The importance of having an incident management and reporting system

incident_management

You want to take your Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) responsibilities seriously, but how do you know you are meeting your obligations, and how do you prove it?

Is your workplace as safe as it could be? How well prepared is your organisation to prevent and manage incidents?

Such questions should always be fully and honestly answered by safety officers, and should always be matters for critical examination, specially in high-risk industries such as construction, Oil & Gas, Power plant, Roads & Buildings, chemicals and hazardous sectors.

An incident management/reporting system helps you answer these questions, and ensure that your company is always prepared to prevent and manage accidents, incidents, and near misses.

Incident Reporting is requirement of any occupational health and safety management system and when this is not done efficiently the flow on effect may result in excessive costs to the business.

A key element of an effective OHS system is a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures to create a Continuous Improvement Cycle.

An effective Safety Management System which can help to establish the framework of compliance with the two fundamental elements of most OHS legislation:

  • That employers provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risk
  • That employees take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others

A systematic approach to incident reporting can help to identify trends in incident types and identify and maximise improvement opportunities across the whole system.

Also, periodic reviews of control measures and risk assessments should be conducted to ensure the control measures implemented are appropriate and effective and the risk assessments are still valid. This can be achieved through safety audits, regular workplace inspections, consultation with employees and review of incident investigations. Risk management should be built into all workplace activities that can give rise to safety issues.

How Moving to Electronic PTW Systems Can Help Increase Efficiency and Reduce Costs

If you have ever worked with PTW systems, or if your work role involves dealing with them in any way, the chances are you have noticed how time consuming and complicated it can get, especially with large projects that require many permits, and even more so when using traditional, paper-based PTW procedures and forms.

But first, what is a Permit to Work (PTW) System?

Simply put, Permit to Work (PTW) systems are a key factor in ensuring the safe execution of hazardous work activities at operational facilities. PTW procedures are usually supported by a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) process and a range of related procedures for high risk activities such as confined space, hot work etc.

And while safety management has significantly evolved over the last few years, especially with the introduction of electronic-based systems, yet the significant majority of operational facilities world-wide still use manual paper-based PTW procedures and forms.

Efficiency

One of the main disadvantages of traditional PTW systems is its efficiency, paper-based systems require many hours of forms filling, tag writing and paper transportation from one place to another, all adding up to a considerable loss in time and money.

Electronic Permit to Work (ePTW) systems easily solves that, by reducing the lost time for performing job safety analysis, permit planning and approval, and the ability of reusing preapproved isolation lists.

For a typical operating facility with 1000 requests per month, an ePTW system can mean saving up to 250 of work hours per month, which- depending on the hourly rate- can equal up to $20,000 in saved costs.

Moving Paper

Manual paper-based PTW systems require the physical movement of paperwork around the organization to be actioned by appropriately authorized personnel, or the movement of those people to the paper. More complex types of work, such as say hot work inside a confined space, require more authorizations and even more time to get the people and the paper coordinated.
Contrarily, an electronic PTW system does not require any paper or people movement to perform this action. Responsible personnel can access the system and perform their authorization
actions from their access device. And this alone can result to achieving up to 70% reduction
in effort in this area.

Audit Effort

The auditing process is one of the primary processes used to monitor the compliance of PTW systems, and part of the reason for the lower level of activity in audit is that it can be quite time-consuming.

On the other hand, electronic PTW systems generate real time transactional records of the permit life-cycle, providing an audit history which is irrefutable evidence of the date/times of the permit activities as well as the names of the person/s performing those activities. Automatically generated audit histories contribute to an improved workplace culture and deliver efficiency savings in both the initial recording and audit/governance process.

Conclusion

Clearly, all corporations using Permit to Work procedures can gain immediate and valuable
tangible and intangible benefits through the introduction of electronic PTW systems. The calculations used throughout this article show that benefits can be achieved at many stages of the risk assessment, permit and isolation process. Benefits extend beyond actual cost savings to avoided costs such as loss of
production, compensation, fines and loss of reputation.

Online Learning Management Systems – Which LMS format works best?

Beakon’s online learning management system (aka e-Learning system) is a simple and effective way to deliver online learning. We are often asked if our e-Learning platform is SCORM compliant; the answer is yes, but it’s easy to overlook the alternatives to SCORM formatted courses.

What Is SCORM?

