How Big Does Your Business Need To Be To Invest In Safety And Compliance Software?

How Big Does Your Business Need To Be To Invest In Safety And Compliance Software?

Are you thinking about investing in safety and compliance software, but you’re worried that you’re too small to invest heavily in your operations? If that’s your thought process, think again.

There’s no perfect company size when it comes to when you should invest in safety and compliance software, since investing early will make it easier for you to scale up in a compliant manner when the time is right. That being said, you also need to ensure that you’re in the right position to utilise the software to its full capacity, which is what we’re running through in this article.

We’re taking a look at the best size a business should be to utilise safety and compliance software, to help you figure out if it’s time to take the leap and invest in compliance software.

Should your company be thinking about safety and compliance?

Short answer, yes. Every company is required to engage lawfully when it comes to health and safety, so whether you’re a massive multi-million dollar company, or a small enterprise, you need to think about the health and safety or your people and your products.

That said, if you’re a smaller company with fewer employees and smaller business operations, often managing health and safety can be easier. This is where the debate around how big your business needs to be to invest in compliance software comes in.

What is compliance software?

Compliance software can cover everything from risk management to incident management and many other software services in between. Compliance software is there to help you abide by the law and keep your people and your company safe as you operate day to day.

Compliance software helps you stay on top of your duties as a business, as well as keep a record of events. Compliance software helps you create ‘repeatable and reliable’ documents that can be used throughout the business and streamlined onto one singular easy-to-use platform. 

Instead of using paper-based systems that can cause all kinds of problems, safety and compliance software manages the complex administration of compliance in order to embed your health and safety framework and rules with legislative requirements to ensure that your business is protected.

How big does your business need to be to use compliance software?

We work with huge businesses from Coca-Cola Amatil to DHL, all the way down to smaller businesses who run construction sites and need assistance with remaining safe and compliant. 

You don’t have to be a big business to start reaping the rewards of safety and compliance software. In fact, starting the process when you have less going on and less paperwork to manage can sometimes be better.

Getting into good habits and forming a data record that stretches back and is all located in one place, means that as your business grows you needn’t worry about the boring (but crucial!) aspects of business like safety and compliance.

Plus, investing in quality software isn’t just about abiding by the law. There is a good chance that your business could benefit financially from reduced risk and increased revenue that using compliance software often brings. In streamlining your processes you open up employee time and incentivise good practice – all habits that will be very helpful as you grow.

Want to learn more about compliance and safety software?

Is your business ready to try safety and compliance software? The Beakon solution is an interconnected software system that has over 50 compliance, risk and safety modules.

Get in touch today to learn more about how we operate, and how we could help your business with safety and compliance!

The dangers of incomplete permits to work

Permits To Work In Construction 

If you work on a construction site, no matter where you are in the world, you are likely to need a permit to work. This is because construction is a high risk industry, with many danger challenges that can mean that your people and the public are at risk.

In order to minimise that risk and ensure that your business is working in a compliant manner, a permit to work can be essential. They help to ensure that the right people are working on site, by detailing what is required of the role and what training is necessary. 

Without a permit to work system, your business risks putting the wrong people on site. This is not only costly and ineffective, but also means that your site will be at higher risk of incidents.

We’re taking a look at why a permit to work is so crucial in construction, and how to manage them.

Why are permits to work essential in construction? 

A permit to work is an essential in any industry or business that poses high risks, and construction sites often fall into that category. This is because construction sites are full of hazards that can be a risk to your people and the public. Some of the main concerns that need to be taken into account, and which may require a permit to work are:

  • Working at height.
  • Moving objects.
  • Slips, trips, and falls.
  • Noise.
  • Hand arm vibration syndrome.
  • Material and manual handling.
  • Collapsing trenches.
  • Asbestos.
  • Electricity.
  • Airborne fibres and materials.

Permit to Work systems are crucial to help manage these high risk elements of working in construction to ensure that work is able to continue to go on safely. Permits to work are usually supported by a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) process and a range of related procedures for high risk activities.

How are permits to work issued in construction?

To issue a permit to work, you need to be trained in work safety and hazards and need to be able to prove that. This may require certification and constant training updates to ensure that people in your organisation are assessing others are up to scratch.

