Workplaces can be hazardous environments. For example, poorly stored chemicals could affect the respiratory systems of the workers who work around them. Overloaded forklifts may damage a product or result in an accident that injures a coworker. Other hazards include insufficient measures to prevent falls from dangerous heights among others and the presence of electrical faults.
Dealing with the consequences of these hazards takes a lot of effort, time, and money. For example, companies spend an average of $170 billion annually on costs related to occupational illnesses and injuries. OSHA reports that workplaces can reduce these costs by 20% to 40% if they implement appropriate health and safety management systems including suitable software.
Here are 5 things to look for when choosing health and safety compliance software.
1. The Ease of Data Collection
Forms are critical to recording incidents related to the health and safety of employees at the workplace. Unfortunately, most companies rely on paper forms to receive and store this information. Selecting software that facilitates electronic recording of such incidences is an excellent idea because it reduces your paperwork. It increases the level of efficiency in this process as well.
“Directors must have an understanding of the role safety performance plays in the performance of their business. In accepting corporate responsibility for health and safety, directors need to be proactive in developing a positive safety culture for their workplace. In the long-term this leads to an internal cultural shift that can have an indirect impact on external brand affinity and brand loyalty.” according to David Rowland, Head of Marketing at Effective Software
However, selecting any software is a bad idea. Instead, go for one that has electronic forms that workers can fill on their mobile devices. These forms should have pre-filled drop-down options for close-ended questions. The texts should be legible, and the calculations should be accurate. The software should upload the collected information to a cloud-based service.
2. The Kind of Data Stored, Shared and Collected By the Software
Health and Safety Compliance is a critical part of any organization because noncompliance leads to legal and financial consequences for the business. Therefore, the data stored, shared, and collected by the software has to help the company when it comes to enforcing compliance of relevant rules and regulations. For example, does it have notifications to remind employees to take certain safety precautions?
Does it have an escalation function that would alert workers if there were an increasing level of risk to their health and safety? This function would help you prevent disasters from happening in the workplace. You also need to select software that has an audit trail capability. This audit trail will be indispensable when it comes to determining the cause of a disaster if it happens.
3. The Scalability of the Software
Businesses expand increasing their production capacity and hiring additional employees. They also open new branches and diversify their goods. These changes are good for the company, its customers, and its workers. However, they come with additional risks as well. More specifically, health and safety concerns increase as a business expands.
Consequently, software that can handle this expansion is ideal. Remember, the lack of scalability means that you have to purchase new software every time your business expands. Changing it also means you have to retrain your staff. It leads to compatibility tests as well to see whether the new software is compatible with your systems.
4. The Costs Associated With the Software and the Ease of Using It
Purchasing software that eats into your profit margin substantially is unwise. Instead, businesses should opt for reasonably priced software that helps them comply with health and safety regulations without increasing their costs significantly. The first step in selecting this software is by examining its reliability, speed, and level of integration.
The second one is determining if it is secure and whether it has a backup system. Other considerations include the number of upgrades it has and the costs associated with it. The data it collects and stores in addition to its scalability are critical factors to consider as well. Choose the least-priced software that offers you the best deal when it comes to these considerations.
5. The Support Services Matter As Well
Software breaks down. That is an inevitable fact in today’s world. Consequently, your concern should be the frequency of breakdowns. Frequent interferences with software lead to noncompliance. For example, accidents and near misses will go unreported because the software had a glitch when they occurred.
How long this breakdown lasts is also critical. Ideally, it should last for a few minutes. That is only possible if the vendor has the required number of expert engineers and support staff to handle the situation. Check online reviews to determine the frequency of glitches and the time it took for the software provider to fix it.
Compliance with health and safety regulation is critical to any business because non-compliance leads to severe legal and financial consequences. Purchasing the right software would help you comply with these regulations. Use the tips when choosing health & safety compliance software. You can contact us as well if you need additional advice on selecting the best software for health and safety compliance.