Does health and safety software save businesses money?

How can data make your workplace safer?

Data can be a very dry topic. But when it comes to Health and Safety, data and insights can change how you operate. Knowledge is power, and the better you understand your landscape and your people, the more accurately you can manage risk.

Workplace injuries still take place relatively frequently in Australia. In the year 2019-2020 a total of 120,355 serious claims were made for workers’ compensation due to injuries excluding fatalities where the person couldn’t work for one week or more.

Some of these injuries were manageable, whereas others would have been life changing. Not only are injuries at work an expensive burden, they can cause distrust amongst workers and give your company a bad name. Above all, they harm real human beings who are often impacted significantly by injuries at work.

But the good news is that data can help minimise risk, and make your workplace safer. Here’s how…

3 Top Tips On How To Use Data To Make Your Workplace Safer

  • Capture and safely retain data on staff 

Data on your team can give you a full picture of someone’s qualifications, insurance details, previous work history, permits to work and much more. With all of this data in one place, you can check in to see that people have up to date qualifications and minimise the risk of an incident being caused.

A software system like Beakon can give you auto-alerts when qualifications are out of date, and will be able to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to filing this data. You’ll be able to pull up records at any time on mobile, even when you’re on the move. Plus, with a software system that safely stores all data on the cloud, you can be reassured that this private information will be kept safe.

  • Look at what training has been completed

When you compile data from your online learning software, you’ll be able to see who has logged on and completed the relevant training. This will help you assess where there might be some work to do, and who might need a nudge to complete the training required. 

This could be health and safety training, site specific training or just refresher training on the qualifications they hold. With a comprehensive log of all training completed, and auto-generated emails that allow you to nudge those who are behind, you can make sure that your business is remaining compliant and using data to keep people safe.

  • Assess accident and incident data

Fingers crossed your organisation doesn’t have much of this data, because you’ve already minimised the risk of incidents so well. But if you do have some data to draw on, it’s best to use it to your advantage and learn what you can from it.

Prior incidents can tell you a lot about your blind spots, or areas that need improvement. Assess your data relating to prior accidents or incidents and look at the common features. Where did you go wrong in these cases and where can you improve?

Using data in this way will help you move forward safely and put the past behind you.

Keeping You On The Right Track To Compliance 

Beakon’s market-leading risk, safety and compliance management software helps businesses use data to their advantage.

See the benefits for yourself by starting a free trial.

Safety software systems: unpacking key terms

Safety software systems: unpacking key terms

Learn More About Safety Software Systems

There is a lot of jargon in the world of safety management, and a lot of key terms that need exploring. Often the terms safety software, safety management, safety systems and safety tech are used interchangeably, but they can mean slightly different things.

We’re unpacking the meaning behind safety software systems, so that you can choose a safety software provider with ease.

man in white hard hat standing on brown wooden dock during daytime

What are safety software systems?

In essence, a safety software system refers to a safety management system that uses software to minimise risk. In most cases, entities using safety software systems as their key term to define their safety procedures will use it interchangeably with SMS (safety management system).

Safety management systems were derived to minimise risk and provide safety defences. According to literature reviewing SMSs; “there are two main groups of models informing SMSs: (1) accident related models, and (2) organisational models”.

Accident related models are more responsive and passive. They kick into action when an incident has occured (which is often too late). Meanwhile, the organisational model is a much more preventative approach that focuses on policies, procedures and people to ensure that accidents don’t occur. 

This is where safety software really comes into its own, as it provides an online management system for all data concerning safety within your business. Formed with theory, practice and standards levels in mind, safety software systems allow businesses to manage safety and compliance before an incident occurs, which is really what we want.

orange lights on top of white and red metal bars

FAQ about safety software systems

If you’re exploring your options when it comes to safety software systems, here’s a few questions you might like to ask prospective safety software providers.

Where is your precious safety data hosted?

How many times do you hear of businesses having a data breach? Often this is due to where their data is stored and managed. There is no rush when choosing a safety software provider – it’s much better to take your time and investigate where your data will be hosted to ensure that it will be secure.

