The Benefits of Audit Management Software

The Benefits of Audit Management Software

Safety audit management software helps your business get a good grasp on what is happening within your organisation in terms of safety. The software helps you conduct safety audits and ensure that your safety inspections meet minimum requirements.

When you opt for a company like Beakon software, you’ll also have the benefit of being able to use a tablet or mobile to carry out the audit. This helps businesses synchronise data so that they can carry out the all important audits anywhere.

The key benefits of safety audit software are:

  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Standardised safety practices by location, auditor, and project
  • Measures the quality and effectiveness of your safety program
  • Helps to save time and money on all safety initiatives

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How Does Safety Audit Software Work? 

Audit Software is an amazing way to streamline all tasks relating to safety and minimise the risk of an incident. Audit software shows you how your organisation is currently performing, and shows areas for improvement. It is a key part of health and safety, as it allows businesses to understand where they’re currently at in terms of their safety procedures.

A safety audit gathers data and information pertaining to safety practices of an organisation. Having this all collated in one simple online system is essential in the modern world, where paper based audits won’t cut it. With so many rules and regulations, businesses that still operate on a paper based audit system are likely putting themselves at risk.

The Benefits of Audit Management Software

An effective safety audit should:

  • Gather data concerning how safety procedure are working
  • Streamline reports and statistics regarding incidents
  • Help to improve the procedures of the organisation by highlighting weaknesses
  • Detect hazard that need immediate attention
  • Provide security checklists so that businesses can mark themselves based on legal requirements
  • Assess the health and safety performance of the organisation and help to formulate improvements
  • Formulate a safety improvement report
  • Develop control measures to manage risk

The Benefits Of Safety Audit Software For Your Team

Safety Audit Management Software is really the first step in creating a succinct safety plan for your team. Without a good understanding of your organisation’s starting point, it can be hard to put safety practices into play. With safety audit software, you can expect to benefit from:

  • Sector specific requirements that take into account the specific safety needs of your organisation
  • A documented digital list of the work you’re doing to audit your safety measures
  • Prove that you are consistently working to improve your safety measures and remain compliant
  • Lower the safety risk of your organisation without compromising other business strategies
  • Implement incremental safety measure that work for your team and minimise disruption of day to day running of the business
  • Collate data and statistics that show the state of safety within your organisation
  • Get quick audit results that can easily be turned into actionable recommendations
  • Get notifications to keep on top of when you need to complete an audit
  • Reduce the risk of incidents on your site
  • Minimise the reputation damage and financial risk associated with negative safety measures 

The Benefits of Audit Management Software

Work With Beakon To Improve Your Safety Procedures

Keep on top of audits to ensure your business is adhering to its legal and moral requirements, with Beakon’s Audit software.

Keen to try our best in class audit software for yourself? Sign up for a free trial with us today! Plus, learn more about the pros of working with safety audit software over on our blog.

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

What are the key benefits of safety software?

Safety software covers an array of topics and can be used to improve the safety procedures of a business. Whether a company wants to boost compliance, improve employee wellbeing or change how they do things in regards to safety on site, safety software is a great first step.

So, what are the benefits of safety software? There are so many! Because there are many different types of safety software, there are also many different benefits. We’re diving into the key benefits of different types of safety software, so that you can see where your business might be missing out.

What are the different kinds of safety software?

The main safety software that your business will need is:

  • Safety audit software
  • OHS safety management software 
  • Incident reporting systems 
  • Injury management systems 

Let’s look at each one in a little more detail…

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

Benefits of Safety Audit software

Safety audit software helps your businesses get a good grasp on what is happening within your organisation in terms of safety. The software helps you conduct safety audits and ensure that your safety inspections meet minimum requirements.

When you opt for a company like Beakon software, you’ll also have the benefit of being able to use a tablet or mobile to carry out the audit. This feature helps you synchronise data so that you can carry out the all important audits virtually anywhere.

The key benefits of safety audit software are:

  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Standardises safety practices by location, auditor, and project
  • Measures the quality and effectiveness of your safety program
  • Helps to save time and money on all safety initiatives

Benefits of OHS safety management software 

OHS safety management software refers to any software system that helps a business comply with Work Health and Safety regulations. This is a crucial element of running a business, so having OHS software that you can really trust can have many benefits and keep your business out of trouble. 

Some of the key benefits are:

  • Consistency

Review information, provide insight, and gather a picture of your organisation.

  • Compliance

Ensure your business complies with all relevant Australian workplace health and safety laws and acts in like with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

  • Efficiency

Streamline your safety reports and store of all the necessary information on one single, easily accessible dashboard.

  • Cost effectiveness 

OHS software helps you reduce the risks of legal consequences or penalties for your business.

  • Boosts customer & employee trust

Be seen as an ethical company who puts the health and safety of its people first.

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

Benefits of Incident Reporting systems

Safety software often embodies incident reporting systems, so that employees can register incidents effectively when they’re out and about. A remote software system that operates on mobile can be an asset to a business, and is sure to make everyone’s life easier in the terrible event of an incident at work. 

The key benefits of incident reporting safety software are:

  • Protect your employees 
  • Maintain a working environment that is safe 
  • Minimise risk
  • Ensure that employees know how to report an incident 
  • Ensure employees take care of the health and safety of themselves and others.
  • Identify trends and incident types
  • Predict incidents and prevent them
  • Remain compliant
  • Conduct periodic reviews to assess risk

Benefits of an Injury Management system

Last but not least, an injury management system can have some incredible benefits. As well as boosting employee and customer trust, having an injury management system can also help people recover from injuries and make a speedier return to work.

An injury management system is designed to help injured workers make an early (and safe) return back into the workplace. An employer, employee and insurer will work together to ensure that the employee is reintegrated back into the workforce.

Key benefits of injury management software are:

  • Keeps employees safe
  • Helps the business remain compliant 
  • Retains staff members who have been injured at work
  • Support employees on a safe return to work
  • Helps build better employee relations
  • Builds trust in your organisation
  • Reduces expenses by assisting an employee back to work vs hiring someone new

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

Learn more about safety software for your business!

Overall, the key benefits across all safety software is that it helps to keep your employees and your business safe. When working on a site, it can be hard work to keep on top of everyone’s safety, but safety software makes that simply. With many different varieties of safety software, there is something to fill in the gaps at every organisation.

Looking for more info on injury management systems, incident management, or safety management? Chat to us today and sign up for a free trial!

Incident Management best practices

Incident Management best practices

Improving incident management practices isn’t always easy. Although it is of high importance, often staff members don’t want to spend time learning about incident management. Let’s face it – it’s pretty boring for them. However, in the event of an incident or emergency, they need to know exactly what to do.

As a manager who oversees people it’s important to have a grasp on incident management best practices. This way, you can spread knowledge within your team and ensure that you are always complying with your legal and moral duties.

We’re rounding up some of the incident management best practices that every business should be aware of.

What is incident management?

Incident management refers to how a company or team responds to an incident. An incident could mean a variety of different things to different businesses, but what is important is that each business has clearly defined understanding of possible incidents and has clear instructions on how to manage them.

Without incident management practices in place, businesses can be liable in the event of an incident. Incident management helps to mitigate the disruption caused by an incident and reduce harm when an incident occurs. It allows businesses to continue business as usual whilst also maintaining their obligations to their employees and the public.

The stages of incident management can be defined in simple terms as identifying, analysing, reporting, correcting and managing hazards. The goal of incident management is to effectively report incidents and ensure that the risk of a potential incident is minimised in the future.

Why do businesses need incident management practices?

Businesses need incident management in order to protect their reputation, their employees and comply with their legal obligations. The WHS Act requires that employers notify the regulator of certain types of workplace incidents depending on how serious they are. 

