Mid-Market Challenges in EHS – How to Solve Them

This blog post is part 1 of a 2-part series

In the United States and Canada alone, there are close to 200,000 mid-market sized organizations. Typically defined as having an annual revenue of over $10 million and under $1 billion, these organizations employ roughly 25% of the workforce or close to 55 million employees.  These organizations are found in almost every industry with employees performing various tasks and activities, each having their own health and safety concerns. 

How Do You Ensure That Your Employees Go Home Safely Every Day?

OSHA encourages that all organizations, regardless of size, implement an Injury and Illness Prevention Program to identify and address problems before they occur in the workplace.  These programs have been proven to not only reduce the likelihood of a safety event such as an injury, illness or fatality but have shown that when a prevention program is in place, organizations will see an increase in employee morale.  An increase that ultimately leads to greater employee productivity and employee retention.  International Standards such as OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 provide the framework for health and safety management systems, however not all mid-market organizations are able to successfully implement these for several different reasons.

Challenges for Health and Safety Within the Mid-Market:

  • Limited Resources
    • Health and Safety tends to be one of the smaller departments within the mid-market, with employees typically wearing multiple hats (such as adding the E to become EHS).  With limited resources to properly manage and implement an effective health and safety program, they are more often in a reactive mode than a proactive mode. This results in investigating why a safety event occurred, rather than being ahead of the curve and identifying and correcting the issue prior to it becoming a safety event at all.
  • Limited Budget
    • Often perceived as a cost center, health and safety budgets are sometimes stretched thin.  With limited resources, coupled with a limited budget, running a truly effective health and safety program can be a heavy burden for all of those involved.  With insurance premiums on the rise and with more staff absences being reported, the perception will need to change from that of a cost center to that of a cost avoidance center.
  • Legacy Health and Safety Management Systems
    • A large percentage of the mid-market typically manage their health and safety programs either through pen and paper, Microsoft Excel, or a homegrown, prebuilt system.  This may do the trick for most organizations, however for some, these legacy systems can be problematic, leading to errors in data reporting, compliance issues, and items slipping through the cracks.   

Learn More

For a deeper dive into the unique EHS challenges facing mid-market organizations (and how to solve them) watch our webinar with Occupational Health & Safety.