OSHA Record Keeping: What Constitutes A Reportable Injury?

OSHA Record Keeping: What Constitutes A Reportable Injury?

Any dangerous incidents, fatalities, injuries or illnesses in the workplace can be of serious detriment to your business. The health and safety of workers needs to be protected as a priority, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the law. As a business owner it is important to know what to do if someone is injured. 

Get familiar with OSHA and what constitutes a reportable injury in our handy article…

What is OSHA?

OSHA stands for Occupational Health Services Australia, a large regulatory agency that governs safety procedures in Australia. Employers in higher-risk industries and those with employees are obliged to abide by OSHA recordkeeping requirements. The OSH Act places certain duties on employers, employees and self-employed people in order to protect the health of safety of everyone.

There is often a level of confusion around these requirements, particularly when discussing OSHA recordable vs reportable events. This is partly due to the fact that not all recordable events are reportable.

What should and shouldn’t be reported as part of OSHA?

In order to clarify these murky waters, here’s a brief overview of OSHA record-keeping requirements, with regards to recordable vs reportable events. 

Work related deaths and certain types of injuries must be reported to WorkSafe as a legal requirement. Reportable injuries need to be reported to SafeWork via an online form or phone call immediately following a major incident. 

“OSHA record keeping requirements define a reportable injury or illness as any of the following:

  • a fracture of the skull, spine or pelvis;
  • a fracture of any bone in the arm (other than in the wrists or hand) or in the leg (other than a bone in the ankle or foot);
  • an amputation of an arm, a hand, finger, finger joint, leg, foot, toe or toe joint;
  • the loss of sight of an eye; and
  • any injury other than the above which, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, is likely to prevent the employee from being able to work within 10 days of the day on which the injury occurred.”

“Types of diseases that must be reported are:

  • infectious diseases: tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, Legionnaires’ disease and HIV, where these diseases are contracted during work involving exposure to human blood products, body secretions, excretions or other material which may be a source of infection; and
  • occupational zoonoses: Q fever, anthrax, leptospirosis and brucellosis, where these diseases are contracted during work involving the handling of, or contact with, animals, animal hides, skins, wool, hair, carcasses or animal waste products”.

Source: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/injury-reporting-and-investigation-essentials-employers 

According to SafeWork Aus, “If a notifiable incident occurs the model WHS Act states that:

  • The regulator must be immediately notified.
  • Written notification must be submitted within 48 hours if requested by the regulator.
  • The incident site is preserved until an inspector arrives or directs otherwise. However this doesn’t prevent any action to help an injured person or make the site safe”.

What Are Recordable Events?

Any incident in the workplace should be recorded, however not all incidents or injuries need to be reported to OSHA.

There is some overlap between recordable vs reportable events, as a company should keep a record of all injuries at work. If OSHA requirements define a work-related health incident as reportable, it is also recordable. However, recordable events can constitute any injury, even those only requiring first aid.

Whose responsibility is it? 

Ultimately, it is the business owner who is responsible for record-keeping. But it is essential that the unit manager/authority on site knows what to do and how to report the incident upwards.

Employers must keep their incident records for a minimum of five years. Also, between February and April, they are required to post summaries of injuries from the previous year. Moreover, if requested to do so, an employer must provide copies of injury/illness summaries to current and former employees. 

How can incidents be reported?

It can be difficult to comply with OSHA record-keeping requirements. Especially in the chaotic environment surrounding a serious injury or fatality, paperwork is often the last thing on your mind. All attention is given to the employees and their families. And with the less extreme cases, paperwork can easily be put off and forgotten, or left long enough for any accurate recording to be done.

Thankfully, Beakon’s Incident Management software can provide an essential solution. Developed in partnership with leading multinational organisations, Beakon’s system can be configured to report, investigate, analyse and proactively action issues across all work disciplines. These include fields in safety, environment, quality assurance, product quality and business management.

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.

How essential are QR codes to visitor management?  

How essential are QR codes to visitor management?  

QR codes have had a new lease of life in 2020, as many businesses have had to monitor and record every visitor due to COVID-19. QR codes have been essential in managing the people that we allow on our premises throughout 2020, but many businesses were also using them prior to COVID in order to carry out effective visitor management.

QR codes can be exceptionally helpful in managing visitors and contractors onto a site, and help to manage the flow of traffic that can sometimes become tricky for one person to manage. Take a look at how QR codes are proving themselves essential to visitor management in 2020.

What Are QR Codes?

A QR code can be defined as “a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone”.

They are a relatively new technology that is essentially a machine-readable label that can be scanned and holds information about the thing that it corresponds to. It is a great way to communicate and hold information in a tiny label.

Why Were QR Codes Created?

QR codes originated in 1994 in Japan, and were originally created to work within the automotive industry. The word QR code is short for Quick Response – and this is why QR codes were created – to be able to respond quickly in carrying information from one device to another.

They were created to aid the manufacturing process when building cars, as QR codes enabled high speed component tracking. Nowadays, they are still used in a similar manner in order to share information, however their use has been transferred across many industries.

How Do QR Codes Help With Visitor Management?

QR are now essential to visitor management for an array of reasons. These can be defined as:

  • They Make The Sign In Process Seamless

The issue with traditional visitor management with a pen and paper isn’t that it doesn’t work – it does when it’s completed correctly. However, one of the main issues with paper-based systems is that they rely on human brain power to ensure that the sign in is completed and then stored. 

QR codes take stress out of the sign in process and make it easy for visitors to sign in as soon as they get on site. In a post-COVID world, pretty much everyone is ready to sign in wherever they go, and when people see a QR code they are already familiar with the QR code process.

  • They Allow People To Self Check In

Your employees will benefit from allowing people to self check in and not having to monitor visitors coming in and out themselves. The QR code process means that a visitor is able to fill in the contact form themselves, which frees up your staff’s time.

  • They Move Visitor Details Online

There is nothing worse than having a paper based system and losing track of visitor details. This is especially true in the time of COVID, when it is a legal requirement to keep visitor data safe. With QR codes, the information is stored and saved digitally so that you never have to worry about misplacing your visitor information.

  • They Can Be Used For A Contactless Sign In

QR codes are very helpful for ensuring a safe visitor sign in from a social distancing point of view. With QR codes, the visitor needn’t come into contact with a staff member and can fill in their details easily. This means your team has one less thing to worry about when managing a project.

  • They Enable Pre-screening Questions

QR codes allow you to add pre-screening questions when someone leaves their details. This means that all information is stored digitally instead of manually and doesn’t rely on someone having to ask the awkward questions of how well someone has been feeling. The person simply fills it in on their phone without having to share personal information.

Are you looking to learn more about QR codes for visitor management? Discover the Beakon solution to visitor management that can transform how you sign visitors in.

 

8 key components of occupational health and safety management systems

8 key components of occupational health and safety management systems

Occupational health and safety (OHS) management is a top priority for Australian companies of all sizes and in all sectors. Reporting serious incidents is a legal obligation, and reducing workers’ risks is an ethical, moral and legal prerogative for all organisations. That why more companies than ever before are actively looking at ways to improve their own occupational health and safety management system, or to implement one if they have no current provisions in place.

components occupational health and safety management systems

Occupational health and safety (OHS) management systems vary widely between companies. Some businesses take an entirely paper-based approach with clipboards and files, while other firms invest in occupational health and safety management software to ensure that they have the best provisions possible. As occupational health and safety management provisions vary so widely between different companies, comparing them can be a challenge.

