EHS + QMS: Why together is better

In an era where computers and technology are dominating our everyday lives, it comes as no surprise that it has been duly integrated into business operations. This massive shift in technology has happened out of a necessity to keep up with consumer demands, and an ever shifting economy and business landscape. 

Part of this adjustment has come in the form of enterprise softwares, that can manage multiple aspects at once, streamlining processes, and reducing inefficiencies as much as possible. 

All companies, especially ones who have a non digital product, have processes and regulations they must follow in order to ensure a high consistency of quality in their product. 

Softwares known as Quality management systems, otherwise known as a QMS system software, are commonly used today, in order to enforce these standards. 

But what about the safety of the employees? For that there are EHS softwares. 

What is the meaning of EHS? It stands for environmental, health and Safety (EHS), and the softwares are the other components of the equation. 

So with the complexity of the business landscape addressed, why can’t we put them together? 

Since they both have similar processes, couldn’t we do a combination of the two, and look at it from the perspective that your company as a whole is a product, and that worker, environmental, safety, and a quality product are all crucial? 

In this article, the key driving factors behind the recent trend of integrating EHS and QMS, otherwise known as QEHS,  will be examined, and how it can overall provide more value than you think to your business. 

1.Document Management

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Again, considering the rapid changes in technology today, and the amount of processes companies need to keep up with, documentation is a critical part of keeping on top of things, especially when it comes to your QMS, and EHS protocols. 

Rather than having two systems with separate documents in each of them, why not instead put all documents in one centralized location, where you can view them in an organized and sequenced order? 

Whether it comes to your MSDS sheets, instructions, quality manual, data management, regulatory documents, handling complaints, or any other documentation that you may need, you are definitely better off combining the two to view them all in one place, and to see the relations between them in a simple way. 

Within Momentum, the Document Control module can help with this. 

Link related documents to a document/record, integrate with word/excel sheets to integrate metadata, and capture the acknowledgement from users that they have read and understood your receipts.

2.Risk assessment

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Doing an ehs risk assessment is a critical component of ensuring the safety of your workplace. 

Through doing this, you may also notice higher efficiency in your Quality management system, which can then lead to a higher product quality. 

Product quality is important, but remember that we can’t forget the safety of the work environment!

Through using a QEHS, you can identify the risk simply, and with less error than typically done with two systems, or through paperwork alone. 

Why not calculate your risk as a whole through the various points of process chain, and then adjust your ehs and qms risk assessment from there? WIth a better understanding of the risk, you can do better mitigation measures.

Not to mention, this removes a communication gap between your EHS and QMS teams. 

This is at times overlooked, especially within a larger bureaucracy in a medium to large sized business. 

This is why Momentum has multiple assessments built right into its system. 

Whether it’s financial, legal, reputational etc… We make it easy for you to determine the severity and scope of the event, making it easier for you to implement corrective actions to address the root cause of the issue. 

3.Employee training

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Once you have a good QMS, and EHS process, you need the boots on the ground to be making the right moves, and the right decisions, at the right time. 

A lot of this comes down to employee training of course!

Ensuring that good training is done, comes down to remembering when to do the training, keeping track of the scores of employees, and necessary feedback. 

By using a QEHS software, you can solve two issues at once! 

It is important to train your employees on the best practices when it comes to environmental health and safety, whilst also addressing what needs to be done to ensure the highest product quality that fits regulatory standards!

This is why Momentum has a training module built in, to ensure that all employees are competent in performing their tasks. We make it easy to identify all training requirements, create courses, schedule them, and track every step of the training process. 

In addition, you can integrate your training module with the document control module, in order to easily allow training on all the different types of documents your organization creates!

4.CAPA

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Corrective and preventive actions are crucial to tracking potential issues that could lead to inefficiencies in your organization. When dealing with two systems, a QMS and EHS, they both alone could paint a clear picture of problems in the manufacturing process, incidents and safety risks, but together they could tell a more accurate story. 

What if your non-conforming materials are caused by an inefficiency in your workers, which is actually caused by an EHS risk that was not assessed early on? 

Momentum Systems makes it easy to eliminate any systemic, recurring or high risk problem happening in your organization. 

The CAPA module is divided into two components:

  • Planning 

Collaborate with team members to determine the root cause of the issues, and then determine the actions.

  • Implementation

Once your planned actions are approved, the system will monitor and ensure that all the actions are closed out. From there, the CAPA team leader can easily determine whether the actions taken were effective in addressing the root cause of the issue. 

5.Meetings

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Whenever an issue arises, if complicated enough, management may need to meet to address the issues at hand. This is especially crucial if you run a company that has specific standards that it needs to conform to, such as FDA, EHS and local regulations. 

It is crucial that the processes you have are monitored correctly, and to do so, regular check ups and corrective actions from management are critical. 

