The environmental health and safety industry is undergoing constant change. In order for those in the space to stay on top of their roles, it’s essential that you understand key trends.
Not sure where to start? Let’s explore everything you need to know.
1. Social Distancing Continues
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 drastically reshaped the entire world. Although many countries now have the spread of the virus under control, social distancing is still commonplace.
Some facilities require workers to maintain a minimum distance between each other at all times. They might also alter their workflow, such as the way multiple team members collaborate on a certain project.
It’s important to note, though, that these social distancing requirements are not as strict as they were when they were first implemented. So, it’s unlikely that companies within this industry experience complications in terms of productivity.
2. A Focus on Mental Health
Although mental health has been in the spotlight previously, the pandemic ushered in a new age of mental health recognition. This is largely due to the overall impact that widespread changes had on both business owners and employees.
For instance, some companies were forced to lay off a large portion of their workers. Others were forced to shut down entirely. As you might guess, remaining workers were forced to pick up the slack and were often overstressed.
Many facilities have implemented programs to help recognize and accommodate mental health issues. The push to normalize confronting these issues has proved highly beneficial for both employee productivity and morale.
3. Internal Procedures Are More Crucial Than Ever
As we are all well aware, the pandemic forced companies to deep clean their facilities on a regular basis. In fact, some businesses were required to do so each morning before people arrived at the location.
A byproduct of this occurrence is the emphasis on internal procedures. This means that business owners have taken a step back and revamped their safety guidelines.
In many cases, this also extended to the way that facilities incorporate safety data sheets (SDS). For example, ensuring that a facility remains as safe as possible means that owners and managers took another look at how harmful substances are handled on a regular basis.
The end result is a workplace that is exponentially safer than before in all aspects — not just in terms of sanitization.
You can check out this resource to learn more about SDS management.
4. Virtual Training
As previously mentioned, companies in the environmental health and safety industry were forced to rework how they operate. This resulted in many employees beginning to work remotely in order to minimize the number of staff at a given location.
Since these guidelines were required for months at a time, businesses had to adapt quickly. This means forms of virtual training were implemented to accommodate new employees.
The same can be said for training that is held for existing workers.
Although regulations are a bit looser these days, virtual training still remains a staple option. Businesses in the environmental health and safety industry have discovered it is both more convenient and economical.
The greatest benefits are experienced when holding virtual environmental health and safety training for large groups of people.
5. An Emphasis on Cybersecurity
The cybercrime industry is projected to be worth more than ever before by the end of the decade. To clarify, its projected value is expected to exceed $10 trillion.
Much of this value comes from compromising sensitive company information. This is especially true for the environmental safety and health industry.
So, it’s more important than ever before to emphasize cybersecurity.
In practice, companies implement standards and procedures to help combat this change. These are often in the form of zero-trust policies and multifactor authentication.
For those who are unaware, is zero-trust policy dictates that no user should ever be fully trusted. Instead, they should always be identified.
As you might guess, it’s impractical to implement this policy for all types of data. Only the most sensitive information should have this safeguard in place.
6. Innovative 3D Printing
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically disrupted supply chains in the industry. It was more difficult than ever before to procure materials on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, many suppliers are still not able to provide the same level of service as they once were. Additionally, fulfillment is still slower than average.
To help accommodate shortages, companies have leveraged 3D printing. This has been particularly useful for manufacturing facilities.
This type of technology hasn’t been able to completely replace supply shortages yet. However, it’s evolving quickly.
Another important attribute of 3D printing is the capability to produce less waste during production. Most notably, this process generates fewer CO2 emissions.
7. Wearable Technology
Wearable technology has found a home within the environmental safety and health industry. This is due to two primary reasons:
- Minimizing contact between workers and equipment
- Improving overall efficiency
This latter point often comes into play during intense production cycles. When workers are easily able to communicate with each other, there are fewer workflow interruptions.
Take this into consideration when moving forward so that you can take full advantage of it.
Keep These Environmental Health and Safety Trends in Mind
The above information will allow you to perform your role in the industry much more efficiently. From here, you’ll have a strong understanding of the key nuances of the environmental health and safety industry.
You can then navigate the space much more effectively.
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