OHS management is a process of continual improvement and refinement. Even businesses with strong reputations for good occupational health and safety (OHS) management practices are constantly improving what they do. So how do you know that your organization has the very best system possible?

One approach is to judge any occupational health and safety (OHS) management based on its key components.

So what are they?

In this post, we’ll explore the 8 key components of occupational health and safety (OHS) management systems.

They are:

  1. Planning
  2. Incident reporting
  3. User-friendly interface
  4. Training
  5. Risk assessments
  6. Certification
  7. Convenience
  8. Performance

1. Planning

The first key component of any occupational health and safety (OHS) management system is planning. Whether you use a paper-based ‘Safety Statement’ or dedicated occupational health and safety (OHS) management software, planning should be front and centre of everything you do.

components occupational health and safety management systems

Planning is essential if you want to ensure that your organization stays abreast of all current Australian occupational health and safety rules and regulations.

This includes things like:

  • Planning how to prevent accidents and illnesses
  • Planning for practices, resources, and procedures for your OHS policy.
  • Planning when to review your OHS policy

Planning should be a key component of every OHS management system because it gives offers a clear overview of associated OHS costs and helps you manage risks with confidence.

2. Incident reporting

The second key component of occupational health and safety management systems is incident reporting.

An OHS system should be accessible to all members of an organization, from senior management down to junior employees, so that they can report incidents in a timely manner.

Most commonly, organizations use paper-based reporting forms such as incident forms. However, many firms are increasingly turning to cloud-based software, where all documents and files are stored remotely on servers.

With cloud-based software, employees can use any internet-enabled device (desktop, mobile, iOS, or Android) to create, save and access their organization’s OHS documents.

Incident reporting means that employees can:

  • Report accidents and injuries.
  • Report hazards and risks.
  • Receive reminders to complete certain tasks
  • Review completed risks, hazards and incident forms (if they have permission).

components occupational health and safety management systems

Incident reporting also helps senior management and key stakeholders, too.

At the highest levels, incident reporting helps in the following ways:

  • Notify stakeholders about reported accidents, incidents and injuries.
  • Generate reports from the filed incident and risk reports.
  • Communicate directly with staff to delegate duties and responsibilities.
  • Review training received by staff.
  • Ensure compliance and improve consistency across multiple premises.
  • Streamline and standardize OHS practices.
  • Determine cost-effective solutions.

That’s why incident reporting is the second key component of OHS management systems.

3. User-friendly interface

The third key component of occupational health and safety management systems is that they have a clear, user-friendly interface.

An ‘Interface’ is any way that an end-user (such as an employee) interacts with a system or software. It could be through a computer screen or just the layout of a form they need to complete, such as an incident reporting form.

Even if you have an entirely paper-based approach to occupational health and safety management, with paper incident report forms, you still need to think about how user-friendly the form is.

You might ask questions such as:

  • Can employees easily understand what’s required?
  • Are the instructions clear and unambiguous?
  • Have the employees been trained to use the form?

Having a user-friendly interface is important for every type of occupational health and safety management system, but it’s especially important if you’re using or planning to invest in occupational health and safety management system software.

With a software-based occupational health and safety management system, the interface needs to be clear, simple and intuitive so that staff members have no problems interacting with it every time they access it.

Whether they access it via a web browser or through an app, the interface should help them do whatever they need to.

Key tasks include:

  • Creating incident reports
  • Conducting a risk assessment (safety walkthrough)
  • Viewing stored documents
  • Viewing employee OHS training records (likely for managers).

User-friendly should be a key component of any decent Occupational health and safety management system.

4. Training

The fourth key component of any occupational health and safety management system is training. Without training, your organization’s OHS system won’t run smoothly, no matter how much you invest in OHS software.

Poorly trained staff can put an organization at risk; they may miss dangers, fail to report incidents and even act in ways that endanger themselves, their colleague or the general public.

8 key components of occupational health and safety management systems

Well-trained employees, on the other hand, know exactly how to use their organization’s OHS system and become part of their organization’s OHS processes.

They become an asset to their organization and can help make their workplace safer and more secure.

At a basic level, all staff members should be trained to use whichever system their organization has in place.

They should know how to:

  • Create incident report forms
  • Save or file the completed forms
  • Implement actionable tasks (assigned by managers)
  • Configure the software to suit their personal preferences (if using OHS management software)

Training helps ensure that all staff members know exactly how to perform basic duties such as creating and submitting incident reports if they witness an accident. Depending on the processes you have in place, this may mean hand-writing a form and submitting it to a supervisor, or it may mean accessing software through a desktop or mobile device and then creating a submitting a form through the software.

Good staff training will help increase staff engagement levels and this will greatly support an organizations’ ability to meet its OHS goals.

However, training is also important for managers and key stakeholders. Senior staff should know how to do things like:

  • Create reports
  • Analyse data
  • Conduct trend analysis

Reports help organizations use data to understand the cause of incidents, their frequency, and their associated costs. This gives key stakeholders the data necessary to reduce the chance of repeat incidents occurring. This helps an organization create a safe workspace for its staff and manage risks with a greater degree of confidence.

5. Risk assessments

The fifth key component of occupational health and safety management systems is risk assessments. This means that the system should help the organization’s senior management conduct risk assessments and decide on an appropriate course of action.

Risk assessments entail far more manual work for staff if the organization uses a paper-based OHS system. For companies that use occupational health and safety management system software, much of this work is automated.

For example:

Management can view all hazards, risk, incidents and injury reports as they are filed in real-time. The software then processes this data and creates reports that can be used to create a risk assessment or develop a further course of action.

This dramatically reduces the time that staff members need to spend on admin and can increase the accuracy of the reports.

For example, with root cause analysis, the software may identify that a number of accidents are occurring in a certain section of an organization’s premises. The software will then alert management to conduct risk assessments of this area and prompt them to carry out regular safety checks.

The software helps managers to classify and manage incidents across their entire business and apply cost-efficient strategies that help manage and minimize workplace risk.

6. Certification

The sixth key component of any occupational health and safety management system is certification. The system should be certified by a trusted third party to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

Having a strong occupational health and safety management system helps an organization build confidence among its staff and customers.

8 key components of occupational health and safety management systems

To validate what they are doing, some organizations apply for certifications such as the AS/NZS 4801 and/or OHSAS 18001 certifications.

Certifications show staff and the public that an organization is committed to workplace safety. It helps prove that you are setting up, or improving, your procedures for managing your occupational health and safety risks.

Having a formal certification can offer a whole host of knock-on benefits such as improved staff retention, consumer confidence, and greater productivity. Ultimately, this helps boost an organization’s bottom line.

7. Communication

The seventh key component of OHS management systems is communication. The system must help staff communicate with each other and help the organization foster communication.

Why is communication critical?

  • Employees must be kept up-to-date with their tasks.
  • They must be able to communicate and share information with their colleagues and managers.
  • Key stakeholders must be able to communicate with managers and staff to help them follow their vision for the company.

But communication helps in other ways, too.

With good communication, staff can be made aware of any changes made to any document or file.

8. Data accessibility

The eighth key component of OHS management systems is data accessibility. Every OHS system generates significant amounts of data and the goal of the management system should be to share and make use of that.

