4 Strategic Ways to Justify Switching to a new QHSE Software

For how long will you continue to use irrelevant and outdated software in regards to managing your organization’s environment, health and safety demands? Or is there any justification for sticking to old methods in the ever fast moving world whereas there are better ways of doing things like through the use of QHSE software? We believe that you’re beginning to have a positive change in mind in the right direction.

In order to achieve greater heights using the QHSE software, there’s a huge need to know what solutions it proffers in comparison to a tool like a spreadsheet. Unlike spreadsheets and similar software, the QHSE software is well designed, frequently updated and most importantly allows the sharing and collaboration of information. Furthermore, asides the financial implication that comes with getting this software, the main aim is to ensure that it caters for the organizational needs.

However, before investing in QHS software, it’s important to know the factors that justify switching to utilizing it.

What are the 4 key strategic ways to justify switching to new QHSE software?

#1: Make a comprehensive analysis of the problems your company is experiencing.

It’s necessary that you list out your company’s challenges into reasonable work and risk elements. This will ensure that there’s a direct focus on activities that will add value to their operation for a long time to come.

EHS experts can be involved in implementing this aspect because of their in-depth knowledge and experience. Most times, companies pay significant attention to the completion of repetitive tasks like incident recordings and maintenance checklists.

At the end of it all, there’s little or nothing to show for it because a lot of time has been wasted on data reports because of lateness in the recording. However, adopting a new QHSE software means that your company gets to experience the following:

  • Reduced risks,
  • Simplified reporting,
  • Increased management visibility which leads to a decrease in incident occurrences, and
  • Data accuracy.

#2: Identifying costs leads to better productivity

The next thing to consider after listing out the company’s problems is to outline the period that the employees who are affected by this problem spend on those areas. The employees can, therefore, be placed in two classes based on how affected they are to the problems.

The first sets of employees are those who are affected on a small scale while the second class is those who are heavily affected. This categorization will enable proper care towards adequately improving the conditions.

Thereafter, you have to make a concrete calculation of the time that could have been saved if an efficient means of collating data was used. Are you bothered on how to go about it? Do not fret, it’s simple to achieve. You can adopt an activity-based costing model which will help in identifying the costs of the activities of your company. The key areas to focus on are improvements in:

  • Legal fees,
  • Labor costs, and
  • Risk Reduction.

Paying attention to the above will certainly bring about an increase in productivity.

#3: Increase in productivity by reduction of costs

It’s mostly common among organizations to cut costs in regard to EHS staffing. Rather than bringing about employee safety or risk reduction risk, this decision of theirs creates more risks.

However, using an efficient QHSE software system will increase their productivity which thereby leads to optimization of their daily operations. Furthermore, when you adopt this system, decreased expenses add up to your company’s revenue and likewise, their long term goals will be easily achievable.

#4: Employee interaction and engagement

Whenever it’s discovered that the interactivity level among the employees is at a record low, then it’s high time the management adopts well designed QHSE software. How will they be able to ascertain the decreased level of engagement? It’s simple, all they need to do is to tread a proper channel for consultation. The overall engagement thus leads to higher participation rates. The other results of the improved workforce engagements are:

  • Higher productivity
  • Cleaner workplaces and
  • Decreased sick leave.

Conclusion

We’ve highlighted four major points that we believe your company can adopt provided it has a laid down plan to investing in a QHSE software system. However, since companies are bound to be different with varying strengths and weaknesses meaning that; one size does not fit all, it’s important to know that the effective implementation of the software may be required immediately for some than others. This may be as a result of the cost implication of getting one for those who can’t afford it.

Finally, Beakon believes that adopting a new QHSE software will certainly save you time and as well increase your productivity. Start a free trial today to see how our software can positively impact your business operations.

 

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HSE Incident Management Best Practices: 6 Tips to Improve Your Process

HSE Audit Management: 10 Tips Every Safety Manager Should Know

 

 

 

HSE Incident Management Best Practices: 6 Tips to Improve Your Process

How safe are your incident management practices? Do they cater to the welfare of your staffs? Or are you confused about the best possible ways to go about it? For many companies without HSE software, these answers might be either a “No” or “Not sure”. We certainly understand how you are feeling however we have made deep research concerning how to make things easier and better.

In as much as no one likes the occurrence of disaster by ensuring due diligence to prevent it, it’s almost impossible to achieve. Rather we say it’s an inevitable occurrence. The most paramount thing every organization is required to do is to devise a well-drafted plan to tackle such challenges when they occur. The mode of response and communication are key factors towards correcting such incident.