All data needs to be protected, but in the case of safety data this is even more prominent. Safety data might provide details like personal medical histories, incident details and private information about your team.

This kind of information needs to be hosted in secure regulatory environments, where it won’t be compromised. A good rule of thumb is to check in with the software provider and see if they’re hosting in line with government standards concerning safety data. You’ll find this compliance information in the AS ISO/IEC 27004:2018 if you’re in Australia. 

Is it easily adjustable and flexible?

SMS will be ever-evolving to keep up with changes to your environment and industry standards. For this reason, you need safety software that can keep up. Look for safety software that is easy to configure with your business and can be adjusted to suit your needs. Every business is different, so every business will need slightly different safety software options.

Does it have language options?

We live in a multicultural society, so it’s important that everyone is catered for. Some people may choose to use a different language to fill in forms, or look at safety regulations that can be vital to their job.

Safety software systems should be able to offer different language settings, so that people can read policies and procedures in a language that best suits them.

Does it cover off legal and compliance obligations?

This is of course one of the most important questions to ask. Record keeping, signing certain documents, having safety information like permits collated etc. is so important. 

Before choosing a safety software provider, look at what your industry-specific compliance obligations are, and ensure that your software will help you meet them.

Is it mobile-friendly?

Last but not least, you want safety software that is mobile friendly. In the modern world, everything is done on mobile, and in a dynamic working environment it’s very helpful for people to be able to access safety information wherever they are.

Software that is mobile friendly ensures that people don’t take a “I can fill that form in later” or “I’ll check out that person’s permit later” approach to safety. With everything you need in the palm of your hand, staff are much more likely to follow procedures in the moment, with the end result of minimised risk across the business.

Beakon builds mobile-friendly safety management software that caters to a variety of industries. We’ve worked with businesses across multiple sectors to bring them tailored safety solutions. 

Want to learn more? Why not start a free trial now?

Tools That Aid Project Management On Your Construction Site

Why Planning Is Essential To Safety Management

Often businesses will have had safety management systems in place for years and years. But despite the changing times, the safety management procedures will stay the same. This really doesn’t make sense, or meet compliance standards. Working to a safety system that has no prior planning behind it is a recipe for disaster.

Then on the other hand, there are businesses who are putting a new safety management procedure in place, but are doing so using a generic system. Without setting boundaries and defining the specifics within your business, a safety management system isn’t going to work to its full potential.

That’s why the planning stage of safety management is so important. We’re unpacking that further in this article.

white and black round pendant

Why is planning crucial to safety management?

SafeWork Australia sums it up well by stating that the planning stages involve:

“The work performed to define the scope, boundaries and performance objectives of a specific SMS component”.

In essence, the planning stages need to define exactly what each part of the safety management system is hoping to achieve, and set clear objectives on how to get there. 

When planning, businesses will need to take into account the specific risks of the business, and assess where how they can be mitigated.

To plan effectively, businesses might carry out a safety audit which includes a risk assessment, as well as looking at any prior incidents and how they occurred. It can also be beneficial to talk to various members of the team and take their feedback onboard, as often different team members will be able to add different insights.

Adequate control of these risks will only be achieved if planning is carried out beforehand in order to really establish what is going on within the organisation. From there, you can implement an effective safety management system.

construction worker on street

What kind of planning should go into safety management systems?

When planning prior to implementing a safety management system, you need to scope the kind of hazards and the measures that are already in place to mitigate them. 

You need to assess where the organisation is at present, by considering accurate information about the current situation. From there you can look at where you want to progress to, using industry governing bodies and legal requirements to guide you.

The areas of planning that could precede a safety management system are:

  • A safety audit
  • An assessment of prior incidents
  • An assessment of emergency procedures
  • An audit of current knowledge and understanding within the business
  • Legal and compliance requirements that must be adhered to
  • Planning the specific risks of the industry and/or workplace
  • Assessing who is responsible for workplace safety and how roles will be assigned
  • Planning when reviews will take place assorted notepads

How should planning be carried out?

