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Leveraging technology to manage and improve workplace health and safety risk
Date of Issue: Friday, 24 June, 2022
Health and safety is consistently an important topic. No one wants to be responsible for harm coming to an employee, colleague or family member, especially when many incidents can be avoided by having good health and safety practices in place. The pressure and responsibility felt by organisations around health and safety risk, conduct and general liability is increasing. While health and safety is essential, it can be hard, expensive and time-consuming without the right tools.
In this blog, we talk to Safe365 Co-Founder Nathan Hight about the challenges that exist when the right tools aren‘t available, and how technology provides an opportunity to simplify and enhance health and safety risk management and more importantly, improvement.
The challenges of managing health and safety risk
Inconsistent, fragmented solutions
Businesses often use multiple systems, including aspects which are paper-based, such as one solution to manage audits and inspections, another to manage incident reporting, another to record risks and hazards, and something else to manage site sign ins/outs). This approach lends itself to inconsistency in terms of how health and safety is managed, can be costly to roll out, and is complicated and clunky for workers to adopt into their daily work environments.
Limited visibility to track and improve performance
Some tools provide the ability to set up and implement health and safety procedures, but provide little visibility or support on which procedures are needed, where a business ranks in terms of health and safety maturity, or guidance on how to actually improve and make gains in capability and performance. It can be hard to gain momentum this way, and also lead to employees and senior management disengaging from health and safety processes and priorities.
No specialist staff and rapid process decay
Many solutions assume the business has a dedicated team of health and saftey / risk professionals and consequently are not designed to work for businesses who have limited or no internal health and safety expertise. They’re costly, complex and don’t provide the ability to benchmark, track and improve health and safety capability. There are health and safety consultancy services which are great to set up systems and processes, however many busineses aren’t able to maintain this, so the practices fall behind despite the positive intent
How technology is making health and safety easier
Technology provides an opportunity to deliver a cost-effective, integrated solution that makes management, tracking and reporting on health and safety seamlessly possible – and without need for a health and safety specialist in those SMB organisations. Policies, procedures and documents can be brought together in an accessible, easy-to-use online system, with tools to engage employees and continually improve performance, and visibility to monitor and report for governance.
For health and safety consultants, tech can be complementary to their guidance and advice, providing a platform upon which to set, measure and evaluate their client’s goals, and progress in a way that is transparent and visible.
Supporting businesses on the journey to health and safety excellence
One of the biggest opportunities when it comes to leveraging tech in health and safety, is the ability to not only manage, but assess and improve your health and safety capability or maturity. At Safe365, our purpose is to reduce workplace harm globally, and to achieve this, we are trying to take as many businesses as possible towards the top health and safety maturity level.
Consistently measuring health and safety maturity is the next challenge however, which is why we developed the Safe365 Health & Safety Index – a business’ individual benchmark score of their health and safety maturity, which they get after completing an online health and safety assessment. Plotted on the Safe365 Maturity Roadmap, this helps them build a picture of where they sit on their journey to health and safety excellence or ‘Leadership’ status. The roadmap provides visibility on how they can improve, with clear, actionable steps they can take to reach their next milestone. Businesses are able to compare their Safety Index score over time and also benchmark against others in their industry, FTE band size, or geography.
Our aim is to build a global community of companies all using the Safe365 Health and Safety Index as the basis for their health and safety discussions and continual improvement.
Moving forward with digital health and safety solutions
There are easy-to-use, affordable, digital solutions available for health and safety professionals to leverage - that provide innovative tools, resources and support to help organisations create and sustain safer and healthier workplaces. For risk management professionals, leveraging technology will be essential to the effective and efficient management of health and safety risks and the ultimate reduction of workplace harm.
Safe365 is an IIRSM partner and an award-winning digital health and safety platform. For more info, head to safe365global.com