Adopting a good practice for HSE incident management for your organization will surely give you heads up to recover from an incident that is bound to happen. When was the last time your company made an upgrade to its incident management practices? Or how well prepared are they towards unforeseen mishaps? It’s alright if this applies to your organization however be rest assured that we have gathered about six important tips to take into consideration that will improve your company’s management.

6 Best Tips to improve your HSE Incident Management Practices

  • Adequate preparation: Have you heard about the ‘5Ps’? It simply means: Proper preparation prevents poor performance. Applying the ‘5Ps’ to every aspect of life sure leaves a great impact. Preparation means that incident reporting processes are well defined along with the communication channels. Let your employees be aware of the roles they’re meant to play when such an incident occur. By this, you will be rest assured that you’ll get concrete data immediately. Images are valuable tools that can be included which will aid the investigation. This is the essence of preparation itself, getting data when it’s still fresh makes it better. Furthermore, to make things in an orderly manner, ensure that every employee knows what roles they are meant to play rather than running around in circles. Those who work best under pressure should be notified first and hence should be given more responsibilities than others.
  • Proper coordination: What happens after collating the data? Will it end there? It should certainly not end there. Every person in charge of incident management must take the next step towards handling the situation in a professional manner. If the situation is a mild one, it should be treated as such however if it requires tough handling then it should given such. The important thing is that the response team should give a fast response to curtailing it. Good coordination of incidents leads to effective management.
  • Effective communication: There’s a common quote which states that ‘a problem shared is a problem half solved’. How does this relate to HSE incident management? Whenever a report is received, it’s important that all stakeholders are immediately informed. This includes the HSEQ team, management, and clients. Your clients getting to know of such an event from a third-party source worsens the situation. It’s certainly going to decrease your level of trust and loyalty before them. Furthermore, ensure that your mode of reporting the incident to them is professional. Minor situations may require sending some emails while major ones definitely require a phone call.
  • Find out what action to take: After informing all stakeholders, it’s expected that they’ll demand to know what caused the incident and what steps you’ll be taking onwards. That is why it I important to have software that links risk management and incident reporting together. Divide the solutions into short and long-term goals. Ensure that the short-term ones are immediately attended to after the root causes have been identified. Tasks should be clearly assigned to people for faster results. The long-term solutions can entail having a series of meetings that will determine the right course of action to be taken. Such steps, most times, will calm things down.
  • Prompt update: It’s known for people to appreciate anyone who gives them update. Making people acquainted about the conditions that led to the incident whether you are at fault or not, the steps you have taken to manage the risks and others will certainly help them to avoid such incidents. It will ensure that they improve their radar to such an extent that a similar incident will not occur.
  • Concrete feedback: As little as it seems, lack of it can leave deadly traces on the minds of people. Even when success results are attained, it’s required to give the one who brought about the success feedback. Giving feedback to those who reported the incident is more crucial. This shows that one appreciated their efforts. This will prevent them from abstaining from reporting a similar occurrence when it occurs. Likewise, it will make them increase their trust for the company thereafter.

Conclusion

With the highlighted tips above, Beakon believes that any company that applies them will surely improve their HSE incident management practices. Finally, it’s important to always review all the plans and steps taken from the incident reporting to the evacuation. This will come handy when future incidents occur and as a result, no one will be dumbfounded about what to do.

And here we are. These are the tips that we believe will be a turning point for improving your company’s incident management processes. To get started with using one of the best incident management software in the market, click here to start your free trial today.

 

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HSE Audit Checklist: 10 Things You Need to Do

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HSE Audit Checklist: 10 Things You Need to Do

To ensure maintenance of highest safety standards are practiced in the workspace, proper health and safety standards have to be maintained. There are several elements to make a safety audit successful. One of the most important is the HSE software. Followed by that are other steps that can complement it. This takes us to examine ten important factors in the preparation of an HSE audit checklist.

  1. Choose a competent admin

The first thing you need to do when preparing an HSE audit checklist is to assign someone the task of ensuring that your company meets up with health and safety responsibilities. Your choice of admin must have the skills, practice, and understanding required for him to deliver without flaws.

If you run a simple business organization that comes with little risk tendencies, you can decide to monitor your HSE responsibilities yourself or assign the task to one or more of your existing staffs. This will save you the cost of the purchase of expert advice.