Planning should be carried out with a few things in mind that will help you achieve the best outcome. The planning you undertake should be:

  • Accurate: it’s vital that risks are assessed accurately, current procedures are assessed accurately and information is accurate. They provide the solid foundations for the entire system to function.

 

  • Flexible and ongoing: while you may undertake some intensive planning before implementing a safety system, the process should be ongoing as new risks present themselves within your organisation.

 

  • Inclusive: while planning, the more people you can include in the process the better. Every individual will have their own viewpoint and may be able to add valuable insight about what should be included in the safety management system.

Do you need help with planning your safety procedures? Beakon can help. Find out more about our safety management system  and how we can protect your business and keep your people safe.

Safety Management Software: Crane Safety On Construction Sites

Safety Management Software: Crane Safety On Construction Sites

Safety Management Software can help to reduce workplace incidents, especially in the world of construction. In recent months, research has been published by the NSW Centre for WHS looking into crane safety on construction sites. 

The paper is based on the Crane safety in construction research produced by the Centre for Work Health and Safety and RMIT and digs into the fatal incidents that have happened in Australia while workers have been using cranes.

The report highlights some interesting points about incidents and how we can work together to minimise these tragic events.

Why was the report carried out?

Crane usage is a major risk and hazard on any construction site, but the 47 Australian workers killed in incidents involving cranes between 2003 and 2015 are significantly high (SafeWork Australia, 2016). 

When the number of fatalities are that high, it is imperative that government organisations and governing bodies look into how these fatal events can be prevented.

It’s not only deaths that we want to monitor and prevent though, the report also highlighted the need to minimise injuries involving cranes too. On average, 240 serious injury claims arise from crane safety incidents every year (SafeWork Australia, 2019), which for a developed country with a relatively small population, is too high.

The aim of the study was to:

  1. identify the causes and contributing factors associated with safety incidents involving cranes in the construction industry; and
  2. explore strategies/programs/approaches that could be or have been successfully implemented to prevent crane safety incidents in the construction industry.

 

What did the study into safety incidents find?

This is a very topline overview, and for the full details you can read the study in full over at the Centre For WHS website.  It’s an important research summary for those working in construction, either with cranes or managing workers and subcontractors who use cranes.

The key risk factors that the report concluded were contributing causes to incidents involving cranes were:

  • The regulatory environment

Is the business regulating their safety environment well? Were measures put in place to try and prevent incidents (like adopting safety management software)? Had the business worked on prior risks or incidents to do better and did they take into account the current regulations? When the answers to these questions are no, the risk of an incident is higher.

  • Prevailing levels of worker skill and competency

Did workers have training and qualifications? Were they up to date? Had they been working recently in the same field? How was this measured and assessed? These are important in assessing the risk of an incident. 

  • Industry supply issues

Were safety measures impacted by supply issues? This could be physical resources, or man power. In other words, was the team ‘down’ or under pressure in any way because of supply problems?

  • Site planning and management issues

Site management is really important. How was the site managed? How were visitors on the site reported? Did contractors have their own safety measures and understanding? Were safety considerations managed well?

  • Physical worksite conditions

These could be things like physical risks that are presented on the day. Eg – weather conditions, the way the site was set up, how equipment was set up or left the night before. 

  • Human errors and equipment failures

Equipment failures and human error can be tragic. Measures need to be put into place to minimise these issues. Things like checking equipment regularly and ensuring that workers meet minimum standards in terms of their training, but also subjective measures like how tired they are or how mentally stable on any given day. Employers need to take these into account just as much as how physically able an employee or contractor is.

How can we minimise these incidents?

The literature review identified ways to prevent crane safety incidents in the construction industry. These are also good guides to minimise wider incidents too.

They suggested businesses need to:

  • “Clarify the roles and responsibilities of workers conducting crane-related activities at the worksite, and the suppliers and subcontractors when selecting equipment and site planning.
  • Improve the training of people responsible for planning, coordinating and supervising lifting operations.
  • Improve the licensing systems to record crane operators’ competencies in using particular types or models of cranes.
  • Promote the adoption of new and emerging technologies to improve crane safety.”