Once your organisation has confirmed who is eligible to issue a permit, the person nominated to issue a permit to work informs the head contractor and details the tasks to be carried out and the location of the work. This is then assessed against each individual’s skills and qualifications to ensure that the right people are allocated to each job. After these are aligned and confirmed to match up, a permit to work will be issued to confirm that the person is able to do the job at hand.

How can you manage work permits in construction?

Despite the importance of an up to date and legitimate permit to work in construction, often people leave them to the last minute and don’t give them as much attention as they should. Equally, many people still use paper-based systems, which means that things can easily get lost. Not only that, but motivation is often low for people to fill out forms by hand and physically hand them over to someone.

For those reasons quickly detailed above, paper based systems are now being replaced by digital permits to work systems that allow versatile permit layouts, workflows and standards guaranteeing that mean that your company can get a full view of the permits being issued throughout the business.

Managing permits to work in construction can be done via an online system that allows you to: 

  • Issue Permits to Work.
  • See Permit approvals.
  • Audit-friendly records for permit history and access history.
  • Work on all devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Managing permits to work in construction

Are you looking to manage your permits to work in a more effective way? Discover why a more effective permit to work solution is required for any construction site in our handy article.

Alternatively, you can get in touch today to start a free trial and see how much easier life is with a seamless permit to work solution that takes the hassle out of issuing work permits in construction. 

 

Permit To Work FAQ

One of the topics that we always get asked questions about is the permit to work software and how it works. Beyond just the software, we spend a lot of time talking to clients about how they can streamline their whole permit process, from bringing someone on and interviewing them to getting them safely working on site.

We’re always looking to help our clients get the answers they need fast, so we’ve put together a quick question and answer article to run through permit to work FAQ. 

Take a look…

Q: What is the meaning of a permit to work?

A: Depending on the sector and type of work, you may need to get your employees or contractors a permit to work. This permit is a written, official document that establishes whether the person is eligible to do the job and ensures that they can do it safely. 

The goal of a permit to work is to quickly and safely establish who is allowed on site and ensures that your business is compliant whilst working. They run through the risks and regulations on site in full transparency, so that a worker is able to sign off on their knowledge before starting work, and in this sense serve to communicate and control the work environment.

Q: When is a permit to work used?

A: A permit to work is used for a specific location or project to run through exactly what risks and knowledge will apply to that site. As each site is different, it is important that the permit to work is localised to the exact site. They will usually be concerning specific work that might need certain qualifications in order to be completed safely.

Q: Why do we need a permit to work?

A: The reason a permit to work is issued is to prevent incidents and increase safety on site. When working on big projects it can be hard to ensure that everyone is compliant at all times, and this helps to streamline that process and get it down in writing before anyone steps foot on site. It is an essential part of running your business safely and protects both your business and your people from danger.

Q: What is the importance of a permit to work system?

A: Permit to work software plays an essential role in ensuring the safe execution of hazardous work activities. They help to alleviate the stress of the process and ensure that the hours of filling forms, writing tags and transporting papers is condensed.

Having a solid system in place reduces risk and the chances of accidents occurring, which in turn keeps frontline workers both safe and efficient. Plus, it saves your business money and ensures that productivity is boosted.

Q: Why do people use an electronic software?

A: Using an electronic permit to work software means that the process is easily customisable for your business and takes into account any intricate project or industry risks. 

Permits that are issued electronically are easily traceable and can be requested and sent between contractors and employees quickly and easily. This reduces the amount of admin and allows people to get on with their jobs more efficiently.

Users find that they can quickly identify and rectify any conflicting work activities and contact the relevant people to fix any issues with the push of a button.

Q: What kinds of projects require permits to work?

A: Wherever there is a risk to safety, there should be a permit to work in place. This could mean permits to work for working at height, working with restricted access, hot works, roof access and contamination. 

Any kind of health risk should be reviewed by a professional, however it is always safer to assume that you do need a permit to work to ensure that you remain compliant and put employee and contractor safety first. The government website offers advice on health and safety at work and how to manage it effectively.

Q: Do contractors need a permit to work?

A: Absolutely. In fact, often a permit is more essential for contractors as their movements can be harder to manage. When working with contractors, it’s essential that you are all on the same page and have a clear record of where they have been working and what they can do. With a digital system this is easy to trace.

