Health and Safety. Not at the kids’ table anymore

Published on June 13, 2017

For the longest time, health and safety was seated at the kids’ table while the adult table was occupied by audit, compliance, incident, risk, and security.

The conversation around the adult table then and now is all about operations, performance, supply chain, issues, and the finer points of risk management. Back at the kids’ table, health and safety kept to itself, whether it was submitting OSHA forms, recording workplace accidents, managing site inspections, performing job hazard analyses, or preparing for audits.

As long as health and safety behaved, the adult table was happy. Unless it was an extreme situation or a company-wide initiative around workforce safety, the adults didn’t give much time or attention to health and safety doing its thing at the kids’ table. Until now.

Risk changes everything
Risk has begun to dominate the conversation around the adult table. Much of it is about the growing concern of business vendors and suppliers (third-party risk) and the rapid rise of information technology (cyber risk).

It was risk, specifically operational, that advocated for health and safety’s ascension to the adult table. Risk saw the organizational impact of health and safety. An OSHA violation could be disastrous to both the bottom line and the company’s reputation. An issue discovered during an inspection but left unresolved could lead to a facility being closed. In short, the health and safety of the workforce impacts the organization.

Thanks to its maturity and impact on risk, health and safety was invited to join the adult table.

Adult table responsibilities
Sitting around the adult table means carrying on conversations that go beyond self-interest. For audit, compliance, incident, risk, and security, what matters most is the organization’s interests. Now seated at the  adult table, health and safety needs a way to integrate with the big talk going on.

Fortunately, it’s as easy as, “Could you please pass the mashed potatoes?” The mature adults perform integrated risk management with a GRC platform. Health and safety could use the same platform for its activities. That platform is Keylight, and its newest application is Health and Safety Manager.

The application streamlines health and safety compliance activities, saving time and reducing compliance costs. For the adult table, data from Health and Safety Manager becomes part of the operational risk management program. Risks associated with workplace accidents, job hazards, and facilities/sites are visible at the executive level. All those who sit at the adult table–audit, compliance, incident, risk, and security–now have access to health and safety’s findings and reporting.

Round table discussion
By using a GRC platform to manage enterprise-wide risk and comply with complex regulations, the adult table can become a round table discussion. Audit, compliance, incident, risk, security, and now health and safety all share the same level of information in the platform. With evidence collected and presented, views can be expressed, debates can occur, and decisions can be made.  

The versatility and governing aspect of GRC are why many organizations are using GRC platforms to promote not only enterprise risk management, but also ethics and best practices. It’s why OCEG, the trade group behind GRC, labels it Principled Performance. Everyone around the table acts with integrity in the drive toward goals and objectives.

From the kids’ table to the adult table to the round table, health and safety takes its rightful place, thanks to Keylight’s newest application.

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