This measure is in place to protect employees and businesses from putting a foot wrong, and to ensure that every safety incident at work is fully reported. Depending on how serious the incident, a business may be required to preserve the incident site. However, this will be relayed to the business via the regulator once they report an incident. 

The important thing to remember from a businesses’ point of view is to ensure that all relevant staff understand the incident reporting guidelines and are able to carry them out on behalf of your business. This is where cloud-based workplace training and incident management reporting systems are extremely beneficial.

Incident Management best practices

 

Train staff to report incidents as first responders

This tip relies upon training having already been completed before the point of an incident. In short, the first responder needs to have already had sufficient training in how to respond to an incident. 

A comprehensive ‘first responder’ E-Form on an online incident reporting system can help with this, and urge the first responder to take the right steps. With Beakon, all incidents that are reported will work through a built-in Risk Matrix and prompting questions to assess the incident effectively. Prior to the incident happening, it is essential that the first responder has already been briefed on the process of incident reporting.

 

Investigate the incident

It is best practice to investigate any incident that occurs in your workplace. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the incident has to be reported to a higher body, but it means that your business needs to report and investigate all incidents internally.

 

It is key that you assign mandatory investigations based on risk level, looking at things like why the incident occured, the root cause and Contributing Factor Analysis. It is also important that you review investigations for quality and accuracy before being released for action.

 

Analyse the incident and report to a regulator if necessary

In some cases the incident report will need to be escalated. In order to do this properly, you will need to analyse the incident and assess its seriousness and risk level.

An incident management platform means you will be reminded to escalate the incident report automatically based on your business rules. The complex administration of compliance can be tricky to master, but with a platform that embeds your Health & Safety framework, business rules, and industry and legislative requirements within it, you can rest assured that you are protected.

Record corrective actions

After an incident occurs, a company is required to take corrective actions to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. In order to do this, you may want to invest in a digital platform that allows you to create an online paper trace that can’t go missing. Providing corrective actions and showing how you are minimising risk is an essential part of compliance, and a best practice that should not be forgotten about.

 

Create a return to work program

 

When someone has been involved in an incident, it is a requirement that you support them in their return to work. Incidents involving an injury will mean that the individual will likely need time off, and may have special requirements when they return.

It is best practice to ensure that the returning employee’s needs are met, and that regular meetings are hosted to see how they are getting on.

 

Incident Management software that helps keep your business compliant

Incident management software helps to keep your business compliant and ensure that employees are protected. It is not simply about reporting an incident. A business must also be aware of the incident management that needs to occur in order to continually evolve and minimise incidents.

At present, we’re offering a free trial so that you can see how incident management works with Beakon software. Sign up now!

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

One of the questions we are so often asked about health and safety software, is whether it will save the business money.

On the surface, it can look like health and safety software is an added cost as opposed to something that could save your business money. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Health and safety software can save your businesses huge amounts in insurance, injury claims and compliance costs, which can not only hurt your business financially but in terms of reputation damage too. Discover why health and safety software can be one of the best ways to save money, and ensure that you have the best practices in place as your business grows.

Here’s some of the ways health and safety software will help you save money:

Improve how your business responds

One of the main costs associated with health and safety that set people back are the response times and how the business responds to an incident.

These are the areas where mistakes can be made, incidents can be left unreported and ultimately the business can be liable. A significant amount of time and money can be saved by implementing more effective safety management and incident reporting systems that help you stay on top of everything that is going on within your business.

Your business could save money with these systems by improving the response time, minimising clean up, encouraging a faster return to normal productivity and preventing the need to replace damaged equipment.

Safety systems that help you set out how employees and contractors should respond to an incident can significantly improve emergency response time, which in turn saves money.

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Avoid Penalties 

One of the main ways that businesses lose money when it comes to health and safety is when they don’t comply with rules and regulations and end up being fined.

Compliance is crucial to reducing fines and ensuring that things are done the right way on your site or project. With health and safety software in place employees are aware of the guidelines and have an easy to read guide on hand on their mobile or tablet. This helps to minimise error on the businesses behalf and means that your teams can identify and communicate with the right person when unsure of what to do. 

In this regard, the compliance goal becomes much easier to achieve and maintain, which reduces the likelihood of any penalties that can add up in the long run.

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Reduce costs associated with accidents and incidents

The cost of having an incident occur on your site can be shockingly high. Correcting mistakes, paying fines, or paying out to compensate staff who are injured on your site can make a huge dent in your profits and in some extreme cases even put you out of business.

Having safety management software in place helps to reduce costs associated with accidents in two ways: 

  • Reduces the likelihood of the accidents 

The best way to avoid having to pay out for accidents is to avoid having them in the first place. Health and safety software helps your business do just that by ensuring that measures are in place to reduce the risk of an incident.

  • Ensures you are doing everything correct if something does happen

Sometimes accidents are just unavoidable, and in these moments health and safety ensures that you are covered and have done everything you can do reduce them and report them if they do happen.

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Save on reputation costs with health and safety software

The immediate costs of an incident on your site are obvious – compensation costs, costs of temporary workers, sick leave costs, insurance premiums – the list goes on.

However, some of the costs that are caused by an incident are hidden. Included in these costs are things like reputation damage and team morale that can cause issues.

If your company reputation is damaged you may find it hard to generate new business, or keep your clients if they don’t trust that your business is operating safely. This is especially true in a small business scenario, where many clients may know each other, or your story may feature in the local news.

Your reputation both internally and externally can have a huge effect on your profits. People need to trust your organisation both from within and without in order for you to continue doing good business, and a health and safety system helps solidify that.

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Reduce Insurance Costs when you have health and safety software

Another important and often overlooked cost-saving of health and safety systems can be lower insurance premiums.

When a business is able to show that they are compliant and have measures in place to reduce incidents, they will often see a drop in their insurance premiums.

Plus, you will also benefit from a lower rate of injuries and incidents on your site, which will help you in lowering your premium. In having less incidents, and dealing with them correctly when they do happen so that perhaps you don’t have to claim as frequently will ensure that your risk is lower.

This often results in cost savings through lower insurance premiums.

Are you looking for an exceptional health and safety software for your business? Discover Beakon Software today.

Things to look for in occupational health and safety management software

Things to look for in occupational health and safety management software

When it comes to occupational health and safety management, there can be no room for error. That’s why when you pick a safety management software it’s important that it’s the right fit for your business.

With the right safety management software your business will be able to safely manage risk, remain compliant and have time to focus on the other important elements of running your business.

To help you decide which safety management software to choose, here’s the things to look for in OHS software:

What Does OHS Software Need To Have?

  • Ensure that your OHS software can be customised

Every business is different, and therefore each safety management solution should be slightly different. Ensure that you can customise the software, as well as checking that the following essentials will be covered on the platform:

  • Pre-qualification
  • Contractor management
  • Job safety assessments
  • Training and inductions
  • Hazard management
  • Incident reporting

 

  • Look for a data checking function

An effective OHS system will be able to sift through your data and ensure its accuracy. Doing this manually can be very time consuming and not entirely accurate, so working with software that can check your data and automatically validate your records is essential.

This kind of data management aspect of safety management software also ensures that you remain compliant and are working in line with GDPR. Holding outdated records, or those records that have not been consented to can have serious consequences.

  • Opt for mobile solutions

Mobile software is becoming more essential in 2020, and to keep on top of safety on your site you need to ensure that your software is mobile. 

The benefits of investing in mobile software over desktop or paper-based systems are vast, but in general mobile software is safer, it allows open communication and real-time insights, and also allows remote working, which in the current climate is more important than ever.

  • Testimonials

Look for occupational health and safety management software that has been recommended and has customer success stories attached to it.