If on the other hand, you doubt your ability to manage health and safety aspect of your business or its complex nature would require more than usual attention from you, it is best you hire the services of an expert in this aspect.

  1. Include details of health and safety in your business policy

When you go into details of who does what and how it is done on matters regarding HSE in your business policy, it sends a clear message to both your clients and staff – you are committed to a safe working environment for your staffs and the clients are sure to receive quality services from a team of well protected staff.

Enforcement of business policy is also very important. It will build a high level of awareness and those in the position of responsibilities will always be on alert to discharge their duties in ensuring a safe working environment.

  1. Stabilize potential risks in your business

Most times, risks at the workplace can’t be completely ruled out. But they can be reduced by putting some measures in place. Simply put, stabilizing possible risks in your business involves taking practical steps to have a safe working environment.

This is a function of foresight. Your work experience and experiences of businesses in the same niche are sources of possible safety issues that may come up and steps you can to cancel or reduce the possibility of it coming up.

Business growth comes with new adjustments. It may be the purchase of new equipment, a change in your business model. You can do no wrong by reviewing risk assessments in your business from time to time.

To access risks in your workplace, you do well by making a physical assessment of your facilities and see which of them has potentials to cause hazards.

That being done, you filter out the major risks and map out steps to having them resolved. However, you should gauge how serious a risk it actually is before thinking of ways in which it can be aborted.

  1. Discuss with your staffs

It is important that you speak to your employees and get their opinion on the subject matter, they would likely point your attention to areas you failed to notice.

To get the best from the opinion of your staffs, you should be free with them. Allow them to talk about what they feel concerning health and safety, its relationship with the business, risk factors and control measures.

Your employees are in the best position to understand risk factors in your business because in most cases, they are the ones who do the dirty job. Make sure you engage them in discussions.

  1. Train and equip your staffs

Work safety is a collective responsibility of all your members of staffs. They will only develop this mindset if only you provide them with clear safety instructions and information.

When providing training and information, keep them simple and easy to understand. Their level of understanding will determine how effective they are going to be at implementing the instructions. Also, be more interactive and less instructive. Ask them how they feel about instructions and how practical they think it is.

Keeping records of training will help you determine when your staffs need follow-up training, how much training is okay, and what form of training is needed. This will help them maintain the HSE standard they have been able to build.

  1. Be Responsible for The Exact Office Equipment.

Before employing workers, ensure that all provisions that would make them work comfortably and perform optimally are set on the ground.

Welfare facilities such as lockers, toilets, hand wash basins will make workers relaxed enough and won’t have to look forward to closing hours to enjoy certain conveniences. Facilities designed to take care of health issues should be available in the workspace. Waste bins should be located at strategic locations to enhance a clean workspace. Buildings should be well ventilated to prevent the exchange of communicable diseases.

Safety issues should always be addressed in the provision of facilities for your workspace. For example, Hallways and passages should be traffic free.  Laws relating to workplaces should be respected and followed to detail.

  1. Make provision for first aid treatment

Illness and injuries cannot be ruled out in the workspace. First aid provisions could actually turn out to be life-saving in some cases. It is your responsibility to ensure that your staffs are attended to immediately if an emergency comes up. This is why it is important to also have first aid training for your staff in addition.

The level and types of equipment provided for this purpose should depend on your type of business. A construction firm will need more first aid facility than a real estate firm but basically, your HSE rating should meet up with the standard required by your industry.

  1. Parade the health and safety law placard

You can parade this in strategic positions in your workspace. The aim is to constantly remind your staffs of the importance of health and safety in the workspace.

The health and safety law poster reminds each of your staffs that the government holds the safety and health of its citizens in high esteem. Hence, a breach of the law in this aspect would not speak well for your business.

  1. Get your business insured

Liability insurance is important to your business especially if you have employees. If they get injured in the line of duty, it Is possible they sue you. Your mind can only be at rest if you already purchased an employer’s liability insurance. Do not risk being at the risk of your staffs, get insured today.

  1. Get updated.

Keep up with trends, news, and happenings in your industry. Social media platforms, conferences, seminars are all avenues to get updated with HSE trends in your industry, make good use of them.

Be Better with our Software

Paper-based audits are slow and less effective. Your auditing task is best organized when you choose reliable audit software. Beakon audit software falls perfectly into this description. Its flexible design makes it useful, even when you are on the move as it has a mobile version.