For companies using a paper-based OHS management system, data accessibility could be as simple as knowing which filing cabinet incident reports are stored so that staff can find them when required.

For medium-sized and large firms, especially those with multiple premises, data accessibility can become more challenging. That’s why many make the shift to cloud-based OHS management software.

Digitizing OHS documents helps companies create what’s known as a ‘connected processes’ model. This makes data accessibility a breeze as any member of an organization can access documents from the cloud instead of having to search for paper documents. The connected processes model means that the software can address an organization’s OHS management needs by having different pieces of data talk to each other.

So, how does this work?

Let’s say that an employee creates and files an incident report. In a company using a paper-based approach, the onus would be on the staff to notify senior management. With a cloud-based software approach, all relevant managers and stakeholders would be immediately notified.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve seen the 8 key components of occupational health and management systems you’ll be well placed to consider which solution best meets the needs of your organization.

There’s no single ‘best’ solution for every business as each organization has its own unique needs and requirements.

Whatever stage of the process you are at, whether you currently have now OHS management system in place and are looking to start, or you already have one and are looking to shift from a paper-based system to an electronic one, the system you arrive at should contain the 8 key components we discussed above.

Contact us today to find out how Beakon software can help your organization achieve its goals for a safe and secure workplace.

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10 Benefits of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
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10 Benefits of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

10 Benefits of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

Did you know that according to Safe Work Australia estimates, over the past decade more than 2,500 Australian workers have been killed while working? Many more workers have been injured or left disabled due to workplace accidents. That’s why companies of all sizes and in all sectors are keen to reduce their workers’ risks and put a robust occupational health and safety management system in place.

If your organization is committed to workplace safety, you’ve probably heard of OHS management systems before.

Whether you currently have no measures in place or just want to improve your existing OHS system, you may be wondering:

“What are the benefits of an OHS management system?”

That’s exactly the question we’ll aim to answer in this post. We promise to show you the exact benefits that OHS management systems offer and demonstrate how they can help you manage health and safety risks at your organization.

The top 10 benefits of an occupational health and safety management system are:

  1. Improved health and safety performance
  2. Reduced cost associated with accidents and incidents
  3. Improved staff relations and morale
  4. Improve business efficiency
  5. Improved public image and PR
  6. Lower insurance premiums
  7. Easier access to finance
  8. Increased regulatory compliance
  9. Improved confidence
  10. Boost corporate and social responsibility

So, grab a coffee and clear your schedule for five minutes to join us as we explore these ten exciting benefits of OHS management systems!

1. Improved health and safety performance

There’s absolutely no doubt that adopting a systematic approach to OHS management and using a specific system WILL make managing your business easier!

Having a proper system in place will make your OHS management strategies much more effective.

Why?

All of your employees will have a clear understanding of how to handle key activities, whether it’s reporting an incident, responding to an issue, or working through a problem.

When every worker is clear about the precise protocol to follow and everyone uses the same approach every time, your organization’s OHS performance will improve.

With the right OHS management system in place, your organization will have a clear overview of every OHS-related activity that happens on your premises. You’ll have a clear, agreed-upon record of what happened, how it was responded to and what further actions were taken.

2. Reduced cost associated with accidents and incidents

If your organization currently has no OHS management system in place, you’ll be painfully aware of how expensive it can be to correct mistakes and problems.

You see, without a system to track and monitor accidents and incidents, you have no formula for reducing the risks faced by your employees.

Every time an accident occurs, your business will be on the back foot, at the mercy of the consequences.

Things like:

  • Staff compensation claims that push up your insurance premiums
  • The cost of hiring temporary staff to plug gaps in your workforce while the injured workers recover.
  • And more!

10 Benefits of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

But there are other indirect costs too.

Your workforce is your business’ greatest asset: each accident and incident WILL dent staff morale.

When workers feel that their employer doesn’t take OHS management seriously, they’ll be less likely to engage with their work.

This has a significant knock-on effect when it comes to productivity. A Gartner survey found that workplaces with low moral typically have lower productivity levels.

If nothing else gets your attention, consider how low productivity will affect your organization’s bottom line. Not a pretty picture, right?

A formal OHS management system will help reduce the likelihood of incidents and accidents from occurring and this will, in turn, lower your organization’s costs of dealing with them.

3. Improved staff relations and morale

The third benefit of OHS management systems is that they increase employee satisfaction and help to improve staff relations and morale.

If your organization currently has no OHS management system in place, you may kid yourself into thinking that members of staff haven’t noticed.

But they probably have!

Employees will notice whether their managers are taking a genuine interest in their health and safety.

They may not articulate it, but you’ll notice it in their engagement levels and their on-the-job behaviour.

At one extreme, organizations with no OHS management system in place may see employees engaging in unsafe behaviour on the job, either intentionally or unintentionally. Without a solid safety culture, employee may put their own safety or the safety of others at risk.

All of this changes when a company invests in an OHS management system. Employees will start to feel more comfortable and secure as they’ll have a set of clear OHS practices in place. After completing their training, they’ll know the exact guidelines to follow in any situation, helping them gain confidence while at work.

When you start implementing an OHS management system, you’ll notice that workers’ productivity and morale will improve, employee retention rates will increase and your organization’s growth will rise.

4. Improve business efficiency

Implementing an OHS management system is one of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your business.

Why?

Because it reduces your costs almost across the board.

An OHS management system can help you:

  • Reduce the number of sick and ill days that your staff take
  • Lower the number of temporary workers you need to hire
  • Lower insurance premiums
  • Increase staff morale and productivity
  • Improve staff retention rates
  • Reduce training costs (for new and temporary staff)

Improved efficiency SHOULD be a strong incentive for taking action and an OHS management system offers unbeatable advantages compared with having no system or one of limited effectiveness.

A strong OHS management system helps drive down costs in almost every way.

By reducing risk, you’ll have a lower accident and injury rate, helping you avoid the cost of hiring and training temporary workers and having to replace or repair damaged property and equipment.

With fewer accidents to investigate, OHS management systems also reduce the cost of investigating accidents and help you avoid scheduled delays that you’d otherwise encounter.

In the long run, starting an OHS management system is one of the most profitable steps that any organization can take.

5. Improved public image and PR

Whoever coined the phrase “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” obviously never worked in PR for a multinational!

For modern organizations, serious health-related accidents and injuries DO become public and CAN cause irreparable harm to a company’s public image.

When it comes to building brand appeal and gaining new customers, you’re swimming against the tide. The last thing your organization needs is a major incident to detract from your good work.

Consumers are far less likely to trust companies that don’t take their employee’s health and safety seriously.

We saw this recently when news.com.au reported on how McDonald’s allegedly threatened their staff with a toilet and water break ban. Whatever truth lay behind the assertion, the damage to the firm’s public image was done.

That’s why putting in place an OHS management system is a sensible precaution to take. It shows your employees that you value their rights to a safe and healthy working environment and have every intention of respecting this.

Over time, this can help you boost your public image, making staff hiring and retention far easier: a win-win for both you and your employees!

6. Lower insurance premiums

When most businesses start considering a formal OHS management system, one of their first considerations is cost.

While cost is certainly part of the equation, it is important to understand how the outlay is offset by cost savings.

We’ve already discussed the various ways that OHS management systems can save your organization money, such as by reducing employee turnover, lowering temporary workers’ hiring and training costs and driving down the cost of investigating accidents and incidents.

But an important and often overlooked cost-saving can be lower insurance premiums.