The US Department of Defence developed an online learning management system in the 1990s. Not wanting to do things by half-measures, they created an advanced content management system to deliver engaging and interactive content for learning.

SCORM courses may include interactive quizzes, videos, images and slide shows; using interactive and multi-media learning makes it easier to understand and remember learning outcomes. Many e-Learning platforms are configured to deploy SCORM courses; linked to its flexibility, this often makes SCORM the format of choice for online learning management systems.

SCORM has seen several updates, SCORM 1.2 being the current version.

To SCORM or not to SCORM?

SCORM is very good for building engaging courses, but it does have some downsides that should be considered:

1) SCORM courses can be very large, making it more difficult to download over a slow internet connection.

2) SCORM doesn’t always display correctly on tablets or smartphones.

3) SCORM courses are time consuming and complex to build.

4) They’re equally time consuming to modify or change.

At Beakon, we understand how good SCORM courses can be, but appreciate that it can be quite time and cost intensive to build. For this reason, we’ve built a simple online course builder inside Beakon using a simple WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)  system.

Beakon’s course builder can deploy videos, pdf files, images, and text quickly and simply in a lightweight format.

Many Beakon clients use a mix of SCORM courses and simple courses built inside Beakon to give flexibility and agility in building and managing courses for effective online learning.

Things to consider

When deciding on an online learning format, consider who will use the course, how often it will be changed or modified, and how much money and time you can invest in creating the course.

If you want simple and lightweight, WYSIWYG is probably best, and for more complex and engaging courses, SCORM is still the best option.

We’re great believers in giving our users diverse tools to build and deploy learning – no two organisations have exactly the same requirements, and our experience is that you know your audience better than anybody else.

Find out more

To see how a WYSIWYG content-builder works (or if you’ve any questions about which online learning management system format will best suit your requirements, contact us today!

Contractor Management Software; The beauty of simplicity

Choosing the best Contractor Management Software is never easy; from selecting the modules and functionality your business requires to calculating the number of users, locations, processes and so on the system will manage, how it will interface with other systems, where it will be hosted, who will maintain the software, and so on – the complexity of it can be rather overwhelming! We found this was equally true when we recently reviewed a range of online project management tools. The smorgasbord of options and terminology confused us; and we’re IT professionals working with software systems every day!

We tried to think of the best specific advice we could give prospective purchasers when reviewing software options for managing contractors and tasks, and came to the conclusion that it’s not as simple as it might sound! So we started drafting up a blog post, and then it turned into a short essay, and then a thesis, and it still didn’t cover everything.

So we went back to the basics, and took some inspiration from Henry Ford. Ford said “the simple things are the best, whether it is automobiles, or diets, or philosophy”. It was a philosophy that allowed him to revolutionise car manufacturing, and it’s one that can equally be applied to effective contractor management systems.

Put simply (because, well, that’s the idea) – the simpler a process is, the easier it is to understand. The easier it is to understand, the easier it is for people to learn and follow it. The easier it is for staff and contractors to learn and follow a process, the more likely they are to adopt it, and the more compliant they are likely to be.

Not everything can be boiled back to one simple, standardized process. We understand this, but our point is simply that you want to get as close to a simple and standardised process as you can, then start to add exceptions. Don’t choose a Contractor Management software system based on exceptions: Your systems and process should be driven by the rules, not the exceptions to the rules.

We’ll finish with another Henry Ford quote; “The best way is always the simplest: The attics of the world are cluttered with complicated failures”. Don’t let your contractor management software end up in the attic – make it simple, and make it beautiful!

Mining Contractor Management

Case study: Australian Mining Contractor Management

No one can doubt the importance of effective contractor management for the health and safety of workers, particularly contractors. Their importance has often been highlighted by Australian miners, who perhaps face the greatest risk of workplace injury and have a great need for Contractor Management.

To protect workers, the Australian mining industry are re-examining their processes and how they manage every aspect of their operation. They are striving for greater visibility in order to gain a deep understanding of how they work, who works, and their workflow, in particular with contractors. Read More

How Technology is Changing the Face of Risk Management

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Vendors and vendor management plays a vital part in the achievement of your business, regardless of what industry you’re in. Utilizing the following vendor management best practices to affirm a solid relationship with your vendors will enhance your company’s total performance in the market. Disregarding these sound seller administration standards will bring about an unworkable relationship that could adversely affect your business.

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