Beakon audit software has a host of other functions that make it the right software to up your auditing game. Sign up with today and get started with a free trial.

 

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HSE Audit Management: 10 Tips Every Safety Manager Should Know

An increase in the level of awareness for a safe working environment has resulted in the design of a well-organized structure of management known as HSE (health safety and environment) audit management. At the core of this auditing process (for most forward-thinking businesses anyway) is the use of an HSE software.

Managing HSE audits comes with a lot of responsibility. Whether you are the business owner or you are paid to audit by a business owner, there are guidelines for being successful at the task.

  1. Encourage Employees When They Embrace Safety Ethics.

It takes a measure of effort to embrace safety ethics. These efforts need to be applauded, else staffs may become less passionate about HSE standards. You need to constantly remind them that by embracing HSE standards, they are benefiting themselves and other staffs.

Also, make it clear that you observe and appreciate their level of commitment to HSE standards and its importance to the continued existence of the business. This will move them to want to do more.

  1. Demand or Staff Participation.

The members of staff are the subject matter when it comes to HSE audit management. They are basically the ones to be protected. It makes perfect sense for you to carry them along in your safety plans.

You do this when you give room for complaints and suggestions and also you respond to them appropriately. A good HSE auditor is a good listener. Even when their claims appear not to be valid or their suggestions seem not to be the right way to go, give them attention.

  1. Reward Staff Participation.

There are several ways to do this could come in forms of incentives, a rise in their wages, a surprise treat, and many more.

If you are not the business owner, perhaps you are paid to work as an HSE audit manager, it is very unlikely you will be able to influence the giving of monetary tips to employees with right safety attitude. However, an honest compliment will do just as much as monetary tips when you do it rightly.

When giving compliments, be specific about the actions they took and how it promotes a safe working environment. They won’t forget that in a long time and would want to do more. whichever way you choose to do it, let them know you are rewarding their right attitude to HSE standards.

  1. Lead by Example

Action speaks louder than words. Simply telling them about safety standards is not enough. You have to adopt them yourself. Your actions and attitude to HSE ethics are being observed by the staffs. This is even more important if you are the business owner. This includes provision and usage of safety equipment when on duty.

When staffs see you follow even the most humbling safety precautions as a business owner, they will get the message clearly. Hence, they would have no option but to follow them, at least, to the standard to which they observe you do without being supervised.

  1. Invest in your staffs.

Training workers goes beyond talking and your actions. You can bring in some health personnel to give a lecture on special occasions such as during retreats, you can also finance their participation in Annual general meetings and workshops where a safe working environment is taken seriously.

If you are a paid auditor, you can send videos or articles of a home safety training to all staffs or specific employees who you think might need special assistance in playing along with safety rules.

  1. Work Towards a Simplified Working Environment.

Removing hazards where possible should also do to ease the efforts of workers in adopting HSE ethics. Although longtime staffs may have enough experience in following safety rules, new employees may have a hard time getting along with the work environment.to avoid casualties, make the work environment simple enough for them. Also, ensure your auditing software design is simple enough for seamless management.

For example, a construction company may decide to have newbies work on the ground floor so as to avoid exposing them to the risk of falling off the upper floor of the uncompleted building. This will give them enough time to get familiar with their new work environment and adopt safety ethics with time.

  1. Conduct regular inspection.

It is not out of place to take a stroll through the workspace. Your physical presence in the workspace will be a constant reminder to the staffs of what you represent – a safe working environment. That way, even if they get carried away with and refuse to adopt her standards, it won’t happen for long.

This will also help you take note of new developments such as a newly purchased equipment, a faulty machine, e.t.c, and the effect this will have on set HSE standards. Do not be overly strict during inspections. If there is a need for a correction, do it in a friendly way. Let them know you are there to help them and not for their inconvenience.

  1. Be Accommodating.

Being an HSE audit manager, you might have the authority of removing and installing some facilities. However, do not forget that the staffs are the ones who work with this equipment. Therefore, the right thing to do is to tell them about new developments and ask what they think about it.

Let them know the reason why you are changing that drilling machine. Also, additional advantages the newly installed equipment has in line with ensuring a safe working environment Should be communicated to them.

Cases of non-interactive HSE audit managers have been reported to have led to friction in working dynamics and losses and casualties have been incurred due to this. See yourself for who you should be –  a part of the working team.

  1. Know the Workers by Name.

Being identified by name promotes closeness amongst workers. Even if you feel the size of your workforce is too large for that, try to know 60 to 70 % of the workers by name. they will feel good knowing you have a personal interest in them and not just what they have to offer your business.