 

How Beakon can assist with safety management software

It goes without saying that no safety management software can completely minimise the risk of an incident occurring on site. However, safety management systems and incident management systems like Beakon can help  to improve safety measures and reduce risk.

Beakon can help you assign roles and responsibilities, keep track of permits to work and education, and promote training automatically so that no one gets left out. All while offering a mobile solution that is accessible anywhere.

Don’t take the risk. Talk to us about how we can help you manage on-site safety today!

Safety Management Systems: Aviation Must Haves

Safety Management Systems: Aviation Must Haves

Safety Management Systems In Aviation

At Beakon, we work with clients from the aviation industry, where our safety management systems are used to apply safety principles, framework and processes. The aim of a safety management system in any industry is to to help prevent accidents, injuries and to minimise other risk. 

Within aviation it is especially important to have these systems in place, as it can be a higher risk environment. We’re looking at the 12 components of a safety management strategy as outlined by CASA which can help businesses understand their obligations.

gray and white airplane on flight near clear blue sky

What are the standard safety management system (SMS) frameworks in Aviation?

Civil Aviation covers private and commercial flying and is governed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Australia. CASA outlines the standard framework for safety management systems which feature four components and 12 elements.

CASA notes that a SMS must be scalable, and fit for purpose. This is where a cloud based system like Beakon is essential, allowing multiple workers to access information remotely and save their records online. 

CASA Safety Management System Guidelines

The four main categories of a safety management system are:

  • Safety and objective
  • Safety risk management
  • Safety assurance 
  • Safety promotionairline about to land on ramp

Then within each category there are key points that need to be addressed. These include:

  • Safety policy and objectives

    • Management commitment and responsibility
    • Safety accountabilities
    • Appointment of key safety personnel
    • SMS implementation
    • Contractors/third party interfaces
    • Coordination of emergency response planning
    • SMS documentation
  • Safety risk management

    • Hazard identification
    • Risk assessment and mitigation
  • Safety assurance

    • Safety performance monitoring and measurement
    • Internal safety investigation
    • The management of change
    • Continuous improvement of the SMS
  • Safety promotion

    • Training and education
    • Safety communicationblack vehicle control panel

How does Beakon address these needs?

A safety management system like Beakon allows businesses to stay on top of the above requirements and continually improve their safety procedures. As mentioned, it is not just minimising incidents, but preparing for them and training staff to minimise their likelihood. Beakon software has all bases covered.

Repeatable and reliable risk assessment as part of the safety management system

One of the most effective ways that businesses use Beakon software is to carry out repeatable risk assessments. Our risk assessment software allows you to repeat processes for repeat jobs and set reminders so that you never get complacent.

Some of the most popular elements of the risk assessment software are:

  • A digital and embedded risk matrix

Use the Beakon default ‘out of the box’ matrix or your own business risk matrix, to drive consistency in risk rating.

  • Identification measures for high-risk work

Ensure high risk work is managed appropriately with early identification and management.  Risk Assessments help capture the need for permits and additional licensing.

  • Control measures with automated notifications

Reminders and escalations for control measures help drive action and close out prior to the commencement of any work.  Prioritise work by the due date and risk rating.

Want to learn more? Start a free trial today.

5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Safety Practices Today

Digital Permits To Work: Why Ditch The Paper?

Why Choose Digital Permits To Work?

Is your business behind when it comes to digital permits to work? With the digital revolution in full force, there is no better time to go paperless and start saving all your important documents online.

Digital software can help your business create, sign off and file important paperwork like permits to work. 

Here’s why so many businesses choose to use an online permit to work system.

What are the benefits of digital permits to work?

There’s never been a better time to move from a paper-based way of working to a digital one. Going paperless has numerous benefits for both your business and the environment.

Some of these include:

  • Minimise your business’ carbon footprint

Rising CO2 levels contribute to global warming. When we continuously use huge amounts of paper for things like permits to work and other paperwork, we contribute to the rise in CO2. 