Knowing when these issues overlap each other is important to make sure that good decisions are taken, and this can be accomplished best by a QEHS. 

Within our meetings module, we make it easy for you to create and schedule your meetings at predefined intervals, to make sure that your organization stays on top of its commitments and objectives. 

We also take it a step further, and give you the option to manage your EHS and QMS meeting agenda. From there, we also give you the option to carry over each previous agenda to the next meeting to review that your planned actions were carried out effectively. 

6.Audits and surveys

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Doing audits and surveys are crucial components to minimizing losses, and increasing efficiency of your business as a whole. This can be a very time consuming process, and especially when it comes to medium and large sized businesses, can possibly have errors. 

What if you could automate these processes with a software? 

With a QEHS software, you could save time, headaches from paperwork, have reminders to do the audits and surveys, and reduce error. Your software can streamline the processes and allow you to accurately follow ISO standards, in this case ISO 14001, 9001, and OHSAS 18001.

Within our audit module, we make it easy for you to plan, execute and manage your audits effectively. We do this through:

  • Questions: Migrate existing questions into a module, and assess them using configurable terms and scores, and add additional information such as images and user actions. 
  • Checklists: Collect and combine multiple questions into checklists which can then be used across multiple audits. 
  • Scheduling: Easily plan and schedule your audits over a period of time, to ensure that all the relevant users are notified when the audits are due. 

7.Change management

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This is yet another important part of your business, especially when implementing big changes to your processes. 

Making key shifts to move your business forward is a good thing, however you must keep in mind the risks associated with implementing these changes, especially when it comes to your workers safety, and the chances of your QMS failing in some way, and leading to problems with product quality. 

This is why we have our Change Management module. 

Within this section, we allow you to identify all affected aspects of your organization such as the documents, processes, assets, and our software automatically puts in a plan that will keep all your affected stakeholders in the loop to ensure that change is implemented efficiently and effectively! 

8.Enterprise reporting

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As mentioned earlier, because of the massive shifts in technology in recent years, and the adoption of the internet and software systems to automate processes, it comes as no surprise that data analytics is a crucial part of a businesses sustainability. 

Understanding the data is important to realize what trends are happening in your market, and your business as a whole. 

Human beings are subject to bias, so a straight to the point analysis of what’s going on could be a remedy to confusion and chaos. 

When integrating an EHS and QMS system, you can get a deeper layer of analysis into what actually causes the breakdown of your quality process. 

In reality, it’s all a chain reaction, because if there are problems with the work environment, it could lead to inefficiencies with your workers. From there, your product quality may suffer, and it goes downhill from there!

Integration could be a crucial edge over your competitors when it comes to gathering intelligence to move your business forward…

In momentum, the Master data module is the place to provide a repository for storing and sharing all the master data within the system. 

This include items such as:

  • Look up lists
  • Document templates
  • Email templates

In addition to that, we make it easy for you to import legacy data for migrations purposes! 

9.Incidents

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As a company who strives to continuously improve its processes, recording your incidents will be a crucial component of reducing future risks, and mitigating any damage they could cause. 

With that mentioned, it’s possible that incidents could occur in both QMS and EHS related situations. 

Maybe a flaw in your quality management system leads to defects? 

What if you didn’t follow your SDS, and there is a chemical spill that jeopardizes the operation and the health of your employees? 

This is why a QEHS is important, because it can aggregate all the data into one cohesive place, show the relationship between work safety and your process, leading to your team conducting a better and more informed risk analysis. 

In order to do good corrective actions, your incident data must be accurate, and organized enough to understand. 

Inside of Momentums Systems health and safety modules, we make it easy for employees to report, investigate and resolve any safety events that occur in your organization through a risk based approach. 

We also integrate the Step back 5X5 approach into our system, and make it easy to manage safety events through identifying hazards, assessing risks, and controlling the risks. 

Conclusion

The business world today is a fast paced environment that is riddled with liabilities and the potential to be out competed. Wouldn’t you want an edge to ensure full compliance with safety standards, other regulatory standards, and the highest quality product? 

QEHS is the edge your business needs now, especially in these trying times. 

You may find your employees getting sick more often, and worry about potential liability for their health, and how your business operation will be affected. 

At the end of the day, you could see massive cost savings! 

This is due to the fact that you had better data that indicated problems in your QMS, and EHS components of your business. 

From there, you can prevent further inefficiencies, risks, and losses, and because you were able to put the pieces together… you ultimately made the right moves. 

Let Momentum Systems help you get there. 

Published by Ryan Desantis

Hi, I'm Ryan! I'm a B2B SaaS Content Writer who creates engaging and revenue increasing blog posts and content. Need effective content? Contact me now to discuss your project.

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