If you are in a production or construction company, most workers believe administrative staffs do not really understand their challenges. Knowing them by name is a basic step to overcoming this challenge. It will open communication channels on a deeper level and foster understanding between you and them.

  1. Get New Information Daily.

the HSE sector is evolving every day. Developments and new trends are the order of the day. Competence in HSE audit management requires that you keep up with these trends and see ways in which they can be incorporated into your workspace.

You can subscribe to blogs with articles on workplace safety, health, and related issues. Most of them are free or at little cost.

STEP UP YOUR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TODAY

Improving your management skills is the right way to go if you want to be a successful audit manager and maintain the status. At Bekon, Training is delivered through a learning management system that simplifies staff training.

Your location is not a barrier as you can opt for one on one training or distance learning. A flexible Leaning management system ensures that a wide range of organizations can adopt our software. Look up other interesting features of our LMS and start with a free trial today.

 

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What to Look for When Choosing an HSEQ Compliance Management Software

Have you been having challenges with your company’s management software to such an extent that neither data collation is accurate nor incident reporting? Or are you on the lookout to lay your hands on an HSEQ compliant management software that saves time, bridges gaps, cut costs and improves productivity? Well, if this you, here comes the good news, we have gathered some important features and details worth paying attention to.

Getting an ideal HSEQ compliance management software has a lot to do with the peculiarities of your company such as:

  • Your company’s challenges,
  • The area of risks facing them that urgent attention is needed,
  • The number of staffs and contractors that work for them,
  • The available funds for investment,
  • The features of the software and more.

With the outlined points above, it’s obvious that the management software has to be in line with the company’s purpose and objectives.

What are the critical matters to give consideration when choosing an HSEQ compliance management software?

The following are some of the great features to pay attention to when choosing a software system:

  • Incident management: There’s bound for mishaps or accidents to take place at the workplace however it becomes a critical matter when there are no means to report them. Companies are required to ease the process of incident reporting for workers which will be in line with their laid down principles. Furthermore, they should encourage their workers towards ensuring prompt reporting because it will help to prevent future recurrence.
  • Analysis Of Potential Hazards: Similar to incident reporting, what separates this one from the above is that this one is yet to occur. The workers are encouraged to know the process involved in risk management. That’s a more reason why the software should provide a solution where the company’s risk assessment can be viewed. Likewise, the entire process should be made easy for the employees to understand and to fill the form on time.
  • Employee and Human Resource Management: It’s important to know that employees’ information is required to be integrated into the software for proper management. Whenever HSEQ data are needed, they should link back to the employees based on the filtered data such as incidents and events.
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS): Education, as we know, is the pivot toward success in any establishment, organization and even in the world at large. This is why every business owner should give priority to increasing the knowledge of its employees. The HSEQ system software should have a provision for eLearning and interactive training programs where they can easily access them on PCs, smartphones and other technology gadgets. Making provision for offline access participation will be an additional benefit. The system should also have the ability to play online content so that the redundant offline materials from 3rd party source can be updated. Furthermore, using interactive PowerPoint presentations to train your employees is also a great choice to consider for effective result.
  • Email Integration: There is no one who truly understands the importance of collaboration than business owners. This is because it helps to track work history so that the success rate can be assessed or otherwise. Nothing does it best for stakeholders while working on site then email integration in the system. It actually prevents them from switching from several platforms. This system feature includes a plethora of templates, automatic email reminders and tracking for the purpose of ease in communication. When away from the site, further collaboration usually continues through the social media accounts that are connected to the email.

Conclusion

We’ve highlighted some salient points about the key essentials worth looking into when considering an HSEQ compliance management software. The summary of what has been discussed is basically to ensure that the quality of production can be improved by paying attention to the modern, latest and sophisticated methods of a management software system.

To get started, why don’t you sign up for a free trial of Beakon today.

 

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4 Tips To Help You Choose The Best HSE Software For Your Business

Look around you and think of about 5 businesses that used to exist but are no longer in existence, you would find out that at least, two of them went down partly or mainly because they refused to pay attention to their health safety environment department.

A healthy and safe working environment is a requirement in most developed countries in the world. To remain in business, standards have been set by governmental authorities to see that this is achieved.

HSE software – why so important?

The need for Healthy and Safe working conditions has been identified as a necessity for the continuity of businesses. This has prompted a rise in the production of HSE (Health, Safety and the Environment) software and an improvement in its designs in the software market.

