ComplianceDecember 09, 2021

Wolters Kluwer Enablon Survey Reveals Changing Attitudes Toward Control of Work Processes

Digitalization, change of mindset among major themes

December 9, 2021 — Control of Work (CoW) processes are no longer simply for high hazard industries, and this shifting mindset is changing the framework and fueling an appetite for digital CoW solutions, according to a new report from Enablon. Enablon, a Wolters Kluwer business, provides integrated software solutions for risk and compliance; engineering and operations; environment, health, safety and quality (EHSQ) and sustainability.

“What we’re seeing right now is a Control of Work revolution, where our customers are laser-focused on reducing risk while lowering costs,” says Noelle Harvey, Senior Director Product Management at Wolters Kluwer Enablon. “Control of Work is a top priority for companies of any size, no matter where they are on the risk scale in their industries. This confirms the strength of the Enablon Vision platform, which not only enables collaboration between different departments, but also allows businesses to assess and manage risk across workers, assets, and processes in real-time.”

Enablon commissioned independent research firm Verdantix to conduct the interview-based survey of 80 executives representing different job functions, industries, countries, and environment, health and safety (EHS) risk levels. The questions covered a range of topics, including key CoW processes and benefits, software purchasing preferences, and future investment plans.

Top findings include:

Incident management, permit to work, and shift management emerge as the top three essential CoW processes.

  • 100% of firms are using incident management in their CoW framework.
  • 94% are using permit to work procedures, such as creating, managing and approving work permits.
  • 90% are using shift management processes, which have become increasingly important as remote work increases and workforce numbers dwindle during the pandemic.

Multiple departments are responsible for managing CoW.

  • More than half of executives noted the operations function is responsible for managing daily CoW activities, such a shift management (59%), permit to work (55%), and management of change (49%).
  • On the other hand, EHS departments handle incidents, while engineers improve design, processes and performance through barrier risk management and job hazard analysis.

Software is essential for CoW processes to be successful – even more so during the pandemic.

  • 84% of executives view software as either essential or valuable to the success of their CoW practices.
  • Top 3 benefits:
    • 60% rank COVID-19 risk management and mitigation as the top benefit of using and purchasing CoW software;
    • 54% Improving contractor safety;
    • 50% reducing process safety-related asset incidents.

Organizations are using CoW software to bridge the gap between asset and worker risk management.

  • Digitalized CoW software enables integrated risk management by combining two traditionally separated data silos – worker safety and asset risk management – and representing the data visually in an easy-to-understand format.
  • The market’s appetite for this approach is high – nearly 70% ranked it as highly attractive, showing that executives are now looking to combine multiple systems to improve safety and operational risk management.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen the demand for CoW software growing – driven by the digitalization of CoW processes and a change in mindset within organizations,” says Rob Davis, Vice President Product Management at Wolters Kluwer Enablon. “Corporations have a mandate to get work done safely and efficiently, and they realize that can’t be accomplished without CoW software.”

Survey Methodology

This interview-based study was conducted by independent research firm Verdantix in summer 2021. Verdantix interviewed 100 executives who represented different job functions, industries, countries and EHS risk levels. The respondents who work in IT were asked a different set of questions. Therefore, the responses in this report only reflect the 80 executives who work in operations, engineering and EHS. 23% of respondents work in a very high EHS risk level (chemicals, mining, oil & gas), 30% work in a high EHS risk level (construction, utilities), and 47% work in a medium EHS risk level (food and beverage, discrete manufacturing, data centers).

The full report can be downloaded at Control Of Work Software Enables EHS And Operations Collaboration For Real-Time Risk Management.

About Enablon
Enablon, a Wolters Kluwer business, is the world’s leading provider of integrated software solutions for risk and compliance; engineering and operations; environment, health, safety and quality (EHSQ) and sustainability. We help create a better world by making organizations responsible, productive and safe through innovative technology. Hundreds of industry-leading enterprises and millions of users worldwide rely on our solutions to minimize risks, increase worker safety, prevent incidents from happening, achieve regulatory compliance and reduce environmental impact. For more information, visit, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the health, tax & accounting, governance, risk & compliance, and legal & regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.

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