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27.06.23

Introduction

As a health and safety professional we know you are aware of the benefits of investing in environmental, health and safety (EHS) software. But, how do you prove it to other people in your organisation? This document is designed for you to help make a business case for EHS software.

What is a business case and what should it include?

A business case is defined as: a justification for a proposed project or undertaking on the basis of its expected commercial benefit.

The exact scope of a business case depends on the project's unique nature. A typical business case may include elements such as:

  • The project’s purpose, business problem or opportunity
  • Anticipated risks and benefits
  • Comparison of options, exploration of alternative solutions
  • Cost, investment appraisal and other commercial aspects
  • Timescales
  • Impact on operations
  • Capability to deliver the project outcomes

Some more general tips include:

  • Be brief and convey only the essentials
  • Make it interesting, clear, and concise
  • Eliminate conjecture and minimise jargon

Research and review

Start by doing your due diligence to collect and compile relevant information. You can use interviews, direct observation, surveys, and group meetings to collect the necessary input. Connect with other departments to start opening up the dialogue about how EHS software will make improvements in their departments too.

Some elements you may wish to consider include:

  • Cost of damage to equipment
  • Cost of lost time due to incidents
  • What is the cost of lost productivity due to incidents?
  • What legal action has your organisation been involved in? What would be the cost of potential future legal action?
  • What fines and/or penalties have you incurred? What is your future exposure like?
  • Has your organisation suffered reputational damage?
  • Investigate insurance claim history, has there been an impact on your policy costs?
  • What requirements does your supply chain have for environment, health and safety?
  • What is your staff wellbeing and turnover like?
  • What is the current administration burden? How much time do you spend manually compiling information and preparing reports?
  • What processes do you have in place? Who is involved, what are the steps involved, what outcomes do you typically see?

Try to think about risks and opportunities. For example, when looking at the supply chain don’t just talk about the scenarios where you’ve lost business. Try to show what opportunities would be available if you had the right software in place.

Once you’ve sourced all this information, you can then look at the gaps, inefficiency and cost of how you do things currently versus how this could be different if you used EHS software.

It is estimated that health and safety professionals spend around 20% of their working week manually compiling information and preparing reports. How do you measure up? How could EHS software reduce this administrative burden? What would you do with the time you’ve gained?

In a list compiled by the job site Indeed they identify the desire for ‘a clearer company vision’ as one of the top reasons why employees choose to leave their jobs. Organisations that can be seen and heard consistently doing the right things, such as promoting a safe, healthy and sustainable culture, will find it easier to attract and retain talent. What’s more, a study run by Oxford University's Saïd Business School tracked 1,800 workers and their personal feelings of happiness over a series of weeks and found that happy workers were 13% more productive. What could your business do if every single team member was 13% more productive?

Who else in the organisation will EHS software help?

Securing buy-in can be difficult, but it is not impossible. It can help to find a champion at the executive level, who will help smooth the road for you, but don’t forget about other departments across your organisation.

Operations 

  • Helps operations department manage their inspections and checks from one central location
  • Gives everyone the power to report unwanted events immediately
  • Ensures operations has real-time visibility to manage productivity whilst mitigating risk
  • Reduced risk of damage to equipment

Finance 

  • Gain visibility over costs
  • Enables a forward-looking view around financial planning and accruals

Human Resources

  • Reduction of risk helps improve employee wellbeing
  • Metrics to aid staff performance reviews
  • Helps to attract and retain talent
  • Improves employee motivation and morale

Sales and Marketing

  • Demonstrates clear commitment to health and safety
  • Supports brand vision and values
  • Helps to differentiate organisation from competitors

Don’t forget IT!

Involve your IT team in the early stages of making your case. Ask them to check your requirements and add any they might have.

Health and Safety Stats

Where necessary, back-up your arguments with a stat. Here are a few to get you started:

Key figures for Great Britain (2021/22) published by HSE include:

  • 1.8 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
  • 914,000 workers suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety
  • 123 workers killed in work-related accidents
  • 565,000 working people sustained an injury at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 61,713 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 36.8 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £18.8 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2019/20)
  • Gallup, a global analytics firm, studied more than 1.8 million global employees and their workplaces to determine how engagement impacted safety. It found that organisations rated in the top 25% for engagement had 70% fewer incidents than those in the bottom 25%.

We’re here to help

We understand that this can be frustrating process. After all, you want to solve a problem, however, try to see this process as beneficial for you too. For example, compiling the necessary information required for the business case will help you demonstrate improvements in the future.

Hopefully you found this resource useful, however, we’re here to help if you need further support – 0808 168 5874.

Blog / HSCE / Evotix