In today’s litigation culture, insurance premiums are mandatory, but insurers will offer lower premiums if you can demonstrate that you are effectively controlling risks to your workers on your premises.

If you can use an OHS management system to reduce injuries and illnesses by – say – 20 percent, this is valuable evidence that you can use when you come to renew your premiums. Your organization’s perceived risk is lower and this may result in cost savings through lower insurance premiums.

7. Easier access to finance

Gaining finance from banks and investors is never easy, especially in today’s challenging business climate.

But an OHS management system is an important part of proving to potential investors that your organization is well-managed.

There is strong evidence that banks and investors will be more willing to finance businesses that can show they are well managed.

With fewer accidents and injuries and a set of clear guidelines that help you respond to any incidents that occur, your company will have a healthier bottom line and an improved chance of winning investments that it may otherwise not.

8. Increased regulatory compliance

If there are two words that strike fear into the heart of most business owners, then these two may be it: ‘regulatory compliance’.

Regulations are increasingly stiff and the punishments are ever-fiercer.

10 Benefits of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

For example, the model WHS Act requires that Australian businesses immediately notify their regulator whenever a ‘notifiable’ incident occurs – such as a death, serious accident or injury.

If you have no OHS management system in place, the chances of unwittingly committing an offense are quite high, whether due to negligence or human error.

A proper OHS management system will help ALL of your staff stay aware of current legal requirements. This improves your regulatory compliance and lowers the risk of you having to pay a fine.

9. Improved confidence

A comprehensive OHS management system help ensure that your staff members are more protected from a wide range of threats and health problems, such as:

  • Falls
  • Injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • The effects of vibration and noise
  • Skin diseases
  • Asbestos-related diseases
  • And more!

When employees feel safe at work, they are more likely to feel confident. As we’ve discussed, this feeds through to many other areas of their work such as productivity, efficiency and retention rates.

Adopting an OHS management system is one way of building confidence that complements other actions you can take. For example, you could apply for an AS/NZS 4801 and/or OHSAS 18001 certification for your business as a way of showing staff that you are committed to workplace safety. These certifications are some of the best routes towards setting up formal procedures for managing health and safety risks.

If employees see that you are actively looking after their health and safety, relations and confidence will improve. This will lead to a more productive, more efficient workforce.

10. Boost corporate and social responsibility

According to a poll from YouGov Omnibus, almost 90 percent of Aussies believe that businesses have a responsibility to do social good. This finding suggests that Australian brands should put corporate social responsibility (CSR) at the heart of their agenda.

Having a strong OHS management system in place is an especially important part of building your brand’s appeal. Over 57 percent of those surveyed said business had a responsibility to ensure that they don’t rely on harmful labour practices such as forced labour. An OHS management policy shows that you value the physical, social and mental well-being of your employees, helping you build your public image.

CSR isn’t just about meeting stakeholder expectations, complying with laws and regulations and following international norms – it’s also about ethical behaviours such as paying attention to worker health. As we saw with Macca’s ‘bathroom-gate’, treating workers with decency and respect is a HUGE part of building brand appeal.

Conclusion

As a business or organization, these ten amazing benefits of adopting an OHS management system should be irresistible. Focusing on employee health and safety can have major ramifications for your business and can impact everything from your profits, to your costs and even your public image.

If you’re keen to learn more about how to put intentions into actions and start investing in your OHS management today, give us a call!

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8 key components of occupational health and safety management systems
How to Choose the Right Health and Safety App for Your Organisation

How to Choose the Right Occupational Health and Safety Management System Software

How to Choose the Right Occupational Health and Safety Management System Software

Occupational health and safety isn’t just a legal obligation; it’s a moral obligation to your employees. If you’re looking to improve safety, increase collaboration and ditch the paper, OHS software deserves to be on your radar.

The right software can help you engage with your team, improve safety compliance, drive team engagement and empower every employee in your organization to become a security expert.

In this guide, we’ll explain exactly how to choose the right OHS management system software for your organization. You’ll learn how to build a business case for investing in this type of software that will show key stakeholders exactly why it’s a good idea.

Why you need OHS Safety management software

So we all start off on the same page, let’s talk about the benefits of investing in OHS software.

When it comes to your employee’s safety, “good enough” just doesn’t cut it.

Your employees deserve the best possible safety standards at all times.

Whichever set of risks your workers face, you have a legal, moral and ethical obligation to minimize those risks as much as possible.

How to Choose the Right Occupational Health and Safety Management System Software

OHS software helps you do just that. It’s an easy-to-use safety solution that can help you conduct regular safety inspections and audits, improve safety conditions on your premises and boost staff morale.

But there’s more:

By improving staff morale, you can actually see a rise in worker’s productivity, a reduction in absenteeism and more ‘buy-in’ from your staff in terms of how they see their role within the company.

Importantly, OHS software can help your organization reduce worker’s compensation costs and avoid fines by immediately alerting your regulator about ‘notifiable incidents’.

By the way, if you want to learn more about the benefits of OHS management software, check out our complete guide the top 10 benefits of occupational health and safety management systems.

There are hundreds of options for OHS management software out there and not all of them will work well for every business.

So, what should you do?

We’ve created a 5-step action plan that will help you answer that exact question.

  1. Understand your current technology situation
  2. Establish your ideal situation
  3. Identify key elements
  4. Select OHS software that suits your needs
  5. Present your solution with justifications

Sound fair?

Then let’s get right to it!

1. Understand your current technology situation

Introducing new software to any business is a serious step to take.

There’s a significant up-front investment in terms of cost and time, especially when it comes to worker training. It’s definitely not a step to be taken lightly.

That’s why your first step is to gain a deep understanding of your business’ current technology situation. There has to be a reason why OHS management software should be considered.

It could be:

  • Your incidents and accident rate is too high.
  • Your organization’s current technology no longer meets the needs of your workers.
  • Software would help create better regulatory alignment

If you are able to identify these insufficiencies you can show key stakeholders how OHS management software is able to cut costs, improve safety and improve the business.

2. Establish your ideal situation

Once you have a clear overview of how your current operation functions and are aware of its insufficiencies, you’ll be able to create a picture of what your ideal situation looks like.

For instance:

  • Accidents are reported in a timely manner
  • All incidents are responded to promptly
  • Workers feel more comfortable and secure within their working environment.

You could also focus on key metrics such as the number of days between accidents, or the amount of time that a certain area gets attended to. You could mention the balance of time between each area on the premises.

How to Choose the Right Occupational Health and Safety Management System Software

3. Identify key elements

Before choosing the right OHS management software for your organization, you need to know; what are the key features and best practices that you should look for?

The three key elements to look for when choosing OHS management software are:

  1. Comprehensive
  2. Automated
  3. Continuous

Let’s look at each of these elements in more detail.

Comprehensive

The first key element you should look for when choosing the right OHS management software for your business is that it should be comprehensive; it must combine insights from every area of your organization.

Your OHS program likely consists of several moving parts such as audits, inspections, employee training, compliance, and workplace observations, besides many others.

If you invest in comprehensive OHS management software, you’ll have one system for monitoring and managing each one. This makes it quicker and easier to retrieve data about each individual component.

Look.

When you start working with comprehensive OHS management system software, the software will be able to start connecting the dots between each component.