Thinking about getting a permit to work software installed? Talk to us about the benefits of an online system for issuing permits to work – you’ll be surprised how beneficial they can be!

How to manage contractors effectively

How to manage contractors effectively

With everything that’s going on in the world, the way that we manage our people has really been put into perspective. This is especially true for those who work within our organisations on a contractual or remote basis.

A lot of work within construction has been ground to a halt as we try to navigate the situation, however with things beginning to open back up and operations returning to normal, there are some lessons we can learn from the current period.

From people management to safety procedures, the current times have really allowed us time to reflect on how we manage our teams. We’re looking at how you can manage contractors effectively, during coronavirus and beyond, in order to get the most from your people and uphold compliance at all times.

Find the right contractors

Naturally, a big part of managing contractors effectively, is ensuring that you have the right people to start off with. 8% of the Australian workforce are contractors, meaning that there is some great talent out there to choose from.

The first step is to ensure that you’re working with the right people. When looking for contractors, it’s important to verify who they are and what their experience is. Looking for things like insurance details, permits to work, previous contracts and important documentation is essential. 

This is where a contractor management system can come into play and ensure that best practices are met when signing a contractor on. It’s not only the legal implications that need to be met, but the professional ones too. Ensuring that you have the right contractors for the job is the first step to a successful contractor management plan.

Ensure they are onboarded correctly

Traditionally, onboarding is thought of as something that is essential for long-term, full-time workers, but potentially not as important for contractors. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Contractors need to be effectively onboarded too, in order to make sure that you get the most from your people and remain compliant at all times.

The stats that you normally hear about onboarding are to do with employee retention, which isn’t always as essential when you’re working with contractors. What is interesting though (and is commonly missed off the list of stats) is that onboarding effectively can improve performance by up to 11%.

Investing in your onboarding process is well worth the time, effort and financial cost when it comes to getting the payback from your people. You’ll find it a lot easier to manage your people if they’re fully onboarded, know exactly what is expected from them and are comfortable in their surroundings.

Keep them in the know

When it comes to working with contractors, it’s sometimes hard to predict what information they have to hand. In this sense, it’s a good idea to establish early on what kind of knowledge they have and where they might need to freshen up before they begin.

Keeping them in the know is a crucial part of managing contractors, and will increase their value contribution ten-fold. This starts by keeping them as up to date with the scope of the contract from the beginning of the project and throughout, and means updating them with any of the need-to-know information that might be important.

There are some great ways you can do this, even if your contractors are working remotely. E-learning audio and video content is a sure fire way to ensure that contractors are well educated, and allows you to tick that compliance box without having to move from the comfort of your office.

Give them ownership 

Remember that although contractors are working for you on this project, they actually work for themselves. This means that they’re probably independent-minded people who are happy to take care of business where appropriate.

Giving your contractors the space to own their work and manage it effectively within reason, is a great move. With a contractor management system, this step becomes a lot easier. All of your contractors will have a log-in to the contractor management software, which removes any and all complexities associated with paper-based systems. It will also ensure that your contractors supply you with the relevant information.

Data-entry is significantly reduced and contractors can take ownership of their administration. This saves you time and money, and gives the contractor full ownership of their project – it’s a win win.

Check in regularly

Did you know that 40% of the Australian workforce feel lonely at work? This can be especially true of contractors. Keeping in touch helps to combat this, and keeps everyone happy and productive whilst they work for you.

A check in doesn’t have to be face to face, it can be via email or call but it just means that they know you’re there for them. Checking in regularly also means that you can keep on top of everything that is going on and report back to stakeholders accordingly.

Having a handle on the day to day operations isn’t always easy when you have a million and one other things to do, but having a contractor management system helps to combat this.

Contractor Management Systems That Work For You

At Beakon we don’t believe in a one size fits all solution to any business challenge. Your business and your contractors are unique, and therefore your needs are unique too. Discover how you could optimise your contractors with a contract management system that saves you time and money and boosts your level of compliance.

Get in touch today to learn more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can companies manage business risks?

How can companies manage business risks?

If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that business risks are very real. The good news is that now we’ve all had to manage certain business risks, we know how important it is to have a procedure in place and ensure that we are able to effectively manage the risks that our businesses may face.

We’re taking a look at how companies can manage business risks in order to remain compliant and minimise damage.

What kind of business risks should you be aware of?