Some of the important things to look for are:

  • Do you know anyone who has used it or recommends it?
  • Does the company have experience of working with businesses of all sizes across a wide range of industries?
  • Do you trust the customer service? What do reviews say about it?
  • Has the company received any industry awards for its customer service or products?
  • Cost-effective 

Being cost-effective is one of the most important aspects of choosing an OHS software system. You have to ensure that you are spending on a platform that can give you all that you need, at a cost that is reasonable. However, that doesn’t always mean you should opt for the cheapest option, it is about value for money over the cheapest solution.

You may also like to think about the cost savings you could make vs the outgoing cost. Remember also that not having an effective OHS system in place will cost reputation damage as well as financial.

  • Scalability

Look for the option of scalability within your OHS software system as the requirements of your business might change over a period of time. Many businesses are now choosing cloud-based safety management software solutions so that their software can grow and evolve as the business does. Cloud-based software is highly scalable and can keep up with your business needs as you grow.

Are You Looking For A Safety Management Solution?

Beakon’s fully customisable Safety Management software offers a digital solution to safety management.

Beakon’s Safety Management software includes:

  • Hazards, risk, Incident and injury reporting.
  • Risk assessments and action management.
  • Clear, simple and intuitive interfaces.
  • Simple, ‘open’ workflows, Automated reminders.
  • Dashboard reports.

To learn more about Beakon’s market-leading offering, take a look at who we work with for more information. You can also read up on one of our recent articles on how big your business needs to be to invest in safety management software.

The Importance Of Incident Reporting System

The Importance Of Incident Reporting System

When we talk about incident reporting, we often think about the ways that we can react after an incident has occurred at work. Whilst the initial response is important, there are also other elements that need to be considered, beyond just the immediate actions that need to be taken.

This article will look at the importance of incident reporting and having a system in place that can help your workplace be as safe as it can be. 

Incident reporting helps you answer important questions

An incident reporting system not only allows you to keep on track of any incidents that occur, it helps you to prepare and track the near misses too.

An incident reporting system helps you answer questions around how safe your workplace is and how well prepared you are to deal with incidents, so that if anything did happen, you would know that you are doing the most you can to remain compliant and minimise risk.

Being able to track and trace your compliance is very important, as it allows you to cover yourself in the event of an incident. This is especially important in high risk industries such as construction, oil and gas, power plants, roads and buildings and hazardous sectors.

Incident Reporting is a requirement of any health and safety management system and when not carried out efficiently, the knock on effect may result in excessive costs to the business.

How does an incident reporting system help your business?

 

Above and beyond ensuring that you remain compliant, an incident reporting system ensures that you take a systematic approach to managing safety that is likely to minimise incidents in the first place. This will save you money, save you reputation damage, and keep your people safe.

Incident reporting systems enable you to maintain an attitude of continuous improvement – including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures to create a Continuous Improvement Cycle.

Incident reporting systems enable you to:

  • Protect your employees 
  • Maintain a working environment that is safe 
  • Minimise risk
  • Ensure that employees know how to report an incident 
  • Ensure employees take care of the health and safety of themselves and others.
  • Help you identify trends and incident types
  • Help you predict incidents and prevent them
  • Helps your business remain compliant
  • Conduct periodic reviews to assess risk

What are the key benefits of incident reporting?

A well designed incident management system has some key benefits. These include: 

  • Incident reporting systems prepare your business to deal with incidents

One of the key benefits of an incident reporting system is that it encourages employees to be prepared for an incident.

It also helps you understand how and why incidents occur and keeps the entire organization aware of their actions in real-time. The platform enables other employees to offer guidance or advice and lets critical stakeholders see the specific actions that were taken and how the incident was resolved.

  • Increase communication within the organisation

Often, incidents occur because of bad communication within an organisation, however a reporting system helps to minimise this risk. The increased safety procedures for employees, clients, and contractors allow effective communication channels at all times. 

With cloud-based technology, incident reporting systems can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with internet access, meaning that people can communicate in real-time in the event of an incident.

In an emergency situation, incident management software provides a timeline of communications so that senior managers can track the flow of communications and see whether the incident was escalated or resolved, and how. This gives you real-time situational awareness.

  • Increased safety for employees, clients and contractors

With better incident reporting systems in place, you’ll be able to provide a safer environment for anyone you interact with.

Risks to all parties can be minimised and managed, meaning that your business should see less incidents and improved compliance.

How can incident reporting systems be implemented?

Implementing incident reporting systems needn’t be difficult. Beakon’s system can be configured to report, investigate, analyse and proactively action issues across all work disciplines with ease.

If you’d like to learn more about incident reporting systems and how they work, you can take advantage of our free trial to give it a go.

 

Top 5 Incident Reporting Tools That Will Make Your Job Easier

Top 5 Incident Reporting Tools That Will Make Your Job Easier

Are you looking to take your organization’s incident reporting to the next level?

Do you want to contain workplace incidents more efficiently?

Do you want better communication with your staff?

Or more detailed incident reports that provide actionable data?

If you answered yes to any of those questions,  you need to equip your employees with the right tools!

In this post, we’ll look at the top five incident reporting tools that will make your job, and the jobs of your employees, far easier!Top 5 Incident Reporting Tools That Will Make Your Job Easier

So, what are the top five incident reporting tools?

  1. Incident reporting form
  2. Cloud-based storage
  3. Mobile devices
  4. Incident management software
  5. Commercial test management tool

Without the right data collection tools, incident reporting can seem like a never ending mountain of paperwork. Between safety walkthroughs, audits and training, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

But with the right tools, you can share everything in real-time, save a ton of time on filing, storage and reclamation, and improve your workplace’s safety too!

 

Incident reporting doesn’t have to consume all your time from other important tasks. Data gathering tools can help you gather incident reports more efficiently, and more accurately, helping improve your safety decisions and build a strong safety culture in your organization.

Ready to find out more?

Then let’s dive right in!

Incident reporting tool 1. Incident reporting form

Top on our list of incident reporting tools is the humble incident reporting form.

It’s doesn’t matter whether the report is paper-based or electronic, or whether it’s stored locally or in the cloud.

You need one!

So, what separates an okay incident reporting form from a truly great one?

In last week’s post, we shared the six key elements that every good incident report should include.

In case you missed it, the six key elements are every good incident report should have are:

  1. Holistic
  2. Accurate
  3. Objective
  4. Comprehensive
  5. Data-driven
  6. Cloud-based

Want to know more about these key elements? Then read our full guide to the six key elements in a good incident report.

But if you’re looking for a quick summary, here goes:

1. Holistic

Good incident report forms take a holistic approach to incident reporting. This means that they cover all types of incidents including lagging indicators (reports of incidents taken after they have finished) and leading indicators (those that indicate the risk of an incident occurring).

Top 5 Incident Reporting Tools That Will Make Your Job Easier

The four main types of incidents are:

  • Near misses
    Situations where people could have been injured, but, luckily nothing came to pass.
  • No harm events
    Operational risks that all staff across an organization should be made aware of.
  • Adverse events
    Adverse events are related to medicines, medical devices, and vaccines.
  • Sentinel events
    Sentinel events are unexpected events that result in any type of harm.

2. Accurate

Good incident reports contain enough space for accurate details that leave little room for ambiguity or misinterpretation.

3. Objective

Incident reports should be fact-based, and not based on opinions or subjective comments.

4. Comprehensive

As noted by Safe Work Australia‘s best-practice guidelines for Australian businesses, all notifiable incidents MUST be reported to the local authorities. Therefore, incident reports should contain enough data to help key safety professionals in an organization investigate the incident and determine the root cause.

5. Data-driven

With companies increasingly moving towards incident reporting software, the best incident report forms are data-driven. Employees can attach photos, videos, audio recordings and other annotations and notes to any report they create and submit.

