WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH PAPER-BASED HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT?
Today, many organisations continue to use six or seven different health and safety management systems, often combining paper-based management with software tools for managing selected elements, like accident reporting or e-learning.
From a business owner’s perspective, this sort of approach can breed a variety of problems that impact on the business’ level of compliance. Information recorded on paper can be inconsistent, mislaid or filed late; multiple systems mean it’s impossible to access a single and instant overview of compliance; and it can be challenging to complete and record audits and assessments across multiple branch sites. Adopting a cloud-based approach can swiftly eliminate all of these issues from the moment they become implemented.
BENEFITS OF THE CLOUD
Using a cloud-based system can help to embed health and safety management within day-to-day business operations, taking the laboriousness out of the process and streamlining its implementation. Ensure you are making sure you get the most out of your safety management system by taking advantage of the following benefits:
- Record and access audits, work equipment checks and workplace accidents remotely from any location at any time of day, on any mobile device. For branch managers, this makes it quicker and easier to carry out routine health and safety checks and processes. For business owners, detailed due diligence trails provide peace of mind, while aggregated data analysis informs future health and safety actions and planning, highlighting any areas that need addressing.
- Historic and detailed information can be held within the system, meaning no data is lost or misplaced, and in the event of a claim, you can easily look back and see a trail of evidence to back up your case.
- Dashboard reporting makes it easy to quickly identify priority areas at a glance, highlighting, for example, if a particular branch may benefit from additional training as a result of a series of similar accidents.
- E-learning modules for training and training matrix records. This can provide managers with at-a-glance overviews of training records, making it easy to identify any gaps or refresher training requirements across a whole range of areas, from lift truck operation to racking awareness. The online training itself can be accessed by employees at a time and place to suit the individual, making it easy and convenient for staff to complete training modules.
- Full health and safety spectrum covered and all in one place. The most advanced cloud-based systems will take a holistic approach to health and safety management, covering accident reporting, audits, COSHH and work equipment checks, to risk and subcontractor assessments, permits to work, enforcement officer visits and workplace transport management. This eliminates the need for multiple individual systems, which all record, manage and present information differently, making it challenging to achieve an overall picture of compliance.
- The ability to log health and safety meetings, conduct driver record checks and record health surveillance questionnaires – advantageous, particularly as more and more focus is being placed on driver safety and health surveillance following the Glasgow bin lorry crash in 2014.
- Alerts to prompt action well ahead of deadlines. The ability to set and record regular safety audits demonstrates a business’ ongoing commitment to health and safety, which can be crucial in the event of prosecution or enforcement action.
- Attachments such as images, videos and PDFs can be attached and stored for as long as you need them, helping to build evidence files at the point of incident. Capturing information at this stage can be crucial, as it allows an accurate picture of events to be recorded and reduces the likelihood of evidence being ambiguous, mislaid or incomplete.
- In terms of IT infrastructure, the move to a cloud-based system reduces server usage and eliminates the need for software upgrades across multiple devices, reducing the risk of branch managers working on different generations of software. More advanced cloud-based systems can be tailored and scaled to suit the individual requirements of an organisation, with scope to develop bespoke modules or functionality.
Cloud-based systems like Safety Cloud help to instill a more proactive approach to health and safety within businesses, delivering efficiencies in the short-term and a stronger level of compliance for the months and years ahead.
For companies that still use traditional paper-based health and safety management systems, the move to the cloud can seem a little daunting and this is by no means an unusual scenario. But moving to a cloud-based system doesn’t have to be difficult. With Southalls’ team of ex health and safety enforcement officers and industry experts on hand to get you up and running, you’ll save time, money and stress.