First things first, there are many different kinds of business risks. Some of these are easier to manage than others, but all of them should be considered when creating a risk management plan.

  • Compliance risk: this includes risks that a company is required to comply with by law. These may include things like minimum wages and health and safety regulations.
  • Strategic risk: this is the kind of risk that is normally dictated by the market and external factors, such as the demand for the product or the economic state of affairs.
  • Financial risk: this kind of risk refers to the financial state of affairs of a business and their risk of struggling financially.
  • Operational risks: These are the risks that occur in the day to day running of the business and may impact profit. For example if some essential piece of equipment breaks.

1.Ensure that you’ve effectively identified risks

One of the first steps towards managing any risk is accepting that it is there. Carrying out a full risk assessment on your business will help you identify where your business could be vulnerable and minimise the likelihood of notable events occuring.

Remember that risk triggers can be both internal and external, and it’s important to think about any external influences that come into contact with your business. That includes contractors and visitors to sites, who can often present some of the greatest risks.

2. Ensure that measures are set out to manage those risks

It goes without saying that compliance is key, so ensure that you understand how to comply with your legal obligations when it comes to risk. You will need to keep records and ensure that you can prove that you’re effectively managing risk, so sitting down and working through how each risk is to be taken care of is essential.

A good place to start is by looking for an effective safety management software that will help you get a grip on how your risks evolve from day to day. You should take measures to manage risk such as:

  • Report risks, incidents and injury
  • Record actions taken following a risk
  • Create automated workflows and reminders to keep everyone notified
  • Create dashboard reports to keep on top of what risks the business might be exposed to

3. Delegate and share the risk responsibility

Once the risks have been established and you have decided how they will be recorded, it’s time to decide who will have responsibility and authority to manage those risks. This is an essential step, as everyone needs to take responsibility for risk and it’s important that the responsibility for recording those risks is shared.

4. Update risks in real time

In order to manage business risk, it’s essential that you’re able to provide real time data. A software solution that allows you to synchronise safety management systems with staff ID and card machines will allow you to keep up to date with exactly what is going on and who is moving around your organisation each day.

Having a risk register that configures your risk in an ISO friendly framework and allows you to create customised rules and workflows will be essential to help you keep your risks updated and managed.

Are you ready to manage your business risks more effectively? Discover our range of software options that will help you discover and report your business risks effectively!

 

The dangers of incomplete permits to work

The dangers of incomplete permits to work

Work permits are an essential part of maintaining health and safety measures and providing your team with a safe place to work. Not only that, but they help you remain compliant and stay on top of the ways that people are working within your organisation.

Non-routine tasks normally always require a work permit, whereas more routine tasks may not. The need for a permit can also depend on the person carrying out the task and the ways that these tasks might impact health and safety. 

The goal of a work permit is to outline what is expected of the individual and ensure that more hazardous tasks are always carried out by people who know what they’re doing. From both a health and safety and a legal perspective, permits to work are essential to the day to day running of a business. Take a look at the main dangers of having an incomplete work permit, and what that could mean for your business.

1. Your people won’t know what is expected of them

One of the main benefits of a work permit is that you can provide documented work instructions including details for specific locations, departments, time of day etc and get these signed off by the employee or contractor.

In this sense, a permit to work provides a kind of guide that is agreed upon before work is completed. Without a complete permit to work, there is nothing to go back to and pull up as a kind of contractual agreement of what work is expected. If you don’t complete your permits to work, you put your business at risk of working with unskilled people who don’t know what they’re doing. 

Plus, if it does backfire (eg – they make an error and it costs your business) you won’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to claiming on insurance because you didn’t fully confirm that the person was able and they didn’t sign off on what is expected of them.

2. You won’t be working in a compliant manner

Compliance is a major reason that permits to work exist. If you don’t issue them correctly and fully, you put your business at risk of operating outside of legal requirements. Safety policies are put in place to keep everyone safe – stakeholders, workers and visitors included – and without a work permit your business is essentially ignoring guidelines.

Working in a non-compliant manner can have all kinds of implications on both a legal and moral level. Ensuring that permits to work are complete will give you the best chance of working compliantly and minimising the risk of error.

3. Without permits to work you put your team at risk

Permits to work exist primarily to keep people safe on the job, and without these permits you put your people at risk. This is not only morally problematic, but it makes you liable from a legal and insurance perspective too.