The more trees we chop, the more carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere. But by moving to a digital system, you’re able to minimise this use of paper, and do better for the environment. 

  • Get access anytime, anywhere with digital permits to work

When using a paper-based system, only one person can access the document at any one time. This can be a nightmare if you’re trying to work with people across multiple sites or trying to get a document to someone in a hurry.

With a digital system, multiple people can access documents in real-time. This means that people can get access to important permits to work anytime, anywhere.

  • File and save documents more effectively

How many times have you been looking for a paper document, only to find that it’s gone missing? This is a common occurrence for businesses operating on paper systems, and it can often get them into trouble. Especially where permits to work are concerned.

With a digital permit to work system every permit is safely filed away, making it ideal for audits. Plus, anyone with access can pull up permits to work at any given time, giving your team a comprehensive view of their workforce.

  • Speed up approvals with electronic signatures 

There is nothing worse than business being held up because people don’t have the right to work. With a digital permit to work system, your business will be able to make important approvals with electronic signatures.

This can save you time and money as a business, and take the pressure off your people who will get frustrated if they’re held back because of paperwork. 

  • Customise your documents easily

Every business is different, and every site will have different hazards. These all need to be taken into account on a permit to work, in order to approve a person to work with certain risks. This means that every individual may need a slightly different permit to work.

Customising work documents isn’t always easy in paper form. You have to edit them, print them, sign them, scan them etc. There is so much that goes into it, that often businesses just use a template that never changes for their permits to work. This is not good.

With a digital permit to work system, businesses are able to quickly and easily edit forms to include specific hazards and risks. This can encourage a much safer workforce, who have signed off on the site specific risks.

  • Prove compliance with an online trace

Digital permits to work make audits easy, and ensure that if you have to prove compliance, you can pull the relevant records up quickly. This is not true of paper based systems, which can fail when it comes to compliance. Paper filing leaves a lot of room for human error.

In contrast to this, digital permits to work won’t be marked as complete until both the employee/ contractor and the employer or manager have signed off. With digital permits to work you can prove compliance and ensure that everyone does their bit. No more half completed paperwork. 

Businesses can gain better control of their site with permit to work software that boosts compliance and makes life easier. 

Why are safety management systems essential in the Rail Industry? 

Permits to work in the Railway Industry

Ready to investigate permits to work in the Railway Industry?

Whether you’re a business looking to improve compliance, or a Railway Industry Worker (RIW) wanting to learn more about worker requirements, you’ve come to the right place.

What is a permit to work in the railway industry?

Permits to work in the Railway Industry are multidimensional. There are multiple permits to work for Railway Industry Workers (RIW), which cover Work Health & Safety (WHS).

These kinds of permits are usually issued online by the employer, and they help to ensure that everyone is qualified to do their job and has the relevant experience to start work. They record the qualifications, training and experience that makes an individual suited to working in a specific high risk environment. 

They’re known as permits to work, or e-permits to work, and sign an individual off to work on a specific task. They are vital for employers to keep on top of their safety on site, remain compliant and keep their people safe. 

Slightly different to the individual’s work permit, are permits for businesses that are issued by the Railway provider themselves. These give an organisation the approval to carry out said work on the Railway. Then, there are also RIW cards for workers which are set out by the Railway and approve someone to work on a specific railway.

At Beakon, we are primarily concerned with permits to work created by businesses for their workers. We specialise in electronic permits to work systems for businesses operating in the Railway Industry. These systems provide a way for businesses to issue permits to work online to their people.

Railway Industry Tracks

What does a permit to work require in the Railway Industry?

A permit to work in the Railway Industry must detail the works that will be carried out by the individual, the hazards that are present, and the qualifications or training that makes them suitable.

They will need to take into account added risks and hazards that come from working in such a high risk Railway environment.

