Incident Management System: A Start-to-Finish Guide in 2019

Incident Management System: A Start-to-Finish Guide in 2019

In our last post, we shared a compact guide to choosing the right incident management software for your company, business or organization. Building on that, we wanted to offer a complete overview of incident management systems, including what they are, how they work and the benefits that they can offer.

In this post, we’re presenting a complete start-to-finish guide to incident management systems in 2019. Our aim for is to give you a complete overview of these systems and explain how they help organizations of all sizes save time, keep their employees safe and boost revenue.

In this start-to-finish guide, we’ll cover the following areas

  1. What is an Incident Management System?
  2. Types of incidents explained
  3. Why invest in an Incident Management System?
  4. Key advantages of Incident Management Systems
  5. Taking your next steps

Let’s go!

1. What is an Incident Management System?

An incident management system is any system that helps an organization respond to, manage or prevent any incidents that occur on their premises or that affect their staff or customers.

The system should cover the following five factors:

  1. Procedures
  2. Software
  3. Communication systems
  4. Equipment
  5. Personnel

These five factors are a critical part of a company’s incident management system, regardless of whether it is paper-based, electronic, or a hybrid system.

Let’s look at them in greater detail:

1. Procedures
The backbone of any incident management system is a list of procedures that staff must follow in the event of an incident, accident, or event.

Traditionally, incident management systems have been paper-based collections of handwritten or printed documents that are filed and stored.

In Australia, most small businesses create a written document called a Safety Statement. This document outlines how the business plans to minimize risk on their premises. It will cover the control measures and risk assessments that need to be conducted to ensure that staff and contractors remain as safe as possible at all times.

While this method of procedure documentation may be referred to as paper-based, documents may be typed on MS Word or Excel and stored electronically, or printed out and stored as hard copies for safekeeping.

2. Software
Many companies utilize incident management software to help them track, manage and respond to incidents as they occur. This software is available to, and used by, all members of the organization, from junior employees to senior stakeholders.

The software is used to:

  • Report incidents.
  • Respond to specific situations.
  • Resolve problems as they occur.

The main benefit of using incident management software is that all members of an organization are kept updated and informed about incidents in real-time.In the event of a physical incident, incident management software can notify the relevant stakeholders and suggest an appropriate workflow for responding to the incident. In the case of IT-related software, the software itself is able to initiate certain responses to problems, such as rebooting a server in the event of a crash, for example.

3. Communication systems
All companies need a communication system in place in order to implement their incident management system.

A communication system could include some or all of the following options:

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Instant messaging platforms
  • SMS

One of the advantages of investing in incident management software is that it provides a communication system for a company’s employees to use. Staff can use the software’s platform to keep in touch with each other and monitor incidents as they occur.

For example, when an incident happens, staff can use the incident management platform to file an incident report. The software then sends email and/or SMS notifications to other members of the organization and critical stakeholders, alerting them to the situation in real-time.

As all communications are in one place, the platform provides a holistic communication system for all members of the organization to use. They can track, monitor and resolve incidents along the way, through a variety of channels including messages, notifications, and updates.

4. Equipment
The fourth key factor in any incident management system is the equipment used by employees. This includes the physical devices used to access the incident management software (such as laptops and mobile devices) as well as any equipment required to deal with the incidents.

Common communication equipment includes:

  • Computers and laptops
  • Mobile devices
  • Handheld communication devices such as walkie-talkies

Most incident management software platforms have their own app designed to work with iOS and Android devices. This means that personnel can simply install the app on their work or personal mobile devices to gain access to the platform at their convenience.

5. Personnel
The fifth factor necessary for an incident management system to be effective is personal. This includes a company’s employees, but may also include contractors who must be trained to respond to incidents.

Employees must be trained to:

  • React to incidents
  • Understand the nature of various incidents
  • Follow the correct procedures when responding to incidents

To ensure that all employees work together in the event of an incident or emergency, the employer must provide comprehensive training. However, today’s incident management software is able to generate workflows for staff can follow. These are written procedures that help staff deal effectively with specific incidents.

Software-generated workflows help ensure that those who are first to respond to an incident have as much data as possible. They are better able to respond in the shortest amount of time and maintain effective communication during emergency situations.

2. Types of incidents explained

Now that we’ve looked at what an incident management system is, it’s time to turn our attention to the types of incidents that are commonly dealt with.

Incidents will tend to fall into one of the following three categories:

  1. Physical incidents
  2. Environmental issues
  3. IT-related issues

Each of these four categories requires different types of responses, with different procedures.