What does HSE software do?

HSE software is a game changer in ensuring a safe and healthy working environment. Some of the fits functions are discussed below.

  • Health management; this tool helps you observe the state of work-related health and industrial sanitation within your workspace. It is believed that you placed your staffs under intense examination before employing them and you need them to be at an optimum level of fitness for them to perform well at work. HSE software checks your employee’s health status and measures their body’s ability to meet industrial requirements.
  • Safety Management; HSE software allows users to trail and examine, work-related accidents and preventive steps are subsequently adopted to ensure the safety of workers.
  • Risk Assessment; This tool also allows users to perform predictive analysis of processes that can lead to possible work hazards. It can also enhance safety audits, manage insurances, and help you create a risk reduction strategy.
  • Action Plan Creation; This feature allows users to draw corrective and protective action plans based on incidents that have happened in your workplace or to other companies Giving you a well-defined method of safeguarding your staffs.

HSE SOFTWARE – 4 Tips To Making The Right Choice

The software market is flooded with lots of HSE software, making the right choice for your business might be a lot of stress. Here are some tips to make your selection process easier.

1.Integration

Integration is a big selling point when it comes to HSE software.  Consumers originate from a wide range of businesses with structures that vary. Due to this diverse background, HSE software vendors are faced with the task of building safety software that can fit into varying business models of their customers.

Integration is very important. It covers a major part of the whole objective of the adoption of HSE software for your company in the first place. Ultimately, It increases efficiency.

2.Configurability

Discussing integration won’t be a complete job without mentioning configurability as it is a subcategory of integration.

HSE software users are businesses and companies with diverse business models, aims and objectives. In view of this, it will be a big plus to adopt HSE software with a great deal of configurability. The advantage this brings to the table is very clear, it enhances flexibility.

The importance of this factor is brought to the fore by Verandtix who found out that 92% of software users view configurability as ‘important’ and 42% tagged it ‘very important’.

A flexible HSE as a result of high-configurability will not only increase efficiency, but will also improve the rate of user acceptance, and avoid the need for you to make serious changes to your internal processes.

  1. Accessibility

Accessibility of HSE software is a very important factor when it comes to the selection of the best safety software for your business. Basically, for interaction to take place, accessibility is a major requirement.

Quite often, a workspace consists of workers with a varying degree of understanding when it comes to working dynamics of HSE software. Nonetheless, the safety of each member of staff should be of high importance. Hence, You should look out for HSE software that every member of the staff of your business would be able to handle.

Prioritizing safety in the working environment requires that all members of staff are conscious of the fact that they all have a part to play in ensuring a safe working environment irrespective of their department, this will help them see it for what it is, a collective responsibility.

An accessible choice of HSE software will give every member of staff a sense of responsibility when it comes to the safety of the work environment. It is therefore important that you choose a user-friendly HSE software.

  1. Functionality

The function you want your HSE software to perform is a very important factor. This is basically, what defines the task the software would be undertaking in particular.

Safety has a varying definition of various professionals. The civil engineer would think of safety as a function of the strength of materials used for construction while the pharmacists would think of safety as a function of the proportion of the component chemicals used for the production of pharmaceutical products.

It is best you look out for software that best fits into the safety solution desired in your industry.

Get professional help today

Your business safety should be a top priority, protect your employees today when you assign your safety management responsibility to Beakon. Taking clues from top organizations in workspace incident reduction and management, we have been able to design safety management software which is easy to adopt for businesses.

The success rate of our all-in-one safety software is a pointer to its efficiency. Start today by Taking advantage of our risk register software which allows you to record and manage risk in a seamless manner. You can be assured you will be on your way to having a safer workspace for your business. Click here to start your free trial today.

 

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Why Health and Safety Compliance Should be Important for Everyone

When you hear about health and safety compliance, you’re probably thinking to yourself “this doesn’t really apply to me,” but, rest assured that Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is actually for everyone.

Though OSH strategies may differ across industries, it’s essential for any legitimate business with employees to have a proper safety plan in place. As a matter of fact, it’s stated in the law.

In most countries, an act exists to govern the way businesses operate. In the US, this refers to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, established in 1970. In a nutshell, this act states that employers must adopt certain practices, means, methods or processes that are reasonably appropriate to protect workers while on the job. This means providing employees with an environment free from known hazards such as exposure to mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, excessive noise levels, exposure to toxic chemicals, unsanitary conditions, and anything else that may be detrimental to a worker’s health or safety.