Without a complete work permit, you put your team at risk of:

  • Material hazards, such as Hazardous Substances and Dangerous Goods
  • Temperature risks, including being ill-equipped to work in hot or cold locations
  • Dangerous fumes
  • Electrical hazards
  • Mechanical energy hazards
  • Hazardous areas
  • Height dangers
  • Radioactive substances
  • Many, many more risks that can be posed

What should a permit to work include?

In order to ensure that your permits to work are complete, it can be beneficial to have an online system that notifies you of where you are in the process. This way, you can avoid any miscommunication, loss of paperwork and general difference of completing permits to work.

With a simple to use permit to work software, you will be able to define what your permit to work will cover, describe the precautions necessary and ensure that the individual carrying them out understands what is expected of them. You’ll be able to issue permits to work, deal with permit approvals, audit history of permits and allow sign off on any device including smartphones and tablets.

For more information on how your business could benefit from a permit to work system, get in touch today!

 

 

What are the benefits of an online permit to work solution?

What are the benefits of an online permit to work solution?

Are you still using a paper based system to manage your permits to work? With an online permit to work solution, you can streamline the process and ensure that you’re fully compliant on site and beyond.

An integrated and safe online system will allow you to increase safety and keep all of your important information together. In turn, this can save money, time and decrease risks that can wreak havoc within your business. Get things done quickly and compliantly with an online permit to work solution, and discover the benefits of moving your permit to work documents online.

Why use an online permit to work software?

1. Online permits to work are much safer

Paper is the more traditional method, however as everything moves to digital, your business risks falling behind if you don’t ensure that your documents are digitally stored. With all permits centrally stored, with dates and certifications easily attached to an individual file, you’ll be able to stay on top of everyone’s permits and minimise risks.

Remaining compliant is essential, not just from a legal perspective, but from a health and safety and insurance perspective too. If you miss off or lose important pieces of information because your paper filing isn’t up to the job then your business could be at serious risk. It’s much easier to use an online software solution that issues permits to work and flags if you might be at risk of non compliance, than try to manage it yourself with a paper system.

2. Online permit to work solutions mean faster sign off

With an online system, you’ll be able to send the relevant documents to the person that needs to see them quickly and easily. Paper can be hard to get in front of the right person, is easy to lose and inevitably takes a lot longer to sign off on than an online document.

An online permit to work allows you to issue real-time permits that can be updated and edited as the project goes along. This speeds up the whole process from issuing the permit to managing it, and makes it everyone’s responsibility to stay on top of essential business safety admin. 

3. Your documents will be organised more effectively

No one really likes doing the essential paperwork, but when everything is organised nicely by an online solution, it makes things a lot easier. Tasks can be ordered by number, site and date so that you can access the information you need quickly and easily.

Having all of the information centrally located means that when the job is finished you can close the forms and more on. In this sense, you won’t have loads of paper with confidential information that needs to be destroyed or filed after the job is finished. With an online system you’ll always have access to the information you need on your contractors without having piles of paper around you.

4. Everyone will be able to use the software from different devices

When you need a permit to work to be issued quickly, paper is no good. With mobile technology meaning that everyone can access the important documents in the palm of their hands, online permit solutions help keep front line workers in the loop.

This means that your business can run smoothly without any disruptions as contractors will be able to quickly and easily complete their permit to work pre-arriving on site.

5. You’ll make your manager’s lives easier

With an online permit to work solution, managers can quickly identify and rectify any conflicting work activities without having to go through lots of paperwork. With the paper trail that is provided for all permits, your team leaders will be able to see everything in one place. Plus, new users will be guided through the system quickly and easily.

We know that motivating your people to fill in all the relevant paperwork correctly isn’t always easy, so making the process more simple for them is a sure fire way to encourage them to get it done.

Are you looking for the perfect online permit to work solution for your business? Take a look at Beakon’s offering and start your business’ journey to paperless today!

 

 

What is a permit to work software?

What is a permit to work software?

During the current crisis, businesses are being offered the opportunity to slow down and reflect on the business processes that run without us thinking. Of these crucial processes is the permit to work process.

Often, the need for a permit to work is a pretty urgent requirement, so the focus is on getting it done quickly rather than ensuring that the software or process behind getting it issued is streamlined.