6. Cloud-based

The sixth element of good incident report forms is cloud functionality. Cloud-based software means that any employee can access the system from any smartphone or tablet. Offline capabilities mean that even remote users without an internet connection can capture data such as photos and audio files and then sync with the cloud when they regain connectivity.

Incident reporting tool 2. Cloud-based storage

When it comes to incident reporting, cloud-storage one of the most important tools. We’ve already touched on the benefits of using a cloud-based incident report, but you can also use cloud storage with a range of other offline options.

As we explained in our comprehensive guide to incident reporting systems, at the simplest level, you can use a cloud-based spreadsheet service such as Google Sheets to record, log and investigate incidents, accidents and near-misses. By sharing access to this file across your organization you can benefit from the following benefits:

  • Efficient management of workplace incidents
  • Real-time updates for all members of your organization
  • Unlimited storage of reports, attachments, and data.

Top 5 Incident Reporting Tools That Will Make Your Job Easier

Cloud-based storage lets you use real-time alerts, detailed incident reports, and actionable data to better equip employees to handle incidents safely.

To unlock the full benefits of cloud-based storage, you need cloud-based incident reporting software. This empowered your employees by letting them access your incident management system from any device and submit a report at the time and place of their choosing.

Cloud-based software offers the ultimate in convenience, giving you an efficient, secure solution to storing reports online and letting you respond quickly to field events with the minimum of fuss.

You can:

  • Capture and report incidents
  • Manage and collaborate incident responses
  • Notify team members about upcoming events and react to developments
  • Review and summarize steps that help minimize risk
  • Generate reports that help address safety issues

Wondering how cloud-based incident reporting software does all this?

Think of all the old paper incident reports that your organization keeps in a binder. Cloud-based incident reporting software lifts these forms to the cloud where members of your organization can access them via the web on any mobile device as and when required.

A cloud-based approach lets you:

  • Generate and submit incident reports from any computer or mobile device.
  • Create your own customized incident report forms that contain exactly the data you need.
  • Upload photos, videos and audio files to any report.
  • Create incident reports even when your device is offline.

Incident reporting tool 3: Mobile devices

Many firms choose to invest in cloud-based incident reporting software for the numerous advantages that this approach offers over paper-based systems. But the key tool that makes this possible is the humble mobile device. That’s why the third tool on our list that will make your life easier is mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Top 5 Incident Reporting Tools That Will Make Your Job Easier

To get the most out of a cloud-based approach to incident reporting, you need a mobile device such as:

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Hybrid tablet/laptop

Cloud-based incident reporting and mobile devices go together like peanut butter and jelly; cloud-based systems are device-agnostic meaning that they work as web apps on any device, regardless of manufacturer and platform (Windows, Android, iOS).

Most leading software also offers native Android and iOS apps designed to work specifically on those operating systems. This means that employees can even use their personal computers, phones or tablets to access the incident reporting system and generate and submit their own reports.

Why mobile devices?

Mobile devices are highly portable, so employees can generate incident reports on the spot, instead of having to wait until they have access to a computer before making reports. Mobile devices are packed full of useful tech that lets users:

  • Take photos of the incident and attach to the report
  • Take audio recordings of victims or witnesses
  • Take video clips showing damage
  • Annotate and/or illustrate media to provide investigators with helpful tools

Tool 4: Incident management software

So far, we’ve already touched on some examples of how incident management software helps organizations. While it is possible to use the first three tools – incident report forms, cloud-storage, and mobile devices – to develop an effective incident reporting system, most companies decide to invest in dedicated incident management software.

Listen.

Incident management software is an all-inclusive solution to efficiently contain and manage workplace incidents. The software provides everything a company needs to run its incident reporting strategy.

This includes:

  • The incident report form
  • The cloud-based storage
  • The management apps for mobile devices

Incident management systems let organizations use real-time alerts and detailed incident reports to help employees to handle incidents safely. They are perfect for small and medium businesses in any industry, from entrepreneurs to educational institutes and even non-profits.

The software provides everything a company needs to improve its incident management, including:

  • Training (in-person and live online)
  • Webinars
  • Documentation
  • Support

If your organization is looking to drive operational excellence, incident reporting software could be what you need.

Incident reporting tool 5: Commercial test management tool

The fifth incident reporting tool on our list is the commercial test management tool. If you’re serious about incident reporting, this tool is absolutely invaluable. Commercial tests are an essential aspect of running an organization and having a specific management tool to help you report the statistics and metrics from any incidents that occur is a must.

Why invest in a commercial test management tool?

Test management tools help you:

  • Gather invaluable stats about incidents including the total number of incidents reported, whether they are open or closed, the number of incidents with each status and the average open time.
  • Prioritize incidents according to available resources and manpower.
  • Attachment storage – you can collect screenshots of incident reports and file them alongside the incident reports.
  • Assign actions to members of your organization such as conducting confirmation tests and fixing issues.

Having the right commercial test management tool makes reporting incidents and making observations on the go a breeze with any device. You can customize the reporting categories, assign people to specific roles, add images and use statistics to analyse the risks and trends present in your organization.

Why is this helpful?

Your organization’s business process relies on your reacting and responding to incidents in a timely, effective manner. An incident may start in the field, but the response will be decided away from the field. A comprehensive commercial test management tool helps ensure that all relevant stakeholders have the data and facts necessary to formulate the ideal response. You’ll never miss an important field event when you invest in a commercial test management tool.

What are some of the benefits of commercial test management tools?

At a senior management level, test management tools offer three main benefits to any organization.

  • Identifying the most common incidents
  • Developing your safety systems and safety culture
  • Scheduled maintenance and repairs

Let’s explore these exciting benefits!

Identifying the most common incidents
To work towards developing a safer workplace environment, the senior managers need access to up-to-date information about the most common types of incidents that occur. While it’s true that you can gather most information from your OSHA logs, having a commercial test management tool automates the process, eliminating errors and giving you more accurate data. This makes management’s job easier and lets them focus resources on areas where the majority of incidents are occurring.

Developing your safety systems and safety culture
The second main benefit of investing in a commercial test management tool is that it increases accountability for your staff. By giving them the tools and software necessary to report incidents in a timely, comprehensive manner, you make them accountable for incidents.

Commercial test management tools help you assign duties to staff and automatically track their progress, sending them reminder emails if work stalls or if a deadline is missed. This helps create a better safety culture in your organization by involving everyone in safety tasks.

Scheduled maintenance and repairs
A commercial test management tool ensures that your systems and process are regularly inspected and lets you know when your equipment is due for maintenance. This helps you schedule maintenance and repairs to prevent serious incidents and manage your budget cost-effectively. By streamlining your maintenance schedules, you can significantly reduce the loss of tools and equipment. This won’t just save your organization money; it will keep all aspects of your operations much safer.

Closing thoughts

In this guide, we’ve covered the top five incident reporting tools that will make your job easier. A well-designed incident reporting form will help your staff report incidents with enough detail for further investigations to understand what happened. Cloud-based storage and mobile devices will ensure that all members of your organization can create, save and share reports in real-time wherever they are. Rounding off our list, having comprehensive incident management software and a commercial test management tool will help you keep ahead of the curve on your organization’s incident management.

Good luck!

Related posts:

6 Key Elements to Include in a Good Incident Report

6 Key Elements to Include in a Good Incident Report

Is your organization is aiming for a ‘zero’ target on all accidents?

If so, you’ll appreciate the importance of having a good incident reporting system in place.

A strong system will help you track, monitor and respond to accidents and incidents as and when they occur. This will in turn help create a safer working environment for all members of staff.

But what should a good incident report look like? What should it contain? And how much detail is ‘enough’?

In this post, we’ll answer those questions and more by outlining the six key elements that every good incident report should contain. We promise to show you exactly what to include and, just as importantly, what to leave out.