For example, OHS software can

  • Flag up that a certain amount of time has elapsed between the inspections of a certain site.
  • Notify employees and send emails or SMS reminders to conduct critical tasks and duties such as inspections.
  • Reminding staff to file incident reports
  • Monitoring and alerting staff about incidents
  • Prompting staff to take follow-up action, following an incident workflow
  • Notifying the relevant statutory authorities whenever a ‘notifiable incident’ occurs
  • Notifying senior management to conduct investigations and take corrective actions

Ultimately, comprehensive OHS management system software will be able to create reports that put your organization in a better position to make the right improvements at the right time.

Automated

Try as you might, you simply can’t be everywhere in your organization at once.

Even if you have a dedicated, well-resourced OHS team, they can’t be everywhere at once either!

What your field workers experience on a daily basis will be very different from what plant workers see and you can’t expect any single member of staff to be responsible for OHS management for every occurrence.

That’s why automation is the second key element to look for when choosing the right OHS management system software for your organization.

Automated OHS software can, like the name suggests, automate much of the data entry, and report generation that goes into keep tabs on the OHS system.

Why is this helpful?

This frees up your staff’s time and makes them more productive while increasing the reporting rate of the incidents that occur on your premises.

When we’re talking about automation, we’re talking about three main things:

Analysis, allocation, and tracking

These three areas account for a LOT of your staff’s time yet leading OHS management system software can actually automate much of it!

For example, software can conduct root cause analysis whenever an incident occurs to help you identify whether a pattern is occurring. If it is, the software will notify the relevant staff to alert them to this fact.

This is a great example of how automation can help you take preventative, proactive measures that improve your overall OHS operations. Automated action allocation and tracking is one of the most important ways that OHS software can save your staff time. It helps every member of your organization stay informed about the practices and procedures that they need to follow throughout a given workflow.

The software sends automated notifications to remind staff of their duties and responsibilities. This helps ensure that OHS investigations and operations are proceeding smoothly.

One of the best ways to automate analysis, allocation and tracking is to use software that comes with a health and safety app. This lets your employees download the software effortlessly onto their mobile devices. If you are curious about health and safety apps, check out our post where we show you exactly How to Choose the Right Health and Safety App for Your Organisation!

Continuous

Even award-winning companies with a reputation for strong environmental health and safety (EHS) and occupation health and safety (OHS) programs are constantly looking for ways to improve.

That’s why when it comes to OHS management, there’s no time to rest on your laurels. You need to be continuously reviewing your OHS performance and finding ways to improve.

That’s why the third element to consider when choosing OHS management system software is continuous operation.

Every OHS department has its own set of KPIs – such as safety training performance, lost time due to injury, compliance, and others. The advantage of having continuous OHS management software is that it can help you decide whether you are measuring the right ones!

How to Choose the Right Occupational Health and Safety Management System Software

Continuously reviewing KPIs can help you decide when it’s time to revamp them. This can give you a more realistic view of where you’re at.

For example, if you’re focused too heavily on lagging indicators (such as time lost due to injuries) you could inadvertently create an environment where employees felt obliged to come into work when they are sick, thus worsening your safety environment.

On the other hand, placing more focus on leading indicators such as safety audits, team safety meetings and near misses, can make spotting emerging trends more difficult.

Having OHS management system software is like having an extra pair of eyes to help you understand what you’re doing in a more holistic sense and understand that there is always scope for improvement.

If you want to know more, check out our guide to the top 8 key components of occupational health and safety management systems.

4. Select OHS software that suits your needs

By this stage, you should have:

  • An understanding of the insufficiencies in your organization’s technology
  • A clear idea of your ‘ideal situation’
  • An understanding of the key elements to look for in OHS management system software.

Your next step is to match your organization’s requirements with the elements in the software.

Listen:

Finding faults with an organization’s technology is simple.

What’s difficult is addressing the deficiencies with actual software.

Let’s take an example from the construction industry. Imagine one small company called Company A and a medium-sized firm Company B.

Company A currently takes a paper-based approach to OHS management. If there’s high-risk construction work going on, they use safe work method statements (SWMS) and file them as hard copies.

That’s fine.

Sure, OHS software could help improve this situation by storing documents in the cloud and having them accessible to everyone in the organization. But what are the chances that your organization is willing to make the investment?

Are they in a position to invest in mobile devices for their staff?

Do they have sufficient size to justify the costs?

A cloud-based OHS management software may not be the right solution for them.

On the other hand, Company B, with more employees, a larger OHS budget and potentially greater penalties for regulatory non-compliance may see the benefits of cloud-based OHS management software. They may be in a position – both technologically and financially – to consider this solution in a way that the smaller Company A is not.

You should look for software that helps you address the key challenges faced by your organization and is able to be incorporated.

5. Present your solution with justifications

The final step is to present your solution along with data to justify your selection.

This will make your selection much more likely to accepted by stakeholders.

Show them:

Data that backs up your choice of software

The number of man-hours the software will save

The potential cost staves of safety audits and inspections

You must also be able to discuss the implementation process including any potential learning curves for staff to get trained up to speed when using the software.

If you focus on what’s in it for the company, there’s a much better chance of the software being accepted.

Taking your next steps

This guide has explained everything you need to know about choosing the right occupational health and safety management system software for your organization.

If your organization is looking for ways to improve safety compliance, reporting, and engagement, the OHS management software is definitely worth a look.

By removing the paper, you can streamline safety communication and improve collaboration among your staff, helping to create a more secure workplace.

Choosing the right OHS management software can help your organization achieve its goals for a safe and secure workplace.

Contact us for a demo to see for yourself how our incident management software can meet your needs!

OHS Software Packages: Everything You Need to Know

OHS Software Packages: Everything You Need to Know

Is your organization is looking to shift away from paper-based occupational health and safety (OHS) management? If so, you may have heard about OHS software packages and wanted to find out more about them. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about OHS software packages, including what they are, how they work and more.

In this guide, we’ll be discussing things like

1. What is an OHS software package?
2. What can OHS software do?
3. Features and functionality
4. Advantages and benefits of OHS software packages

Sound fair? Then let’s get right to it!

1. What is an OHS software package?

An OHS software package is a suite of software that helps an organization manage and run its OHS system. This software helps ensure that the organization is in full compliance with all relevant OHS rules and regulations. In short, the software package should be able to cover every aspect of a company’s OHS process.

This includes:

  • Planning for accident and illness prevention
  • Assigning responsibilities for health and safety procedures within the company
  • Planning and implementing practices, resources and procedures for the OHS policy.
  • Maintaining and reviewing the OHS policy.

An OHS software package helps you to understand the cause of incidents and gives you the tools to reduce the chances of future incidents occurring. It can also give you a clear overview of associated costs and this can help you manage risks with confidence.

2. What can an OHS software package do?

An OHS software package is designed to be used in various ways by all members of an organization, from senior management down to junior employees. The most common type of OHS software is cloud-based, meaning that all documents and files are stored remotely on servers. With cloud-based software, all internet-enabled devices (desktop, mobile, iOS, or Android) can access an organization’s OHS documents. Rapid deployment in the cloud means that an organization can have their OHS management software up and running instantly. An easily configurable dashboard allows employees to interact with all OHS documents that are relevant to them.

Company employees and contractors can:

  • Report accidents and injuries.
  • Report hazards and risks.
  • Receive reminders to complete certain tasks such as routine safety checks.
  • Review completed risks, hazards and incident forms.