The permit issued by an employer should include:

  • Applicants name
  • RTO Name, National Provider Code / RTO Number of appropriate training
  • The specific work the applicant is authorised to carried out
  • The time and date of the specific work being carried out
  • Risks or hazards and their control measures 
  • Name and / or signature of both issuer & applicant.
  • Document / Certificate / Number.

To create this permit to work, many businesses opt to use software. Similar to other industries, an online permit to work system will:

  • Issue Permits to Work.
  • Carry out permit approvals.
  • Audit records and deliver permit history access.
  • Work on all devices, including smartphones and tablets.Working on the Railway

Above And Beyond This, Workers Need RIW Cards In Most Cases

While a permit to work will help a business cover their back, often having a Railway industry Worker Card is an essential for any individual working on the Railway. This is a requirement of the individual, but businesses should do everything in their power to check and audit these records to ensure that untrained people never work on the rail network.

The Rail Industry Worker program went live in March 2013 and is owned by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA). It complies with national rail safety law by providing proof of competency for every individual working on the railway.

Workers can apply for a RIW card which identifies them as a competent worker. Any employee or contractor working on the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM), Country Regional Network (CRN), Aurizon and Queensland Rail will all require a Rail Industry Worker (RIW) card.

For businesses operating on Railways that use RIW cards, it is important that you set up your team with RIW cards, as they must be ordered by a Primary Employer. Once this is complete the worker will need to hand over the digital copy of their RIW for you to store. You can also request a physical RIW, but as they are essential documents that need to be kept very safe, digital copies are often best.

Signing off a permit to work

Businesses Also Need A Permit To Work On Railways 

It’s not just individuals and workers who need to consider permits to work when working on Railways. Businesses also need to abide by the permit to work regulations of the individual Railway provider, to ensure that their work is being carried out safely and legally. 

Each state will have their own Railway regulations regarding the permits to work necessary. However most of them concern excavations and working with live equipment. As they are such high risk areas, Railways need businesses to submit permits to work prior to starting.

For example in Victoria, there are strict regulations for third parties working on railways.

Metro Trains, the Melbourne Railway provider states that third parties “must not undertake any excavation/ground disturbance within five (5) metres of a VicTrack Telecommunications Asset without a VicTrack approved Permit To Work”.

They are also limited when working with live equipment. They state that “work must not commence until a Permit to Work Near (PTWN) has been issued to the PTWN holder on site.”

For businesses working in the Railway Industry, it is essential that these forms are completed and filed correctly before work commences. Often, permits to work in the Railway industry will take time to approve, so it is recommended to get them in early and then file them digitally so that they don’t get lost or damaged.

There’s a lot of Permits Needed To Work on the Railway

Long story short, there’s a lot of permits required to work in the Railway industry. Some of the most important ones for employers to know about are the permits to work that grant employees access to work.

Beakon can help you create, audit and file permits to work to keep your business compliant. Are you ready to get started?

Permit to work construction

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Permits To Work In Construction

Work Permits In Construction 

Electronic permits to work in construction are becoming more and more popular.

Permits to work are essential in a range of industries, but especially those which have multiple sites. Construction companies are synonymous with ‘multiple sites’, so it’s no surprise that business owners in this space are learning about ePTW.

While the traditional permit to work model was paper-based, you often hear the term e-permit to work or ePTW now. This is because as technology has advanced, so has the way that businesses issue permits to work has gone digital. That means bye bye paper and hello software like Beakon that issues and manages permits to work.

But first, here’s 5 things you might not know about permits to work in construction.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Permits To Work In Construction

A Permit To Work In Construction Can (And Should) Be Site Specific

Most businesses issue permits to work based on the role, not the site. This can be a huge error, and best practice in construction is to alter your permits to work based on the specific challenges of that site.

Why? Because there are often specific risks that are associated with a certain location or project, and this needs to be covered off in the permit. Permits should ensure that work can be completed safely, so making them site specific is the best way forward

Permits To Work Don’t Need To Just Be For High Risk Tasks

Often permits to work will be put in place for tasks where there is a high risk to safety. This might be where people are working at height, working with restricted access or working with contamination or biological hazards. This is a great use of permits to work in construction, and should be carried out as a priority.