The six key elements to include in a good incident report are:

  1. Holistic
  2. Accurate
  3. Objective
  4. Comprehensive
  5. Data-driven
  6. Cloud-based

Before we start discussing these elements in more detail, let’s start with the basics.

What is an incident report?

Incident reporting is the process of documenting any critical event that occurs on an organization’s premises. Incidents could involve company employees, contractors, visitors or even the general public.

A good incident report should help the organization document all workplace injuries, accidents and near-misses, no matter how minor or complex.

What is considered an incident?

‘Incident’ is quite a broad-ranging term.

It could mean:

  • An event
  • A condition, or
  • A situation

Most commonly, incidents are thought of as an event, such as a trip, a fall or a workplace accident.

For example, Australian businesses must comply with the model WHS Act which stipulates that regulators are informed about notifiable incidents such as the death of a person, a serious injury or illness or any dangerous incident that exposes any person to a serious risk.

But an incident could also be a condition – such as a manufacturing error that necessitates a product recall.

An incident could also be a situation such as an unsafe area of an organization’s premises flagged up in a safety walkthrough.

So, how do you define what is and what isn’t an incident?

As a rule of thumb, an incident will be something that:

  • Disrupts or interferes with an organizations’ business
  • Affects the operational systems of an organization
  • Poses a risk to members of an organization, or contractors, visitors or customers.
  • Creates negative attention (public perception or media attention)

A good incident report should help document all of these incidents and more!

What makes a good incident report?

An incident report is an important tool that is used to document any event, condition or situation that may cause injury to people or damage to an organization’s property.

Incident reports can be paper-based or electronically generated and are a way of capturing and documenting any of the following things:

  • Accidents
  • Injuries
  • Near-misses
  • Property damage
  • Equipment damage
  • Health and safety issues
  • Security breaches (physical or electronic)
  • Workplace misconduct issues
  • Potential risks (when used as part of a Safety document), and
  • Uncontrolled hazards

6 Key Elements to Include in a Good Incident Report

What separates a standard incident report from a good one?

Critically, a good incident report will help a company in three key ways.

These are:

  • Investigating incidents
  • Analysing incidents
  • Predicting/reducing the chances of future incidents occurring

To do this, the report must have enough information so that organizations can:

  • Determine the root cause of an incident
  • Decide the best corrective action for eliminating the risks
  • Taking steps to prevent future occurrences

Now that we’ve covered the groundwork and we’re all on the same page, let’s dive right into the six key elements that make up a good incident report!

Element 1. Holistic

The first key element of a good incident report is that it should be holistic. Key stakeholders in any organization, such as managers, HR personnel, and safety officials, must be aware of various situations and events that occur.

It’s no good if the incident report only deals with one type of incidents such as physical accidents, or near-misses – it should be holistic and provide a way for incidents of all types to be reported quickly and effectively.

When we talk about a holistic approach to incident reporting, there are two main types of indicators:

  • Lagging indicators
  • Leading indicators

Let’s look at these two indicators more closely!

Lagging indicators
Lagging indicators refer to incidents that are reported after they have occurred, such as:

  • Recorded injuries
  • Citations
  • Employee compensation claims

As lagging indicators are reported retrospectively – after the fact – your organization must use the collected data to inform decisions about what actions to take in the future to prevent them from occurring again.

Leading indicators
Leading indicators, on the other hand, are those that are recorded before actual accidents or injuries have occurred.

These include:

  • Near misses
  • Behavioural observations
  • Safety meetings
  • Job observations
  • Training records

Leading indicators can be tracked to indicate the likelihood of incidents occurring in the future. Most of these metrics will not be reported on an incident report form. However, where we need to focus our attention is on ‘near misses’.

Some organizations would include ‘Near-misses’ as a lagging indicator as they are recorded after the fact. When we talk about a good incident report form being holistic, we mean that it covers all types of incidents, including near misses. This data can be used to reduce risk and prevent future incidents from occurring.

Holistic also means that the incident report form covers the four main types of incidents.

  • Near misses
    These are situations where people could have been injured, but, luckily nothing came to pass. These are like ‘free passes’ that give you the opportunity to learn from and correct poor situations without having to suffer the consequences of a workplace incident. Near misses need to be reported as important lagging and leading indicators.
  • No harm events
    The second type of incidents that needs to be reported are so-called ‘no harm events’. A good incident report form will help communicate and raise awareness of these incidents across an organization to raise awareness of what might happen in the future. For example, if two types of chemicals used during a production process are found to react together adversely, this would be classified as a no-harm event. Staff across the entire organization should be made aware of this operational risk.
  • Adverse events
    Adverse events are related to medicines, medical devices, and vaccines. They occur during patient treatment or management, rather than from a pre-existing condition.
  • Sentinel events
    Sentinel events are unexpected events that resulted in any type of harm (physical, psychological, etc.) such as trips, falls, vehicle accidents, the outbreaks of diseases, and natural disasters.

A good incident report will cover all four types of incidents listed above to offer organizations a holistic view of all incidents that occur on their premises or affect their staff.

6 Key Elements to Include in a Good Incident Report

Element 2: Accurate

The second essential element of a good incident report form is accuracy. To be effective, an incident report should be specific and concise. It should avoid vague or easily misinterpreted language and phrases that may cause confusion and instead keep things on point.

The report should always be proofread to check for typos and spelling errors. Many companies are moving towards incident reporting software that automatically spellchecked reports when they are created.

However, some errors can only be spotted by humans. These include:

  • Details of peoples’ names
  • Dates and times of the incidents
  • Contact numbers

For this reason, it’s worth having a second person proofread the report to spot and correct glaring errors.

Here’s an example of how a good incident report could be structured to keep it concise:

Enter job description:_______________________________________

Date and time of the incident

  • Date:________________________________________________
  • Time:_______________________________________________

What was the Incident/ Near Miss?

Were there any injuries?

  • Yes
  • No

Was there any damage to property or plant?

  • Yes
  • No

What caused the incident?____________________________________

A clearly laid out incident report will help keep all details concise and will avoid confusion.

Element 3: Objective

The third key element of a good incident report is that is should be supported by facts and be objective, rather than being biased. Reports of incidents should be free from bias and opinions, and should instead focus on the facts at hand. Rather than appointing blame, the incident report must create a picture of both sides of the story.

How?

There are several ways to put objectivity at the heart of an incident report.

Firstly, your organization could stipulate that the person who submits an incident report form must take photos of the surrounding environment including annotations. This centres the report on visual evidence of the event or incident, instead of based on opinionated and biased statements.

Secondly, if the report includes statements from patients and/or witnesses, you could stipulate that the person completing the incident report quotes them, instead of paraphrasing.

This is important because, depending on the severity of the incident, the incident report should be submitted to an investigation team to further study and look for the root causes. The primary purpose of this investigation isn’t to find fault but to develop corrective actions to prevent similar incidents from occurring.

In the event of negligence and/or criminal culpability, this will be referred to the relevant legal authorities. The purpose of the incident investigation is to collect and analyse the information and evidence. This process will be far smoother if safety professionals have photographic evidence and witness quotes to work from.

Element 4: Comprehensive

The fourth key element in a good incident report is comprehensiveness. The report must cover all related essential questions including:

  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why, and
  • How

This includes not just the names of people who were injured or affected, but also details of people who witness and reported the incidents.

The report should cover:

  • The names of witnesses
  • The names of those who will conduct further investigate
  • Significant details that may be needed for further study and investigation

Element 5: Data-driven

The fifth key element of good incident reports is that they are data-driven. They should make use of as much data as possible to create the fullest possible picture of what happened.

For example:

  • Photos
  • Annotations
  • Diagrams
  • Illustrations
  • Audio recordings of witness statements
  • Electronic signature capture

These types of data will help build a complete picture of the nature of the injuries, damage, or surrounding environment at the time of the incident and will complement the written evidence provided in the report.

