When asked to "share an example of a workplace EHS-related challenge that your company solved or improved in the last year," respondents were brutally honest. Their answers ranged from the rudimentary ("started a safety program") to the profound ("took a caring approach to employee safety"), with a treasure trove of best practices in between. Among them, EHS professionals told us that they:
- Launched fall protection programs.
- Made factory thoroughfares safer.
- Installed machine guarding.
- Offered incentives for contractors to work safely.
- Purchased or upgraded PPE.
- Improved forklift safety.
- Instituted a mandatory glove policy.
- Encouraged supervisors to take more ownership of safety.
- Provided GHS training.
- Achieved OHSAS 18001 certification.
- Implemented or improved near-miss reporting.
- Tackled ergonomic issues.
Those were just a few of the many wins that EHS managers earned over the past year. But not everyone was so fortunate. A number of survey respondents vented that their safety initiatives lack management support, supervisor cooperation and/or employee participation. Others pointed to a production-first business mentality hampering their efforts.
A number of respondents indicated that they were unable to name even one EHS challenge that they addressed. One safety manager lamented, "I wish I could."
Finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the responses that tickled our funny bone – whether the humor was intended or not. One safety manager simply stated: "We fixed the ladder." Another offered this tongue-in-cheek response: "They hired me!"