September 8, 2020

Environmental Health and Safety: An Analytics Perspective

Our solutions leverage captured data, such as environmental, incident, compliance, roster and employee data, to provide the information needed to support operational, tactical, and strategic decision-making by corporations concerned with environmental health and safety (EHS). My role, as a Data and Analytics Consultant, is to make this information available and to enable our clients to derive meaningful, timely, and actionable insights from their data. As this requires a good understanding of our clients’ domain, close collaboration with them is essential in establishing requirements, and in shaping the solution.

Across the mining industry, there are critical areas within EHS that need addressing. These include integrating incidents, hazard and injury reporting across the business, exposure testing for employees and contractors, conducting and monitoring employee training, rostering and mobilizing teams for projects, keeping informed about statutory and regulatory obligations and updates, and tracking between obligations and proactive actions.

Data and Analytics plays a big role in helping us answer – and remove – these EHS problem areas. For example, we can monitor metrics that indicate the effectiveness of safety measures implemented across the organization, such as the TRIFR (Total Reportable Injuries Frequency Rate) and the LTI (Lost Days Injuries) free days. A TRIFR that increases over time or decreasing LTI free days may show that there are not enough controls or that the controls implemented are not effective.

Analytics can also support the identification of problem areas and their root causes quickly, by providing a summary view of statuses at an enterprise level, enabling us to delve progressively into more detailed information at different levels of the organization. For example, if a peak is noticed in the number of injuries, the team can investigate where they happened, who they happened to, what the circumstances were, and the trends; the contributing underlying causes can be identified with corrective actions and controls applied in the most relevant focus areas.

Over the last couple of years, there has been an increasing trend toward the adoption of real-time analytics so that decisions and actions can be triggered faster, with greater relevance and impact. Analytics software enhances data analysis on behalf of the user by highlighting outliers, exceptions, abnormal trends, etc. There has also been a shift towards predictive analytics such as identifying possible future outcomes so that appropriate actions may be taken, or to allow adequate preparation.

As the industry progresses on its digital transformation path, we are seeing more and more technologies introduced that facilitate these EHS gaps. Cloud computing, microservices technologies, a new breed of business intelligence tools with advanced analytics capabilities, as well as new modeling methodologies, for instance, are set to bring Data and Analytics for EHS into a whole new dimension in the near future.



About the Author:

As a Data and Analytics Consultant, my mission is to enable our clients to derive meaningful, timely, and actionable insights from their data. I joined INX 6 years ago as a report developer but quickly saw the opportunity for – and the potential benefits – of an INX Business Intelligence (BI) solution. Further to some initial investigation and research into the market, we embarked on the design and development of our own BI product, which saw the creation of what we now know as INX +BI. It has been exciting and rewarding to witness the evolution of INX +BI and to know that this is now an integral value-generating component for our clients. I look forward to a promising future for our solution as we endeavor to ride the wave of momentum of the rapidly changing technology landscape.

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