To help you decide whether your permit to work process is working for you or against you, we’re explaining what a permit to work software is and how it can boost your business.

Why are permits to work important?

A permit to work is an essential legal requirement for tasks that have the potential to affect the health and safety of other people. Essentially, we need permits to work to ensure that the people doing the job are qualified and able to do the job safely.

The permit to work proves that the person carrying out the task has the relevant certifications and skills to do so safely, and takes into account any conflicting tasks or hazards that may arise on the job. It’s essential that the permit to work is issued, or the individual may be working illegally.

One of the main purposes of a permit to work is to assign a responsible person to each task, so that risk assessment and safety checks are performed at each stage. A permit to work will set out procedures and instructions for the task at hand, and should localise all the relevant information such as expiry dates, work history and certifications so that it’s easy to see whether the individual is qualified for the task.

What is a permit to work software?

Traditionally, a permit to work could be issued by hand effectively. This would involve lots of paperwork, which could easily be lost. If you’re reading this and thinking ‘we still do it by hand’, we’re here to tell you that there’s a much better way!

A permit to work software replaces the old paper-based system, saving you time and limiting the mistakes that can be made as a result of working with paper. This software allows you to streamline the process and improve functionality, as well as integrating the permit to work process with other management software products like risk management and task management.

What should permit to work software include?

Permit to work software should be easy to use and should be set up to compliment other business workflows and processes. It should ensure that the approvals are easy to obtain from the relevant person and then are displayed clearly with dates and certifications attached for reference.

A permit to work software should be able to:

  • Issue permit to work
  • Collate information together clearly
  • Deal with permit approvals
  • Keep records of permit history and access history
  • Work on an array of devices 

Beakon Permit To Work Software

The Beakon permit to work software is used by some of the world’s largest companies in high-risk sectors, and has been rigorously tested to ensure that it offers all of the functionality to manage your site safely.

Our system helps contractors, employees, and site visitors remain compliant so that you don’t have to chase them. You can also reduce cost of risks, non-compliance, administration, as well as delays caused by document loss. 

Most importantly, Beakon’s Permit to Work system reduces the likelihood of safety breaches in the workplace. All actions are logged, time stamped, and recorded, providing a easily-accessible audit trail.

Take control of your site access quickly and easily; contact Beakon today and find out how our Permit to Work System can protect your staff and business.

4 reasons spreadsheets aren't always the answer

4 reasons spreadsheets aren’t always the answer

If you’ve recently started working from home, you probably already know the stresses and strains of working with spreadsheets. Whilst they can be an effective way to manage information, they are not always the best solution to dealing with large sums of important data – which they’re often used for.

We completely understand how it’s done. We’ve all been there. You started an excel spreadsheet years ago, filled it with important information and now it’s become too big to stop adding to it. You need a new solution but you’re putting it off until the time is right.

If that sounds like you, here’s why you need to move away from spreadsheets and think about a more tailored solution for your business.

Spreadsheets aren’t always easy to share (especially if they’re big!)

If you’ve ever tried to share a spreadsheet, you’ll have noticed that the first issue you have is usually that the file is too big for most email providers. This can be a real pain and can make security an issue if you have to use a third party sharing platform to get the spreadsheet to other members of your team.

Once you have successfully shared it, you may have noticed that often the features of the spreadsheet won’t have pulled through – this is especially true for excel. Once the spreadsheet has been shared, often you can’t add features like conditional formatting, data validation, lists and pivot tables.

Whilst spreadsheets do allow you to create a shared workbook, they are often tricky to send and once they are sent, often things don’t work as they did before which can waste time and cause confusion.

Editing isn’t as easy as other platforms

Only one person can use most spreadsheets at once. Even in cloud-based spreadsheets, active edits can only be accessed by one person, which means that you could be doubling up on work or working from the wrong information due to a sharing delay. If you have remote workers who need to work collaboratively, or see data in real-time, then this can be an issue.

Spreadsheets are also harder to edit as they can’t be integrated into other systems for automatic updating. In short, editing spreadsheets is a lot trickier than having your own tailored platform or software that is specifically designed for the amount of people in your team. 

They’re vulnerable to errors

Spreadsheets rely on human experience, and this means one thing – human error. In fact, Oracle has estimated that 90% of spreadsheets have errors. Of course, in a spreadsheet with lots of data, one tiny mistake can cause a whole host of problems.

