanner.

To understand where and how firms are investing to respond to EH&S risks tune in to the Verdantix webinar of Thursday 17th November. You will also find out more about:

• EH&S issues that pose the highest risk to corporates
• Which EH&S issues firms prioritise to improve performance
• Management activities that will see a spending increase in 2017