But don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security – businesses shouldn’t issue permits to work ONLY for high risk tasks. Any task that involves a risk, however small, can require a permit to work and if you want to get your safety procedures in order, the more permits to work you can create the better.

Understanding who is carrying out tasks that involve risks, and having a record of their qualification can only be of benefit to a construction business.

man in white long sleeve shirt and blue denim jeans standing on white metal ladder

Contractors Need Permits Too

Many people don’t know that contractors must have permits to work too. This is where ePTW can come in really handy, as they can collate data from people who aren’t part of your company. Having their information on file is an obligation as part of WHS.

Often contractors movements can be harder to manage – so having their permits to work on file is essential. There is nothing worse than a contractor turning up for a job and realising that they don’t have any of the required paperwork. But with an e-permit to work, construction contractors are able to pull up their permit on their mobile.

Roof Access Is One Of The Biggest Risks In Construction

Falling from height, namely a roof, is one of the biggest risks to construction workers. SafeWork Australia found that over the eight-year period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2011, 232 workers were killed following a fall from a height. This amounted to 11% of all workers killed over this period. 

The risk of falling from the roof is higher than you might think. But because falling seems like a simple risk, often people underestimate how deadly it can be. Contractors and employees often think that they’re qualified to get up on a roof, when they’re not.

Permits to work in construction help to reduce the risk of falling from a roof, taking into account things like the person’s experience with roofs, the weather conditions they’re able to work in and the safety of the roof in question.

two men working

Construction Managers Should Look At Historical Records 

While managing permits to work in construction is often done in real-time with the benefit of technology, managers should regularly audit records. With an online software system, team managers can regularly go back over historical permits to work data and look at who was on site, what work they carried out and whether they had the permits in place to do that work.

You can’t turn back the hands of time if someone has worked without a permit, but you can look at how it happened and try to minimise errors in the future.

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. 

Why are safety management systems essential in the Rail Industry? 

Why are safety management systems essential in the Rail Industry? 

Safety Management Systems are one of the most helpful tools in managing Work Health Safety. As an employer, you have a duty of care to employees and therefore have to manage safety measures appropriately. From monitoring and reducing incidents, to auditing safety procedures, it is important to make an ongoing commitment to safety management.

This is especially true in the Railway Industry, where employers and workers can often be at a higher risk. 

What are the added risks when working in the Railway Industry?

All industries need effective safety management measures, however in higher risk industries safety systems can be the difference between life and death. With higher risk consequences, and a higher likelihood to happen, the railway industry relies heavily on effective safety management systems.

Some of the additional hazards that are present in the Railway Industry are:

  • Falling from heights
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Dangers of trips and slips
  • Hazard working with high voltage
  • Hazard working with fast moving trains
  • Biological hazards (COVID-19 related risk of working on a public railway network)

RAIL SAFETY NATIONAL LAW – SECTION 99

In terms of the specific law regarding to safety management systems in the Railway Industry, the Rail Safety Law Section 99 states that:

“A rail transport operator must have a safety management system for railway operations”

Hence, safety management is a legal requirement when working in the Railway Industry and is an essential for any business working in Rail. The law also states that these safety management procedures need to be evidenced in writing, which is where a digital safety management system can be very helpful.

What does a safety management system need to include?

Firstly, the law states that the safety management system must have an identified person who prepares and monitors it. This means that a business has to allocate the responsibility to an employee. Plus, the business needs to allocate the responsibility of implementing the safety management system changes. In bigger companies, there will likely be a whole safety management team who will work on a comprehensive safety plan. 

The Rail Safety National Law states that the operator needs to include the following in their safety management system:

“(a) measures to manage identified risks to safety for the purposes of interface agreements;

(b) a security management plan;

(c) an emergency management plan;

(d) a health and fitness management program;

(e) a drug and alcohol management program;

(f) a fatigue risk management program”.

How can Railway Businesses implement effective safety management?

Working with skilled professionals who know how to create and implement safety systems is essential. Once you have these employees in place, it is important to empower them to create the best rail safety management plan possible.