Managers can use OHS software to:

  • Receive notifications of all reported accidents, incidents and injuries.
  • View all hazards, risks, incidents and injury forms.
  • Generate reports from the filed incident and risk reports.
  • Communicate with staff and delegate duties and responsibilities.
  • Review training received by staff.

Key stakeholders and senior management can:

  • Ensure regulatory compliance and improve consistency across multiple premises.
  • Enhance and facilitate communication.
  • Streamline and standardize OHS practices.
  • Determine cost-effective solutions that make the workplace safer.

OHS Software Packages: Everything You Need to Know

3. Features and functionality

If you’re curious to know more about leading OHS software packages, here’s an overview of the most commonly available features and functionality found in many packages on the market today.

User-friendly interface

OHS software features a clear, simple and intuitive user-interface (UI). Employees will interact with the UI every time they access the OHS software, whether via a web browser or through an app on a mobile device. The UI helps them with the following tasks:

  • Create and file incident, accident and injury reports
  • Conduct and file a risk assessment.
  • View stored documents (if access is provided).
  • Managers can view employee OHS training records.

OHS software can be managed by senior staff so that each member of the organization is given certain access permissions. A junior-level employee may be able to create and save an incident report, but likely wouldn’t be given permission to view other stored documents. Managers may be able to view documents and the training records, but likely only of staff within their department and not across the entire organization.

Easily-configurable dashboard

When employees access the OHS software’s UI, they are greeted with a dashboard. This shows them the available options, such as creating an incident report or building a chart or report from available data. This dashboard is easily configurable and can be customized so that each member of staff is presented with only the actions and options for which they have permission. A company’s senior management or IT department is able to create unlimited configurations for each member of staff. However, even non-technical users are able to configure the appearance of their own dashboard to suit their preferences.

International integration

An OHS software package can be adjusted to suit multiple languages, time zones, currencies, and formats. This helps employees interact with and use the package, no matter where in the world they are located. It is also possible to integrate the software with other applications such as web services and API, for added convenience.

Software functionality

An OHS software package offers a wide range of software functionality. This includes the following areas:

  • Hazards, risk, incidents and injury reporting
  • Risk assessments
  • Action management
  • ‘Open’ workflows
  • Automated reminders
  • Dashboard reports

We’ll look at each of these areas separately.

Hazards, risk, incidents and injury reporting

The primary function of an OHS software package is to let employees and/or contractors report hazards, risks, incidents and injuries as they occur. For example, if an employee sees a colleague slip and fall, they would use the OHS software to write and submit an incident and injury report. They would access their dashboard through a desktop or mobile device and then create and submit their observation of what happened.

OHS Software Packages: Everything You Need to Know

With a cloud-based OHS software package, this completed incident and injury report is uploaded to the cloud and will automatically be made available to all members of the organization who have permission to view such documents. To encourage compliance, some OHS software packages include mobile apps. Apps make it easier to complete reporting duties and this encourages employees to submit forms in a timely manner. Organizations that use OHS software with mobile apps find that staff engagement levels improve, greatly supporting the company’s ability to meet its OHS goals.

Risk assessments

The second function of an OHS software package is to help the organization’s senior management conduct risk assessments and decide on a course of action. Cloud-based packages enable management to view all hazards, risk, incidents and injury reports as they are filed. Many packages will automatically notify management as soon as such a report is filed. The software then helps staff members process this data and create graphs or reports that can be used to create a risk assessment or develop a further course of action.

Action management

OHS software packages enable employees and/or contractors to report incidents, hazards and near misses with ease. This helps senior staff to collect and review this data and decide upon the best course of action. For example, if an organization identifies that a number of accidents are occurring in a certain section of their warehouse, they can direct staff to conduct a risk assessment and carry out regular safety checks. This helps managers to classify and manage incidents across their entire business and apply cost-efficient strategies that help manage and minimize workplace risk.

‘Open’ workflows

A key feature of cloud-based OHS software packages is that they help staff work together in ‘open’ workflows. Unlike paper-based OHS management systems, cloud-based OHS software lets multiple employees contribute to a document or work on a task in real-time. Access to stored documents is shared with relevant people and this helps build collaboration among staff. Open workflows help an organization save time, ultimately improving its bottom line.

Automated reminders

OHS software can be set up to provide automated reminders to all staff. For example, it can send reminders to workers to complete safety checks. It can also send reminders to management to review collated data or to complete an action such as creating a safety report. Automated reminders help ensure that a company is in compliance with all OHS regulations. OHS software can automatically remind the staff to complete these duties and then alert management as soon as they are completed.

Dashboard reports

One of the most useful features of OHS software packages is that they let employees create dashboard reports. This feature uses data from filed incident and accident reports and can help senior management understand the cause of incidents, their frequency, and their associated costs. Dashboard reports can give staff the necessary data needed to reduce the chance of repeat incidents occurring. This helps an organization create a safe workspace for its staff and manage risks with a greater degree of confidence.

4. Advantages and benefits of OHS software packages

Moving to an OHS software package offers many advantages and benefits compared with a paper-based approach. Here are the main benefits of adopting an OHS software package.

Data accessibility and sharing

The primary benefit of digitizing your OHS documents and moving to a cloud-based OHS software package is that you create what’s called a ‘connected processes’ model. This means that the suite of software can take care of your organization’s health and safety needs by having each piece of software ‘talk’ to the other pieces.

For example, if one of your employees files a ‘Risk report’ and another employee files an ‘Incident report’, an OHS software package can share this information so that it is available to everyone with permission across your whole organization. This reduces admin time and frees up your staff to complete their duties.

Lower costs

OHS software packages can be more cost-effective than having separate systems. Managing things like your risk assessment and training through the same suite of software can keep your costs down.

Performance

An OHS software package typically offers faster performance than relying on paper-based OHS management systems or a number of separate systems. Employees and contractors can quickly pull up all data relevant to them, such as training records, incident reports, and observations. Managers can quickly assign duties to specific staff and receive updates about their progress.

Convenience

Cloud-based OHS software packages that incorporate a mobile app make it far simpler and convenient for staff to complete incident reports in the event of an accident or incident. Easy-to-use app-based reporting makes proactive hazard reporting more likely and this can lead to a reduction in accidents and incidents.

Improved communication

An OHS software package helps to improve communication between staff across an entire organization, making it ideal for medium and large businesses with multiple locations. Employees are kept up-to-date with their tasks and can communicate and share information with their colleagues and managers. This also eliminates duplication of documents, replacing multiple paper files with a single file stored in the cloud that can pull in data from multiple employees.

Enhanced growth

OHS software packages are far simpler and quicker to maintain than paper-based OHS management systems. You will spend less time chasing information from employees and reduce the risk that data or tasks going missing or being left incomplete. OHS software packages will free up your staff’s time and leave them with more time to focus on their duties and responsibilities.

Closing thoughts

Now that you’ve seen the benefits and advantages of an OHS software package, it is important to take the time to discover which package meets the needs of your organization. Leading OHS software companies have years of experience in building around successful organizations and helping to reduce workplace incidents. The world’s leading employers rely on this software to protect their employees, contractors, and visitors every day.

Whatever stage of the process you are at, whether you are looking to shift from a paper-based system to an electronic one, or are looking for a different software solution, the right OHS software package is just around the corner.

Contact us today to find out how Beakon software can help your organisation achieve its goals for a safe and secure workplace.