Spreadsheets make it easy for human errors to occur as their features like lack of check and balances make them harder to use than a system that is designed for the exact kind of information you are entered.

They’re very generic

Spreadsheets can be amazing tools for a variety of tasks, however if you have a specific business need they can hold your business back. Whilst your competitors might have different software systems for each individual task, if you’re using a spreadsheet to do everything it’s likely that you’re going to fall behind.

Spreadsheets are generic, which means that they can’t always manage your data as well as other systems. For example, it’s much more effective to use a contractor management software for contractor data, learning management systems for keeping track of employee training, and a risk register software instead of a spreadsheet with recorded incidents.

If you’re ready to start improving your business tools and moving away from spreadsheets to keep your compliance and safety on track, take a look at our software offering

 

How to manage a workforce in the face of a pandemic

How to manage a workforce in the face of a pandemic

It’s official – we’re in the grips of a pandemic.

Whilst that can be a cause for panic, with the right tools and team behind you, businesses can survive and even thrive in the current conditions. If you’re struggling to know how to handle the current coronavirus outbreak, take a look at our tips on how to manage a workforce in the face of a pandemic.

What is Covid-19?

Covid-19 was first reported back in December in Wuhan, China and has since spread across the globe. According to the government guidelines on Coronaviruses, they’re a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases.

As most of us know, this new coronavirus that has emerged can have serious implications and causes symptoms such as fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue and shortness of breath.

Due to the contagious nature of the disease, many countries are going into self-isolation, which has caused disruptions to businesses in Australia and beyond. In light of the Covid-19 situation, businesses need to come up with new ways to manage and supervise their workforce remotely.

How can companies manage their employees effectively?

Here are some tips on how to manage your people during this turbulent time:

  • Ensure you have the infrastructure in place to support working from home

When we think about the infrastructure necessary for our people to be able to effectively work from home, often we think about the laptops, mobile phones, printers and other technology that is required. However, they’re not the only essentials that need to be considered. The infrastructure needed whilst employees work remotely includes the need to effectively manage risk and keeping you on the right track when it comes to safety and compliance too.

  • Be sure to put safety first

It goes without saying that employee safety should be the main concern of any business at the moment. This is likely to mean that employees will need to work from home in order to stop the spread of Coronavirus. It’s essential that measures are taken to keep everyone safe and well and that any incidents are tracked. A safety management software can help you record incidents and work out the associated costs too.

  • Find effective ways to communicate hours worked

Before your people start working from home, it’s a good idea to discuss how hours will be tracked and whether employees will need to record their hours of work (for example, in relation to annualised wages).

  • Use a task tracker to keep on top of things

Managing employees is hard enough when they’re in the office, so with remote work becoming more prevalent this is only becoming harder. Using a task tracker can be a great way to give your business flexible tools to allocate tasks, manage progress and keep projects on track.

How can companies manage their contractors effectively?

Casual employees and contractors are harder to manage in these uncertain times. They don’t have sick entitlement under the National Employment Standards, but it’s up to your business how you handle your contractors who may become sick from coronavirus or need to self-isolate.

Ensuring that you help your contractors manage their workload, keep on top of business admin and continue to work, could be essential to their livelihoods and also essential to running your business and keeping the economy afloat on whole.

Here’s how you can manage contractors effectively during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Read the workplace laws

First things first, it’s a good idea to refresh your memory on what contractors are entitled to and how your business should handle contractors by law. Knowing what people are entitled to will help you negotiate their work from home terms with full transparency.

  • Assess whether they can work remotely

Ideally, contractors would be able to work remotely, however we all know that in many industries this simply isn’t possible. Assess whether their work can be completed remotely whilst they may be self-isolating and consider using software that allows you to task manage if they are going to be working remotely.

  • Deal with contractors transparently and effectively

Keep on top of everything with software that allows your contractors to login and supply any relevant information you may need whilst they work away from a manager. Reducing data entry and keeping on top of contractor work should be a priority in order to ensure time is not wasted.

Managing a workforce in the face of a pandemic isn’t going to be easy, but with some smart thinking and effective tools, your business can get through this phase. For more information, take a look at the official government guidelines on Covid-19.