OSH agencies are responsible for setting the standards for operational requirements and conducting inspections to make sure employers are providing safe and healthful workplaces. So, if your business gets audited by an OSH inspector and the necessary requirements aren’t being met, you’ll be in a world of trouble.

This article will discuss the reasons everyone should take OSH seriously for the benefit of their businesses, and to do right by their employees.

 

Reasons to Address Health and Safety Compliance for Managers

Less turnover and absenteeism

If OSH is not an issue, managers can expect to see less turnover and absenteeism from its employees. These issues add to operational costs and can affect productivity if not addressed accordingly.

Employees have improved morale

When employee morale is improved, they can better cope with stress and change. Improved morale also leads to more productivity and a more functional workplace environment overall.

Increased productivity and job satisfaction

Increased productivity is an obvious advantage because having a more productive workplace is more profitable. Better job satisfaction results in an increased productivity and improved employee morale.

Fewer injuries, less compensation

When workers get injured, they are usually unable to work for a period. On top of that, companies are obliged to cover their medical costs, as well as continue paying their salaries while they recover.

Reduced healthcare/insurance costs, fines, and litigation

When OSH is addressed correctly, the rate of incidents will be reduced, resulting in lowered healthcare and insurance costs for the business. The risk of having to pay fines and litigation fees is also reduced.

Improved corporate image and culture

A company that is “OSH-friendly” generally has an improved image and culture. Not only is this great PR, but it also increases a company’s ability to attract and retain skilled talent and customers.

 

ROI for Safety and Compliance

A fundamental question that employers may ask is: “Does investing in OSH strategies improve the company’s bottom line?” Although the benefits may be difficult to quantify, the answer is still a resounding “Yes”.

In addition to the savings realized from reduced costs associated with OSH failures, there are also the positive impacts on employee productivity and corporate image, which do not appear in a company’s ledger book. Having a great OSH plan in place can also mean the difference between winning and losing business contract bids, as well as government contracts.

Furthermore, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has found that there is a direct positive correlation between investment in OSH and its subsequent ROI. This means there’s absolutely no excuse for not addressing OSH best practices with significant investments.

 

Conclusion

Maintaining proper OSH standards is simply the right thing to do, legally and morally. Compliance risk management is important because if workers aren’t complying with OSH guidelines, incidents will continue to happen regularly despite having a proper plan in place, making it redundant.

Safety and compliance go together like a light bulb and electricity, if either fails, the entire system falls apart. Take care of your employees, and in return, they will take care of your business.

How Technology Can Shape the Future of EHS – Part 2

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In Last week’s article we discussed some of the new evolving technologies that could – and are starting to – shape the future of EHS, this week we continue to discuss more technologies that have potential for being part of future EHS /OHS systems and software suites.

Beacons and Sensors

Beacons and sensors are devices that either broadcast data to nearby portable electronic devices, or detect events and changes in their environment and then correspond with the appropriate response

Beacons and sensors are already being widely used in many EHS applications, here is a look at some of the most frequent ones:

Safety Alerts. An example of thi would be a worker entering a hazardous area of where work is being done that releases chemical fumes. The worker can then be equipped with an electronic device that picks up the signal from a beacon. As a result, the worker receives an alert or reminder on the electronic device asking him to make sure he is wearing a specific piece of safety equipment.

Detection of hazardous Chemical Releases. A Sensor can detect that a chemical spill has taken place, and then send an alert in real-time to electronic devices carried by workers, warning them to stay away from that area or to take special safety precautions.

Equipment Performance Statuses. Sensors can monitor the real-time performance of equipment or assets, So if the equipment is not functioning correctly, or is about to malfunction, it can send a real-time alert to warn workers. LNS Research has written a lot about this and the link between Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and EHS.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality is a real-time direct or indirect view of a real-world environment whose elements are augmented or supplemented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Games like the world-famous Pokémon Go are good examples of the use of AR. Some of the applications of Augmented Reality in EHS include:

Safety Smart Glasses. A pair of smart glasses can be programmed to view real-time environmental information such as airborne chemical and particulate concentrations, or oxygen levels in a confined space.

Virtual Safety Data Sheets. A worker scans a chemical storage area with a smartphone’s camera and the screen gets populated with virtual Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) above each chemical for convenient access to safety information.