Digital safety management software can be a great way to empower your safety team to provide an effective rail safety management plan.

A rail safety management system needs to include:

  • Identifying current hazards and looking at past incidents
  • Analysing current risk using a risk matrix: working out how likely the risk is to happen and what the consequences of that risk are
  • Creating procedures that ideally eliminate the risks, or at least reduce them
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of the procedures and controlling actions
  • Auditing the safety management procedures and changing them in line with environmental changes or changing risks

Minimising Risk In The Railway Industry

Beakon Software helps businesses minimise risk in the railway industry and meet compliance demands. Safety Management Systems enable businesses to stay on top of their safety procedures and retain a digital trace of their safety management efforts.

Beakon’s class-leading system enables employees and/or contractors to report incidents, hazards, and near misses. You are then able to classify and manage incidents across the whole business and apply cost-efficient strategies to manage and minimise workplace risk.

Check out the Safety Management Systems from Beakon.

Why Do Safety Management Systems Need To Be Constantly Evolving?

Why Do Safety Management Systems Need To Be Constantly Evolving?

Safety Management Systems help businesses manage safety in the workplace. From monitoring who is qualified to work, to ensuring that staff are trained and inducted properly, safety management systems can help businesses stay on top of OHS performance.

However, having a solid safety management system in place isn’t the end of the process. Safety systems need to be continually reviewed and audited to ensure that they are fit for purpose. We’re taking a look at why safety management systems need to continue to evolve in order to do their job properly.

Why are safety management systems beneficial?

Measuring, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of your safety practices is one of the best ways to continually progress when it comes to workplace safety. And that is exactly what safety management systems do. By collating your safety data, reminding you when to review safety measures and helping people complete their safety training and admin, they help to continually improve on OHS.

Danger Construction site signage

Safety management systems help businesses to:

  • Manage their accountabilities, policies and procedures
  • Alert your team to any risks or dangers 
  • Ensure that your business is acting in accordance with the law
  • Offer automated reminders
  • Encourage better safety practices
  • Make safety admin quick and easy
  • Minimise the risk of incidents
  • Understand the cost of incidents
  • Manage safety policies, safety accountabilities, emergency response planning, hazard identification, risk assessment and much more.aerial photography of building construction

Safety Management Systems Have To Continually Evolve To Be Effective

The world we live in is fast-paced and ever changing. This means that our safety systems need to be too. Safety management practices need to continually evolve to cater to a businesses evolving needs. Here are some of the top reasons that businesses need to keep challenging and changing their procedures:

  • Keep up with technology

Technology is ever changing, and safety procedures can benefit from going digital. In order to keep your processes up to date and keep up with the competition, you need to be continually updating your software systems. This goes for all aspects of your business, where utilising technology will help you stay ahead and streamline your processes. 

When it comes to safety and compliance, businesses often upgrade their technology in order to save time and money. Whilst this is an amazing perk, the number one bonus is that it enables your team to access and fill in safety procedures from anywhere, and this boosts compliance and keeps employees safe.

  • Manage changes in the workplace

Every workplace evolves and changes rapidly. Safety processes that worked one month might not work the next, and your team needs to be updated on the changes that will keep them safe. By auditing, updating, and keeping up to date with any changing safety needs, you’re much more likely to minimise risk. 

Safety management systems need to be continually challenged in order to ensure that they are still fit for purpose for the organisation today.

  • To create a safety first culture 

When you adjust and monitor your safety systems, it proves to your team that you care about their safety and creates a safety first culture. Processes need to be updated to remind your employees of the importance of safety at work, and to allow them to feedback on any changes they feel are important.

Often employees will know first hand what is working and what is not working, and giving them the space to share their thoughts can be really powerful. Ultimately, long-term changes will only occur when everyone is onboard, and by putting safety management systems in the spotlight you remind everyone just how important it is.

Are you looking to create a safety first organisation within your business? Take a look at some of the most powerful safety management tools on the market to help your business take action.