Giving your employees the ability to capture signatures electronically is extremely helpful. Those involved in the incident (e.g. victim, witnesses, manager, reporter, etc.) can sign off to testify and validate the accuracy of any information they submitted to the incident report. This helps to confirm that the incident report is truthful and accurate.

A good incident report will include space for the following details:

  • Actions to be taken to eliminate future repeats of the incident
  • Management comments
  • Employee sign off
  • Supervisor sign off when corrective actions have been adopted and monitored.

Element 6: Cloud-based

The sixth key element of a good incident report is that it should be cloud-based. All incident reports should be properly stored as an important record for every organization. Paper-based incident reports are time-consuming to store, access and manage – and that’s where cloud-based incident reporting software offers undeniable advantages.

Cloud-based incident reports can help streamline an organization’s entire incident reporting process, from recording, storing, tracking and investigating all types of incidents, dangerous conditions, and near-misses.

This is extremely helpful when it comes to ensuring regulatory compliance. According to guidance from Safe Work Australia Australian businesses must immediately notify their regulator about notifiable incidents such as the death of a person, a serious injury or illness and a dangerous incident that exposes any person to a serious risk.

Cloud-based incident reporting systems help by offering the following benefits:

  • Paperless incident reports can be generated by a range of hand-held devices, regardless of type or platform.
  • Report takers can attach unlimited photographic evidence with notes and annotations to their incident reports.
  • Software incident reports can include a wide range of supporting types of evidence not available to paper-based reports. This includes audio files of witness statements, electronic signature capture, photos, and video files.
  • Paperless reports can be generated without employees having to leave the site and then uploaded and shared in real-time with all members of the organization who have permission to view.
  • Cloud-based incident reporting solutions offer unlimited storage space for easy record keeping.

Taking your next steps

If you were curious about the six key elements of a good incident report, that’s about it.

Good incident reports will feature all of these six key elements and help ensure that organizations keep on top of their incident reporting. If your organization is looking to make smarter incident reporting decisions, drive operational excellence and create a culture of continuous safety improvement, having a good incident report form is essential.

Related posts:

Incident Reporting System: The Comprehensive Guide

Incident Reporting Systems: The Comprehensive Guide

Is your organization striving to make smarter safety decisions?

Are you aiming to create a culture of continual improvement?

Is achieving operational excellence in safety a top priority?

If you answered “Yes!” to one or all of those questions, you’ll understand the importance of having a comprehensive incident reporting system in place.

An incident reporting system can help any organization record, track, trend and investigate all types of incidents, dangers, and near-misses.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain exactly what an incident reporting system is and precisely how it can benefit your organization.

We’ll be discussing things like:

  • What are Incident Reporting Systems?
  • What is Incident Reporting and how does it work?
  • The importance of document control
  • Response
  • Incident investigating
  • Root cause analysis
  • Paper-based vs Software – what’s the difference?
  • Safety incident reporting software: What to consider
  • Final thoughts

What are Incident Reporting Systems?

An incident reporting system is any system that helps an organization record, track, and investigate any type of dangerous situation. It could be a hazardous condition, an incident, or even a near-miss.

The system itself can take a number of forms.

  • It could be entirely paper-based, with file folders and sticky notes kept in filing cabinets.
  • It could be entirely online, with cloud-based software helping to store and manage incident reports and admin documents.
  • Some organizations use a hybrid approach where some elements (such as incident report forms) are stored as hard copies and other elements (such as reports and actions) are stored online as spreadsheets (such as Google sheets).

What is Incident Reporting and how does it work?

While the exact process for filing an incident report will vary between organizations, the basic safety incident life cycle should look broadly similar, whether a company is working predominantly offline or online.

The safety incident life cycle has six stages as follows:

  • Incident Reporting
  • Response
  • Investigation
  • Corrective Action
  • Tracking
  • Summary Report

Incident reporting is the first step in a much longer process. Reporting is usually thought of as what happens after an accident, dangerous condition, injury or near-miss has taken place. However, there are actually two types of metrics that should be studied.

These are:

  • Lagging indicators, and
  • Leading indicators

Let’s look at these two metrics in greater detail.

What are lagging indicators? 

Lagging indicators are incidents that are reported after an event has taken place.

These include:

  • Near-misses – events where no actual harm occurred.
  • Accidents resulting in personal injury
  • Equipment or property damage
  • No harm events – situations that all staff across the organization need to be made aware of.
  • Adverse events – those related to medicines, medical devices, and vaccines, rather than employee pre-existing conditions.
  • ‘Sentinel’ events – unexpected events such as trips, falls, vehicle accidents, the outbreaks of diseases, and natural disasters.
  • Environmental incidents such as spills or releases that must be contained and reported to the Australian government.
  • Vehicle incidents – including vehicle incident data that can be used to launch vehicle incident corrective/preventative actions (CAPAs).

These are all examples of lagging indicators – you’re looking in the rear-view mirror, reporting what happened and seeing what you can learn from it.

Incident Reporting Systems: The Comprehensive Guide

What are leading indicators? 

Leading indicators are metrics that can be used to pre-emptively reduce the risk of injury or incidents.

For example:

  • Safety walkthroughs – you can study the length and frequency of walkthroughs.
  • Training effectiveness and the frequency that training takes place.
  • Management safety meetings and the frequency with which they occur.

Leading indicators are more like looking out of the windshield and seeing what problems could arise. Some organizations view near-misses as leading indicators, although they are events that happened and just didn’t lead to actual harm or injury. Kind of like a free pass!

Incident reporting works by having employees or key members of an organization report incident, accidents, injuries, and near-misses.

How?

By using an incident reporting form!

Reporting forms can be either:

  • Paper-based and stored as a hard copy in a file, or
  • Digital and stored electronically or in the cloud

Incident reporting forms ensure that incident and injury data is accessible for reporting and helps configure investigations and workflows. It should provide enough detail for the other stages in the six-stage incident life cycle to be completed.

Following an incident report, an organization can:

  • Make a response
  • Plan and assign corrective and/or preventatives actions tasks
  • Track completion
  • Comply with injury reporting regulations.

The importance of document control

The second part of an incident reporting system is document control. Once the incident reports have been created and submitted, what next?

For the incident reporting system to be effective, all documents should be stored in a secured centralized repository.

At the simplest end, many small Australian businesses work from a paper document known as a Safety Statement. With relatively few incidents reports to deal with, many small firms use file folders or office cabinets to store incident reports. This gives them control over user access and helps ensure that information about past incidents is kept secure.

But paper-based reporting systems can cause administrative issues for medium-sized businesses. The model WHS Act requires that Australian businesses notify their regulator of certain types of workplace incidents known as ‘notifiable incidents’ as soon as they occur. With a paper-based approach, the onus is on employees to complete this work and any lapse could result in significant fines.

Furthermore, to comply with guidance from Safe Work Australia, organizations must track all versions and revisions of reporting documents to ensure that only accurate, up-dated documents are used.

For this reason, many firms turn to incident reporting software that stores all documents online. This lets staff across the entire organization see any updates and changes in real-time, helping to ensure that the latest versions of documents are used.

Moving away from paper-based storage and towards online or a cloud-based incident reporting system helps you create a complete audit trail. This gives you a complete history of when records were created and when they were archived, retrieved, transmitted, or modified. By logging the local time and date, incident reporting software helps organizations of all sizes maintain regulatory compliance.

Response

After an incident report is submitted, the organization will make an appropriate response. For small businesses, the correct protocol will be outlined in the safety statement that staff can consult for guidance.

For larger organizations, or those using incident reporting software, the software itself will be able to suggest appropriate actions in response to the incident.