Smart Helmets. A helmet can be equipped with a retractable visor capable of overlaying work instructions, system performance metrics, and temperature readings on the user’s field of view.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality is a technology that uses software to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulates a real environment, as well as the user’s physical presence in this environment by enabling the user to interact with this space and depicted objects.

Safety Training. Instead of traditional classroom training, pictures and video to educate workers about a hazardous environment, VR allows full immersion into the environment without having to leave the room. According to a study by Verdantix, having “real” experience before being actually exposed to a hazard is invaluable, and could reduce unsafe behaviors, incidents, injuries and fatalities.

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How Technology Can Shape the Future of EHS – Part 1

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As technology evolves everything evolves with it, and we can expect that a few years from now the EHS profession will look very different . Like all industries, Environmental Health & Safety softwares will also be affected by the emerging technologies that are changing fundamentally the way people perform their tasks.

An example of this would be mobility and the concept of cloud-based softwares. Today, there are many companies that use smartphones or tablets to report incidents and near misses, or use cloud-based applications to perform various EHS functions.

Since technology evolves quickly, this is a good time to look at the other ways in which technology will change EHS. Rather than using buzzwords, or writing yet another article about a specific technology, we will share with you specific applications in EHS that have been talked about. Therefore you will already have a look into the technology-enabled future of EHS. The post is divided by technology area and includes examples of applications and links to articles.

Wearables

Wearable are miniature computers or electronic devices that are worn by users. With Smartwatches and fitbit being the most known wearable devices. Let’s look at a few applications of wearables in EHS.

Reporting Incidents Using Smartwatches. A smartwatch can enable workers to report a near miss or an incident through speech recognition.

Smart Glasses. Since Smart Glasses came out many developers and software companies started creating applications for them, so of the applications of smart glasses in EHS are:

1) Displaying a list of work instructions to ensure that tasks are performed safely using both hands;

2) Recording or displaying videos of risky conditions that can lead to an incident;

3) Capturing a live video of a near miss or incident as it’s taking place, and using the video during the incident investigation.

Health-Monitoring Wearables. Wearables (belt, wrist band, etc.) monitor a worker’s vital signs (blood rate, temperature, blood pressure, breathing, etc.). If there is something abnormal, an alert is sent to the worker and/or his supervisor indicating that the worker may be under strain, which could increase the risk of incidents. As a result, the worker stops his activity.

Environment-Monitoring Wearables. Another similar application is where the wearable alerts the worker if he has a high exposure to hazardous chemicals, is exposed to toxic gases, or is exposed to unsafe noise levels.

 

Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles, connected devices, smart devices, buildings and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.

Some scenarios make use of both wearables and the IoT, or beacons/sensors and the IoT. Therefore some items in this post under other sections could also have been placed in this section.

Let’s look at a few applications of the IoT in EHS:

Emissions Monitoring. Sensors monitor air emissions, collect data and send it over the Internet. The data can be used for reports, or to measure the environmental footprint of an enterprise throughout all facilities.

Water Management. According to Metcalfe, smart sensors that capture data will be used more often in water management, as opposed to water meters, because, as water becomes an increasingly scarce resource, there will be a greater need to monitor water in the natural environment.

Grid-Based Data Collection on Chemical Spills. Geographic information systems using grid-based data collections are also seeing progress. Collecting data using grids is less time-consuming than collecting data manually, Metcalfe says. For example, during a chemical spill, the areas where a chemical spill has occurred and that require an immediate cleanup response can be identified visually and more effectively.

Drones

Drones are currently being used in everything from food delivery to aerial inspection and monitoring. Let’s look at a couple of applications of drones in EHS.

Inspections. Drones can be used to inspect and identify problems, instead of putting human workers at risk during inspections, some of examples of this are:

  • Communication industries are increasingly using drones to inspect towers and antennas, instead of risking workers safety.
  • In the oil and gas industry, drones can inspect flare stack heads, and detect and locate leaks.
  • Many construction businesses has started using drones to perform roadway inspections.
  • Drones could be used to identify problems in enclosed areas, for example in sewers, before workers are sent into a potentially hazardous situation.

In addition to the scenarios above, another application would consist of using drones to monitor and inspect vast networks composed of thousands of kilometers of pipelines in the oil and gas industry.

Work at Elevation. The EHS Daily Advisor article also raises the possibility that drones could eventually be designed to perform the same work that robots currently do, but at elevation (e.g. welding, drilling), thus reducing the need to expose workers to fall hazards.