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10 Tips for Choosing the Right OHS Software

10 Tips for Choosing the Right OHS Software

In an increasingly digitized world, using a paper-based occupational health and safety (OHS) management system has become less than ideal. The latest OHS software makes it simpler and faster than ever to find important inspection reports, risk assessments and audits when you need them. If you’ve had enough of dealing with mountains of paper and decided to make the change to OHS software, you may find yourself confronted with a bewildering array of choices. Which OHS software should you choose?

In this article, we’ll offer ten tips that should help you choose the right OHS software for your business or organization.

The 10 tips for choosing the right OHS software are:

  1. Look at Build versus Buy
  2. Look for evidence of customer success
  3. Look at mobile capabilities
  4. Consider data protection
  5. Choose transparent pricing
  6. Look for ongoing support
  7. Investigate integration
  8. Check for GDPR compliance
  9. Look at the on-boarding journey
  10. Always request a demo

Let’s get right to it!

Tip 1. Look at Build versus Buy

Our first tip for choosing the right OHS software is to familiarize yourself with the differences between building your own in-house OHS management software and paying for a cloud-based OHS system. The best solution for your organization will depend on a variety of factors such as the number of employees, the amount of data and the resources you have available.

Key differences between building and buying OHS software

Complexity
Developing and managing your own in-house software requires skilled staff and ongoing resources that far exceed anything required by cloud-based OHS software solutions. With cloud-based OHS software, you simply pay for what you need; you can always pay more if your data requirements increase in the future. In-house software can require further investment if your organisation’s OHS data storage requirements increase down the line.

Up-front investment
Cloud-based OHS software is popular with businesses such as start-ups who have limited data needs and restricted cash flow. You start out with a fixed monthly price and have no up-front investment. On the other hand, developing OHS software in-house requires a significant up-front investment in terms of both hardware and personnel.

Scalability
In-house OHS software may quickly cease to be sufficient for your data needs as your company grows. This isn’t an issue with cloud-based software as you can simply rent more storage space and scale up your OHS management software capabilities as and when required.

Understanding these key differences between building and maintaining in-house OHS management software and paying for a cloud-based service can help your organization find the best solution for its needs.

10 Tips for Choosing the Right OHS Software

 

Tip 2. Look for evidence of customer success

The second tip when choosing the right OHS software is to look for signs that the company behind the software has attained high levels of customer service and success. A winning company should be incredibly proud of their customer service record and will have no qualms about putting you in contact with their satisfied clients. To gauge customer success, you could look at the following areas:

  • Testimonials
    Have clients provided written or video testimonials about their experience using the OHS software?
  • Company history
    Does the company have experience of working with businesses of all sizes across a wide range of industries?
  • Referrals
    Would other firms recommend or refer the OHS software to you?
  • Awards
    Has the company received any industry awards for its customer service?

A reputable company should have a proven track record of helping clients implement their OHS software and should be experienced in terms of onboarding new firms and responding to any system queries they may have.

Tip 3. Look at mobile capabilities

When choosing the right OHS software for your business, it is very important to look at the mobile capabilities on offer. One of the main benefits of moving away from paper files and unwieldy spreadsheets to a software-based OHS management system is that it allows staff to input, manage and review data on the go, whether they are on-site or off-site. The best OHS software solutions offer strong mobile capabilities, such as mobile apps, to help your organization implement its OHS plans.

Leading OHS software solutions have their own mobile app that offers unbeatable advantages compared with software that lacks mobile capabilities. Mobile OHS management apps will greatly simplify your employees’ work and enable them to do the following tasks with ease:

  • Report hazards, incidents, and injuries on the go
  • Make risk assessments
  • Work with simple open workflows
  • Receive automated reminders
  • Access dashboard reports

Mobile-capable OHS software management greatly enhances your employee’s participation in your health and safety work. Giving them an easy-to-use app with a clear, simple and intuitive interface makes it more likely that risks and incidents will be reported accurately and in a timely manner. This helps makes your business safer, reduces costs, improves efficiency and ensures that you comply with all regulations.

Tip 4. Consider data protection

Whether you want to migrate your OHS software to a new provider or are implementing a software solution for the first time, you’ll want to study data protection very carefully. Always do due diligence and ensure that the software provider is being as upfront and honest with you as possible.

Look for evidence that the company takes data protection seriously. Investigate what technology or precautions are in place to guard against the risk of data loss or theft.

Tip 5. Choose transparent pricing

No matter what stage of the purchasing journey you are at, you should always look for transparent pricing. Some OHS software providers will have secret or hidden costs such as calculating the price based on the number of admins you have.  Look out for hidden costs such as these and be on your guard.

Tip 6. Look for ongoing support

Like any software, no OHS software is perfect and can always be improved. When choosing the right OHS software for your company, you’ll want to look carefully at the level of ongoing support that is offered. Choose software that comes with regular updates and improvements after you make the initial investment.

To find out more about ongoing support, here are a few options to try:

Read the white paper
Reputable OHS software should have a professionally crafted white paper or technical document that fully outlines the nature of the ongoing support on offer.

Testimonials or referrals
Asking about ongoing support is a key topic when you are following the second tip about looking for evidence of customer success. Ask firms that are using the software whether the OHS software is regularly updated and whether they have been satisfied or dissatisfied with the level of ongoing support on offer.

Tip 7. Investigate integration

An important tip for choosing the right OHS software for your organization is to look at how well it integrates with systems you already have in place. It is important for all departments, such as Human Resources and Accounting, to be able to use the software and implement it effectively with their existing hardware and resources.

Leading OHS software providers consistently strive to make integration as simple as possible for their clients. They are experienced in working with a variety of in-house systems such as personal databases, Human Resource, financial systems and many more. They will often offer additional support staff to help with any assistance during the initial set-up period.

Tip 8. Check for GDPR compliance

Now that GDPR has come into force, it is critically important that any OHS software you choose helps you comply with all GDPR regulations. Your HR departments and IT staff are likely already up to speed with this, so it is essential that any OHS software you invest in covers this important area too.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is the new EU regulation for data protection that came into force on 25 May 2018. It matters for any organization that works with and across EU countries and applies even if you are only collecting OHS data for use in your own department. GDPR helps give people more control over their personal data and makes businesses accountable for what they do with the data they collect.

How does GDPR relate to safety data?
Your OHS management system will store a vast amount of personal data including peoples’ names and home addresses. You may also have individual risk assessments for people on work experience or expectant or new mothers. If you have a vehicle fleet, your OHS data almost certainly contains the home address of your drivers. All of this data is affected by GDPR rules.

Whether you still record everything on paper forms or are using Word or Excel to create reports, assessments, and checklists, GDPR still applies to all personal data, so any OHS software you choose should adhere to the six principals of GDPR:

  • Personal data shall be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner
  • Personal data shall be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner incompatible with the initial purposes
  • Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for processing requirements
  • Personal data shall be accurate and kept up to date
  • Personal data shall be kept in an identifiable form only as long as is necessary for its intended purposes
  • Personal data shall be processed in a secure manner that protects against unauthorized or unlawful access, accidental loss, destruction or damage

If you are in the process of choosing the right OHS software, ask the provider how their software complies with GDPR. Ensure that you understand how to set the correct access levels so that people can only see relevant personal data. For example, your managers wouldn’t need access to the training records of people across their entire organization, only the people within their department. Your organization must be able to prove that it is compliant, so only invest in software that helps you achieve this goal.

