Companies are changing at a rapid face and recent surge in digitalization and current conditions is changing landscape of the organizations. Some of the EHS job functions which were sought by companies are no more in demand. It is changing rapidly, and the silent digitalization of companies is even pushing the roles to back. In any digital transformation technological changes is one way of achieving the change, the other being the human changes. There is a clear framework which is available in the play books that one should evaluate the digital dexterity of job roles of people who adopt to future digital roles. How much of a person’s role is manual or needed to be more social and what percentage of it needs to be digital. Based on such analysis roles are mapped to various categories which drive the transition. Where your role belongs in this digital transformation journey, what is your dexterity level for the job role you are performing. In this blog I would like to discuss the digital dexterity of Environment, health and Safety and Product Compliance roles.

There are many EHS roles mentioned in job portal sites or even sites dedicated to EHS. Some of the roles which are listed in those sites are of overlapping roles with other major department like Chemists who can belong to Analytical department, or even Biotechnologist which belongs to genetics or molecular biology section. Such roles have been filtered out and quick search is performed on various job sites, only jobs relevant to EHS are identified and analyzed. The different roles include i. Environmental Consultants ii. Product Safety Stewardship iii. Environmental Sampling technician iv. Industrial Hygienist v. MSDS Author and related roles in the areas of Hazard Communication, Dangerous Goods Management and Environmental Management.

It is found that majority of the job roles the actual requirement of working with the technical expertise of Product Safety Stewardship or Toxicologist, for example, Safety Data sheet or Label Management are not only the core requirements but also additional requirements like expertise in working with ERP and Microsoft products and entry level digital skills are sought.  Similarly, for the roles of Environmental Manager, besides the key skills of program management and managing OSHA regulations, expertise in creating or delivering content and knowledge of cloud or digital technologies are sought after. Similarly, there are also other job profiles which are changed to some extent to include the digital technologies as a core requirement. For a Toxicological modelling expertise not only subject expertise is sought even an in-depth expertise in various modelling tools and programming is also sought after.

The need for digital skills for managing the day to day functionalities of EHS and Product Regulatory knowledge is evolving fast and slowly for surely organizations are aligning their workforce with skills with digital in mind. Some of the applications like ERP components for managing Safety Data Sheet Authoring, Label Development and Industrial Hygiene Activities are picking fast.  Dedicated standalone EHS software product knowledge and experience in Digital Document Management, Task Management and working with digital sampling management are also fast adopted. The topic of digital dexterity for EHS consultants is a remarkably interesting and it needs careful analysis of multiple job portals, organizational discussions to understand how the needs have changed over the past many months. As we witnessed the impact of current pandemic the normal working spectrum of EHS consultants are changed, increasingly organizations are seeing for skills of team members who are versed with remote response systems like Employee Survey creation for possible health impact or status, digital platforms for managing the document or content and security login management. There are also instances of organizations moving to digital technologies for rapid screening of employees and are adopting digital equipment with screening capabilities. HR data tools knowledge and Health Surveillance tools are also the other skills companies are seeing for.

The other areas where organizations are investing in digital skills for working with EHS areas is the analytics for deriving insights of various segments of operation. Be it the use of analytics for deriving insights around Carbon Emissions, Product Marketability analysis or Chemical Data Analysis or even Incident injury rates or similarly it is picking the speed. Various analytical tools like Power BI or Tableau and similar tools are picking the speed. It is not uncommon to see some requirements giving the requirements of Data Science Expertise with Python or R programming skills.

To conclude the current situation, we are in and the fast adoption of digitalization, more and more organizations are embarking on the journey of digitalization. How fast an EHS consultant adopts themselves with digital skills makes them stay relevant in the current situation. Some of the digital topics include i. Basic of Cloud ii. Document Management iii. Worker safety equipment operation iv. Toxicological / Eco Toxicological Modelling iv. SDS / MSDS / Label Authoring tools / Analytics tools like Tableau or Power BI. For some advanced job roles, a mix of knowledge in Data Science, Modelling or Even Robotic Process Automation tools like Blue Prism or UIPath, are requirement. Take some time out of your daily routine to assess your current digital knowledge and identify the knowledge gaps and create a plan for imbibing the knowledge.

All EHS consultants / practitioners Stay vigilant and Stay relevant.

Thanks

Jayakumar

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