Most incident report forms will include space for details about the response taken. A key member of staff, such as the supervisor, will be assigned to record this and sign off on the incident.

5. Incident investigation

For serious incidents, the organization may need to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.

Key members of staff such as safety professionals will analyse the incident using data and evidence provided in the incident report.

They will work on defining the underlying cause with the aim of reducing risk and the chances of future incidents occurring.

The goal of an incident investigation is to implement preventative measures and reduce the risks faced by employees.

Incident Reporting Systems: The Comprehensive Guide

 

Root cause analysis

The most comprehensive way to reducing risk, avoiding future incidents and driving continuous improvement in any organization is to use root cause analysis.

In small organizations, this work will typically be completed by OHS staff. Larger organizations or those using incident reporting software may have software to help them with root cause analysis activities.

The main root causes methodologies used are:

  • Basic checklists
  • Fishbone (Ishikawa) diagrams,
  • 5 Whys,
  • Gap analysis
  • And more!

These methodologies, either separately or combined, help manage or eliminate contributing and root causes, and identify and implement corrective actions. These actions can counter the identified root causes.

Paper-based vs Software – what’s the difference?

In general, smaller businesses will use paper-based incident reporting systems, while medium and larger businesses will opt for a software-based approach. However, organization of all sizes, from start-ups, to educational institutions and even non-profits, can actually benefit from a software solution to incident reporting.

So, what are the main differences?

Real-time updates
Moving away from a paper-based incident reporting system means saying goodbye to file folders and filing cabinets stuffed full of documents and reports. Unlike paper forms that must be manually retrieved and modified whenever an action is taken, software incident reporting systems offer real-time updates.

Listen.

When you move to a software system, the key details related to each health and safety incident are shared in real-time online with all relevant members of the organization. This helps each staff member learn from each other’s experiences and improve workplace safety.

Identify new areas for improvement
Earlier in this guide, we discussed lagging and leading indicators. Most organizations are good at responding to lagging indicators such as dangerous conditions, accidents, and near-misses.

But leading indicators are tougher to track and follow.

One of the key benefits of adopting a software-based approach to incident reporting is that it gives you a higher level of visibility into your organization’s safety performance.

With software, you are able to unidentified new areas for improvement than may have otherwise gone untracked, such as:

  • meeting frequency
  • training frequency and quality
  • safety walk-through frequency

Incident reporting software can help detect issues that are likely to cause future incidents, such as a lack of safety training and low scores on post-training tests by employees. By detecting these root causes, the software can suggest preventative action such as increasing training frequency and/or improving the quality of the training.

Another example would be non-conformance applications, or NCRs. Many firms who switch to incident reporting software find that their NCRs double or even triple. This means that more NCRs are being recorded and fewer are going unnoticed, helping the organization focus on their improvement efforts.

Automated follow-ups
With paper-based incident reporting, it’s easy for a supervisor to say that further consideration will be given to a future incident – and then nothing gets done!

Incident reporting software makes the process of following up on incident reporting far easier and faster. Organizations can actively monitor whether staff members are following through on critical steps in the reporting, investigating and action process. What’s more, much of this work can be automated so that employees are sent automatic email reminders to attend meetings and training.

Safety incident reporting software: What to consider

Safety incident reporting software makes incident reporting and investigation incredibly simple!

Incident reporting software lets your organization record, track and investigate any type of incident, including near-misses and dangerous conditions.

This helps you reduce risk and keep your employees safe.

So, what do you need to look out for?

Here’s our guide to everything you need to consider when choosing the right incident reporting software for your organization.

Offline and mobile capability

Offline connectivity is a huge plus; your employees can capture date when they are working remotely or without an internet connection. They can then sync with the system and upload the data when they regain connectivity. Mobile capability means that your staff will experience a purpose-designed mobile experience no matter which mobile device they use.

Meetings and communications management

The best incident reporting software can help you manage all your meetings and communications, helping you keep on top of your workload.

You can sit back and let the software do everything from:

  • Scheduling meetings
  • Send automated notifications to attendees
  • Record and track meeting attendance
  • Assign and track follow-up tasks

By maintaining a record of all meetings and associated tasks, incident reporting software can help ensure that incidents are properly responded to in a timely manner.

The software can also record and track of communications. This helps your employees share information, plan activities and communicate in a more efficient way.

Data import and API access

The latest incident reporting software features both data import tools and API access. Data import means that you can map data from Excel spreadsheets directly into the software – perfect for adding historical data or updating data with records.

API access means that the software can communicate seamlessly with other third-party systems. This makes pushing and pulling data one database to the other a breeze.

Business analytics and intelligence

If your organization is looking to make smarter decisions and great a culture of continual improvement, business analytics and intelligence is one of the more important areas to consider when choosing incident reporting software.

Leading incident management software gives you 360-degree visibility of your organization and lets you get the most out of your data.

How?

The software can automatically generate reports, data slicers, and dashboards, giving your employees the information they need to respond to incidents in the best way.

Conclusion

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explained exactly what an incident reporting system is and the benefits it can offer to your organization.

Whether your organization uses a paper-based system or has already moved to a software solution, the key features of a solid incident reporting system never change. If you want to move towards a safety culture, you need to have a data-driven approach to investigating, analysing and responding to incidents.

Related posts:

How to choose an incident reporting software: key elements in 2019

How to Choose Incident Reporting Software: Key Elements in 2019

Is your organization looking to make incident reporting easier, faster and simpler than ever?

If so, incident reporting software is worth a look.

Having the right incident reporting software makes reporting and investigating incidents a breeze. You can easily track and investigate all types of incidents including accidents, dangerous conditions, near-misses and more!

With many types of incident reporting software to choose from, making the right decision can be tough. That’s why we wanted to outline the key elements that every organization should consider when choosing the best incident reporting software in 2019.

There are seven key elements to consider, as follows:

  1. Cloud-based
  2. Personnel tracking
  3. Evacuation management
  4. Pre-incident measurement tracking
  5. Root cause analysis
  6. KPI set selection and tracking
  7. Automated reporting

In this post, we’ll explain these key elements and show why they are important for any company that wants to use incident reporting software to create a workplace safety culture.

Element 1: Cloud-based

The first key element to look for when choosing incident management software is cloud-based functionality. As a responsible organization, you want to prioritize the safety of your staff, visitors, and guests. There’s no better solution than using cloud-based software.

The key advantage of using cloud-based incident management software is that it is platform-agnostic. This means that users can access the software via any internet-enabled device, including PCs, laptops, and mobile devices.

How?

Cloud-based software uses web apps and/or native Android and iOS apps. This lets users access the software from almost any computer or device, regardless of which operating system the device is running on.

This approach helps ensure that all of your staff have convenient access to the incident reporting software, no matter whether they are using Windows, Linux, iOS, Android!

With cloud-based incident reporting software, your organization can:

  • Create and store limitless incident reports
  • Instantly share reports and incident reporting metrics in real-time
  • Ensure that all incident data is centralized and easily accessible for reporting
  • Comply with injury reporting regulations

If you’re looking to easily record, track, and investigate all types of incidents, near-misses and hazardous conditions, then cloud-based functionality is the first key element you should look for. We discuss this in greater detail in our comprehensive guide to incident reporting systems.

Element 2. Personnel tracking

The second key element to consider when choosing incident reporting software is personnel tracking.

Listen.

If you care about employee safety and want to reduce on-site incidents, you need to know exactly who’s on location at any of your sites at any given time. You must keep tabs on your employees and contractors, whether they are in one building or in multiple locations across the country or around the world. That’s why personal tracking service is the second key element to consider when choosing incident reporting software.