Tip 9. Look at the on-boarding journey

Implementing any new software solution can be daunting, especially if you are trying to choose the right OHS software. You and your staff need to learn how to use the new software and this inevitably involves organization-wide training. Many of your staff will need ongoing support as they become accustomed to the software. This process is known as the ‘on-boarding journey’ and it’s worth looking into before you make a final decision about which OHS software to use.

To find out more, look for testimonials from other firms, or even try to contact them directly if you can. They may be able to tell you how they found the on-boarding process with a particular company and whether they felt well supported as they started using the new OHS software.

Most reputable OHS software providers will offer a breakdown of what you can expect from the on-boarding journey with their software. They should outline the following areas:

  • The types of support your staff can expect to receive.
  • Which staff members will be assigned to you (such as a Customer Support Manager)
  • Details of any ongoing support such as weekly webinars
  • The software training process
  • A typical timeline with milestones when implementing the OHS software

This should give your organization an overview of what to expect from the on-boarding process and how long it should take. Most firms adopt a ‘Train the trainer’ approach where they train up a number of your employees who then train their colleagues to use the new software.

Tip 10. Always request a demo

Overall, one of the best tips for choosing the right OHS software is to request a demo. This will give you first-hand experience of the software interface and its functions besides showing you examples of how it could be used to tackle issues in your organization.

Conclusion

These ten tips should help you choose the right OHS software for your company, business or organisation. While OHS software offers many advantages over traditional paper-based systems, a wide range of solutions are available so taking the time to find the most suitable one is essential. These tips should provide a helpful checklist that you can use to find the best option. Good luck!

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4 Questions To Ask When Trying To Find the Right OHS Software for Your Business

Organisational Health and Safety (OHS) software is an essential component of any company operating in the high-risk and compliance-dependant industry. The actual health and safety software can have a unique impact on your business. It can help you with overseeing risk, compliance, communication between staff and contractors, thus streamlining your organisational processes.

With the likelihood of good OHS software improving several facets of your business, it is fundamental that you find the right one to deploy for the job. To aid in your research, the following questions will come in handy.

 

Question #1. Does the Software Keep Track of Tasks and Actions?

One of the most important questions you should be asking before choosing an OHS software is whether or not it keeps track of tasks and actions.

As you continually work towards improving your business operations, the more things you will need to track regularly. You must ensure that the OHS software you want to choose can track activities and tasks like meetings and projects completed and store them in a central location. The software must also have extensive reporting capabilities to keep executives in the loop.

 

Question #2. Does The OHS Software Include Any Risk Management Tools?

Good OHS software should have risk management capabilities built into it. For example, the software you choose must be able to

For instance, the software you choose should have the ability to share emergency plans with different departments, monitor all emergency procedures, record and manage incidents with templates that can easily be customizable. An incident report must be logged from the moment the incident occurs all the way to when the worker returns to work.

In addition to risk management tools, your OHS software should use either a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) or Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) to create guidelines that are consistent and that your employees can follow.

 

Question #3. Is the OHS Software Easy to Navigate?

When you have a 30,000ft view of your organisation’s health and safety processes all mapped out on a dashboard, it much easier for you to be in charge and feel in control. Your software should not confuse you. Instead, it should help you stay informed of everything happening in your business.

As opposed to having records, physical files, assignments, plans, and methods all saved and set away in various, disconnected places, a good OHS software empowers you to supervise everything in one location – the software’s dashboard.

 

Question #4. Does The OHS Software Handle Reporting?

Another important factor to consider when choosing a health and safety software is reporting. The software you decide to go for should be able to create detailed reports ready to be published.

The ability to grasp the data being presented through visualization of graphs is very important. Also, the platform should be able to allow you to create custom reports. These reports should also have the opportunity to be exported in several formats including xls, rtf text, pdf, doc, and cvs.

 

Conclusion

While these questions might seem basic and out of place, it is important to ask them if you want to end up with software that will be both effective and efficient. These questions serve one purpose. They nudge you towards the right direction of selecting the perfect health and safety software for your organisation. To experience the power and flexibility of Beacon’s suite of software, take advantage of our no-strings-attached free trial today.

 

5 Mistakes Australian Companies are Making With Their OHS

Guaranteeing work health and safety is not only a legal responsibility for Australian companies; it is likewise one of the best ways to keep your activities running efficiently and limits the risks your employees face.

It is quite unfortunate; however, that many Australian organisations make costly mistakes when it comes to their entire OHS program. In this article, we will investigate five of these mistakes and offer ideas for correcting them.

1. Neglecting to Address Work Environment‘s Safety Consistently

Your organisations’ emphasis is on producing products and tools that your customers require, not discussing health and safety. That is the reason it is so natural to ignore OHS issues and fails to address work environment safety habits. You may go through safety methodology amid work health and safety enlistments, yet these are regularly a ‘set and overlook’ process.

You can solve this issue by planning general occasions to examine work environment safety with your employees. On the off chance that you as of now have customary incidents to discuss issues outside of your centre skills, consider including a few OHS training. You could likewise hold a quarterly or semi-yearly OHS meeting for all employees to survey approaches and controls and educate them about any progressions.

2. Putting Just a Single Individual in Control

Contingent upon their industry, numerous companies put only one individual accountable for crisis readiness. This is regularly satisfactory; however if that one individual happens to be far from the workplace when there is a genuine crisis, every other person could be stuck in an unfortunate situation.

Take care of this issue by making a group of individuals who all understand crisis methods and can find crisis supplies as essential. It can likewise be helpful to pull individuals from various divisions or a different department. At that point, it is more probable that everybody will be educated about the safety procedures. They can use Beacon Software to stay updated in real-time if an occurrence has occurred.

3. Delaying Readiness

Risk mapping, training, and hazard analysis all require significant investment, and numerous Australian companies stall these duties. As you put them off, you put your employees in peril, and that is a significant issue.

Organize these exercises, and look at your premises with a critical eye. Make a stride back and analyse your approaches and techniques with another core interest. When you are amidst your day-by-day schedule, barely noticeable circumstances or situations could present peril to employees or customers. Consider the potential for fluid spills, falls and other work environment hazards. Remain consistent by utilising our Beacon Software, which is lined up with ISO and ANZ standards.

4. Neglecting to Think about Weariness and Exhaust

Another fundamental mix-up tormenting Australian companies is an absence of regard for employee’s weakness. Weariness can be caused by various factors: extended periods, inadequate breaks, awkward working conditions and even awkward temperatures.

Pay attention to your workers and ensure their workload is not too much. You should need to have supervisors request input about weakness, solace and working conditions.

5. Failure to Make a Change 

After looking at your company with a critical eye, you’ll most likely discover a few areas that need change. Numerous businesses do get to this point, yet following up by executing a change plan frequently stays disregarded.

As you make your plan, ensure you make methodologies to alleviate the risks you find in your analysis, decide for somebody to be in charge of each piece of the plan, dispense resources for the plan and make a course of events by which everything will be refined.

Use our mobile health and safety software to help you with your OHS planning and follow-up. Your activity will be substantially less demanding, and you will have the capacity to remain on top of, overall, examinations and reports.

Connect with us at Beacon Software to take in more about the software and applications that can help you to make your work environment as protected as could reasonably be expected. You can likewise agree to accept a free trial of our software.