2023 brings several environmental, health, and safety trends that have the potential to bring innovation in multiple industries. We’re aware that some opportunities and challenges remain ongoing in the sector, and some are just gaining traction, so we’ll see their impact in the following months. 

In the present ever-changing workspace, EHS managers must stay ahead of emerging trends and adapt quickly to the market’s needs. Unfortunately, they sometimes must manage factors they don’t fully understand in areas outside their expertise, experience, or education. Also, resource constraints are concerning among all industries. And last but not least, the Great Resignation and Silent Resignation continue to affect multiple companies which struggle to manage EHS requirements. 

This article presents insight into the most critical EHS trends that will impact 2023. 

Employee well-being and mental health are more important than ever

Considering the present global context when everyone is afraid a recession could come, the Russian-Ukraine crisis shows no signs of slowing down, and weather disasters affect the entire planet, it’s understandable why people struggle to maintain their well-being and mental health. EHS specialists think that well-being and mental health should be essential parts of any health and safety plan for good reasons, as they impact workers’ performance directly. As research shows, there’s a direct connection between well-being and mental health issues and an increased risk of workplace injury. 

EHS specialists state that when someone deals with anxiety, stress, or depression, they’re more prone to suffer workplace injuries or incidents. Stress, anxiety, and depression were common issues during the pandemic; unfortunately, they didn’t go away when it came to an end. The pandemic and everything associated with its effects impacted people’s lives, and many of them couldn’t get rid of the negative emotions associated with it. 

In 2023 the factors that negatively affect people’s well-being and mental health are different because workers worry about the present inflation, a possible recession, and the increased cost of living. When they stress over their finances aren’t as focused on their work as they’re supposed to be. Therefore, we’ll witness how financial well-being will gain more traction in the media and EHS sector. 

Data and technology offer companies the necessary tools to advance

Tech has always promised companies to enable them to create more effective strategies and facilitate decision-making. Businesses worldwide rely on software for audit and incident management and use tech tools to automate several EHS tasks. Automating manual processes enables companies to boost performance and increases workers’ safety. 2023 allows companies to increase their efficiency by digitising processes because technology provides the necessary ehs solutions to go forward. EHS experts agree on the crucial role of data because insights in the sector come from integrating advanced data analytics and analysing bulks of data. Data and technology make it easier for businesses to manage risk proactively. Data allows EHS managers to identify dangers before an incident happens, and EHS specialists can check leading indicators to identify the necessary measures to prevent accidents. 

Resource constraints

As mentioned earlier, EHS managers are faced with the issue of handling tasks they have no knowledge or experience due to resource constraints. Over the last few years, companies worldwide have been fighting the impacts of the Great Resignation and a lack of staff. In 2023 many businesses will continue to deal with limited resources, which will affect their EHS efforts. 

Achieving and maintaining EHS compliance implies expertise and management to ensure that all factors have been identified and taken into consideration when crafting strategies. EHS experts actively work with companies from all sectors to fill the gaps. Businesses can outsource their personnel or tools to meet compliance requirements. 

It’s recommended to collaborate with a reliable company that works in its clients’ interest and understands that EHS is a process that requires continuous improvement. Prioritising a compliance plan is essential this year to boost compliance efficiencies. 

Countries worldwide are designing regulations to hold companies accountable for their workforce’s safety and health. For example, several European directives encourage businesses to improve their workers’ safety and health. And while some countries leave it up to the employers to define their plans, others don’t have such a laissez-faire approach and provide companies with codes of practice, guidance, and resolutions. 

The worldwide economic uncertainty calls for increased accountability and efficiency

Everything points out that a global recession is inevitable in the following months. And now that the storm clouds are easily spotted on the horizon, companies need to seek efficiencies in their processes and develop strategies to improve them. Adopting technology tools that automate and streamline processes could help companies become more accountable and efficient in the long run. EHS experts state that in the challenging times, we’re living, it’s paramount to search for any solution to boost efficiency. 

If there’s a way for companies to survive a recession, that’s by investing in their EHs department to ensure that their workforces are productive and engaged. 

Climate change and sustainability

The USA committed to a net zero economy by 2050, and the EPA focuses on reducing greenhouse emissions by creating regulations that oblige businesses to reduce their pollution. The public and private sectors are encouraged to partner to boost energy efficiency in all sectors (industrial, commercial, and residential). 

In 2023 businesses should invest resources into conducting lifecycle analysis to identify their impact on the environment and how they can alter their processes to boost their sustainability. Regular energy audits are crucial these days because they enable companies to save money and comply with the latest regulations. Getting input from employees is also important when adding sustainability to their EHS agenda because who has a better insight into how internal processes affect the environment than those completing them?

It’s time for companies to set their EHS goals for 2023

The above trends pinpoint that the sector will face more focus on sustainability and EJ, more enforcement and more regulation, so businesses need to create plans to integrate them.