How to Choose Incident Reporting Software: Key Elements in 2019

Personal tracking services provide real-time guidance about who’s on location at any given site and where they are expected to be. Dashboards and reports can show employee location at a glance, helping to minimize the risk of incidents occurring and helping to ensure that people receive fast, accurate help if an incident occurs.

Most leading incident reporting services offer a self-signing option where visitors, staff or contractors can sign in and identify that they’ve arrived on site. Organizations with this software will commonly place a kiosk or tablet in their waiting area or reception for people to sign into.

Visitors who arrive on your premises can use self-signing to:

  • Identify the purpose of their visit
  • Provide details of who they are visiting and why
  • Electronically sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) before entering

Self-signing not only helps your organization keep track of who’s on-site; it also helps with the flow of communication. For example, the software can automatically notify your staff that their expected visitor has arrived.

Element 3. Evacuation management

The third key element to consider when choosing incident reporting software is evacuation management. Software with a built-in evacuation management tool helps take your organization beyond clipboard-based paper rosters and streamlines your operations.

How?

It starts with Single Sign On (SSO), which helps ensure that all employees have a seamless sign-on experience. Each user has a single set of credentials in order to access the software. This helps identify, locate and track every member of staff at any given site in real-time.

SSO lets the incident reporting software record and track all relevant internal and external communications that take place on the system. In the event of an emergency, the software can be used to share information in real-time and increase the efficiency of the internal communication process within an organization.

During an evacuation, senior management and safety personnel can watch in real-time as their facility is evacuated and people are checked in on the roster that they are safe.

Element 4: Pre-Incident measurement tracking

The goal of any incident reporting software is to record, track, trend and investigate any incident that takes place on your premises. However, there are actually two main types of metrics that you need to track;

  • Lagging incident measurements
    Measurements that are taken after an incident has occurred.
  • Leading incident measurements
    Measurements that occur before an incident has taken place.

Most incident management software is effective at tracking lagging incident measurements. A good example of this would be a slip and fall incident caused by construction materials. Staff can easily use the incident reporting software to log and manage the entire safety incident life cycle, as follows:

  • Report the incident
  • Generate a response
  • Investigate the incident
  • Take corrective action
  • Generate a summary report

However, the key element to look for when choosing incident reporting software is pre-incident measurement tracking. This is one of the six key elements of a good incident report that you should look for. This helps your organization track and monitor metrics that help reduce incidents before they take place.

How?

Let’s say you do a weekly safety walkthrough of your premises and store these report directly on your incident management software. As your reports are centralized, the software can automatically identify potential risks and suggest preventative measures that can be used to reduce risk.

How to choose an incident reporting software: key elements in 2019

For instance, if you’ve got some demolition going on, the software can look ahead and predict that this area is likely to be a little more hazardous for your staff and contractors. The software may suggest increasing the frequency of your safety walkthroughs to address these potential risks.

Software that logs pre-incident measurements helps your organization move towards a proactive posture. By measuring leading indicators including conditions, events, and sequences that may cause accidents, the risk of future incidents arising is vastly reduced. This gives you an opportunity to introduce control measures that can stop the event from happening altogether.

Element 5: Root cause analysis

The fifth key element to consider when choosing incident reporting software is root cause analysis. In other words, how can your organization study past incidents and learn from the data?

Leading incident reporting software is able to autonomously conduct thorough root cause analyses. This helps your organization to reduce risks, avoid future incidents and drive continuous improvement while meeting occupational health and safety standards.

Look.

When your organization invests in incident reporting software, you are essentially creating a centralized, web-based location where all incident reports and related data are stored and managed. This means that all root cause analysis activities can be centralized and that all analysis data can be easily shared and reported.

The software is able to autonomously identify contributing factors and root causes for any incidents that occur, such as:

  • The frequency and duration of safety meetings
  • The frequency of safety walkthroughs and checks
  • Records of past similar events

Incident reporting software with root cause analysis functionality can use multiple methodologies such as checklists, gap analysis, and the Ishikawa diagrams to identify contributing factors and root causes. It can then identify and suggest corrective actions to reduce risk and prevent future incidents from occurring.

Element 6: KPI set selection and tracking

The sixth key element to consider when choosing incident management software is Key Performance Indicator (KPI) set selection and tracking.

Why?

As much as you may want to, you simply can’t track all incident-related KPIs. The advantage of using incident reporting software is having access to a tool that automatically selects the most important KPIs and tracks them.

Incident reporting software can look through your lagging indicators, such as:

  • OHS recordable injuries
  • OHS citations
  • Total case incident rate
  • Days away
  • Fatality rate (hopefully you don’t have to look at that!)
  • Your employee’s comp claims
  • Your Experience modification rate (EMR)

How to Choose Incident Reporting Software: Key Elements in 2019

Incident reporting software can also examine your lagging indicators, such as:

  • Near misses
  • Behavioural observations
  • Job observations
  • Training records (including training that’s past due or didn’t get done and training scores on post-training quizzes)
  • Safety meetings and the quality of safety meetings
  • Frequency of meetings by departments/ teams
  • Employee perception surveys (i.e. What is employee perception of safety culture in the workplace and how can you respond to that?)
  • Preventative maintenance (PM) programs, i.e. What percentage of PMs are overdue? We know that the longer we don’t’ address PM, the failure/breakdown rate of machines will rise. Tracking the percent of PMs that are overdue helps keep the workload manageable and helps you address safety issues.

Leading incident reporting software can track these lagging and leading indicators and help you identify which metrics are most critical to track. This key element helps you manage your resources effectively and stay on top of your safety. You can identify the most important problems sooner and reduce risk before they require excessive remedial attention.

Element 7: Automated reporting

The seventh key element to consider when choosing incident reporting software is automated reporting. All organizations strive to create ‘zero accident’ environment and, while there are plenty of ways to approach this challenge, it’s far easier if you use incident reporting software with automated reporting functionality.

Consider this:

Firstly, you must know where your risks are. Sure, you can survey your employees and ask them: “If you had to bet, where in our facilities or processes are our next accidents or illness most likely to come from?” They’ll likely be able to tell you.

But attempting to gather and track more complex metrics such as meeting frequency or duration can be extremely difficult if you’re a one or two-person EHS team. If you’re using spreadsheets for manual data entry, it’s hard to keep track of everything!

This approach also makes regulatory compliance extremely tough. According to Safe Work Australia, the model WHS Act requires Australian businesses to notify their regulator about certain types of workplace incidents known as ‘notifiable incidents’ as soon as they occur.

These include

  • A person’s death – whether they are an employee, contractor or member of the public.
  • Any serious injury or illness.
  • Any type of dangerous incident that exposes any person to a serious risk, even if no one is injured.

That’s where incident reporting software comes in handy. In fact, it’s one of the top incident reporting tools that will make your job easier. The software is able to automate much of the data gathering and reporting work and can create tracking reports in real-time as the data is generated.

This is light-years ahead of traditional paper-based incident reporting system and can help your organization avoid fines for regulatory non-compliance.

How?

Incident reporting software offers an instant, organization-wide overview of every reported incident, with minimal need to undertake laborious and time-consuming data entry.

It can then use multiple methodologies to manage and eliminate contributing factors and root causes. The software will generate a report that not only identifies which corrective actions to take but actually starts to implement them.

For example:

Let’s say that a workplace accident is caused by construction debris. Incident reporting software can implement corrective actions such as more frequent safety walkthroughs and other preventative measures. This reduces risk with minimal need to manually log data or generate reports.

Taking your next steps

These seven key elements are essential to consider when choosing incident management software in 2019. You’ll want to keep them in mind as you decide which software to invest in and which to use. The right software will give your organization 360-degree visibility of all your safety issues and concerns. It will provide you with real-time reports, intuitive dashboards and powerful benchmarking that can help you make smarter decisions. With leading incident management software, your organization can create a culture of continual safety improvement and drive operational excellence.