1. Physical incidents
In this category, you’ll find general or community complaints, general illnesses among staff, and serious injuries or illnesses involving staff and contractors. This category also covers incidents such as fires, explosions, motor vehicle collisions, and near misses.

2. Environmental issues
This category covers damage to either the organization’s premises or equipment, loss of environmental containment (spills and leaks) and security breaches.

3. IT-related issues
IT-focused incident management software helps employees resolve IT issues such as using specific software, dealing with server failure, or other issues that lead to downtime. Unlike physical and environmental issues, IT-related issues can often be responded to automatically by the software. This may help resolve the incident without any human intervention. For example, if a company’s server crashes, incident management software may be able to restart the server to resolve the incident.

3. Why invest in an Incident Management System?

As we’ve shown, most organizations use paper-based incident management systems, built around Safety Statements to respond to and address incidents. So why would an organization invest in a software or cloud-based incident management system?

There are four main reasons why an organization would want to invest in improving or upgrading their incident management system:

  • Improving employee safety
  • Saving time
  • Minimizing risk
  • Maintaining and/or increasing profits

Improving employee safety
Well-designed incident management systems can give a company a powerful combination of data and communication tools that can help it respond to incidents faster. Potentially, this can save time and, in emergency situations, it may even save lives.

Saving time
The main benefit of having a software or cloud based system is that all communication channels are combined. Organizations that use incident management software can accomplish more in less time than if they were using a paper-based system. For example, incident reporting with a software-based system takes a fraction of the time of compiling a paper-based report.

Minimizing risk
Incident management systems help improve employee safety by giving a company real-time situational awareness. This helps ensure that employees receive the most appropriate support at the earliest opportunity, helping to prevent incidents from escalating.

Maintaining and/or increasing profits
In Australia, firms are legally responsible for reporting serious harm incidents to the relevant statutory authorities. Robust incident management systems can help automate this process, ensuring that the organization doesn’t fall foul of laws and become subject to fines that may adversely affect their profitability.

4. Key advantages of Incident Management Systems

A well-designed incident management system offers the following key advantages:

  1. Preparedness to deal with incidents
  2. Effective communication within an organization
  3. Increased safety for employees, clients, and contractors

To understand more about these key areas, we’ll look at each in more detail.

1. Preparedness to deal with incidents

One of the top advantages of a robust incident management system is that all employees are sufficiently prepared to deal with a wide range of incidents. In the event of an emergency, first responders will have a clear idea of any hazards they may encounter and will have been trained how to respond.

In addition to training, the incident management system will give employees the tools they need to deal with various scenarios. This may include interactive maps of the location, CCTV points, utility shut-off points, first-aid kit locations, and access points.

Using the incident management software platform, staff can report incidents and keep the entire organization aware of their actions in real-time. The platform enables other employees to offer guidance or advice and lets critical stakeholders see the specific actions that were taken and how the incident was resolved.

A key advantage of using incident management software is that it lets senior management retrospectively look at how past events unfolded. They can identify pain-points that prevented the issue from being resolved faster and find ways of improving response times in the future.

2. Effective communication within an organization

The second key advantage of having a well-designed incident management system in place is that it provides staff with effective communication channels at all times. All leading software platforms are cloud-based meaning they can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with internet access.

This ensures that incident reporting takes place in real-time, with all members of the organization able to track incidents as they occur.

The communication channels can be highly customized so staff can receive communication according to their preferences. This could include SMS messages, emails or push notifications, as they choose.

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

Some incident management software is able to act as an emergency notification system. This means it can be used to report emergency incidents such as fires or spills as soon as they occur. During an incident, the system will keep contact with all employees via a range of communication channels including voice, SMS messaging and email.

For example, in the event of an emergency situation, the first staff member on the scene could initiate contact with emergency operators, all via the incident management system’s platform. This reduces the response times of emergency services.

3. Increased safety for employees, clients, and contractors

The third key advantage of incident management systems is that risks to employee’s safety can be minimized and managed. Incident management software that offers a smartphone app provides employees with direct access to the incident platform at all times. If they notice a problem, see something suspicious or have any issues, they can alert their supervisors and senior managers with ease.

Some incident management software even lets employees called 911 or alert onsite security with the press of a button. This can ensure that critical data is delivered instantaneously and can help shorten response times.

5. Taking your next steps

This start-to-finish guide has explained everything you need to know about incident management systems in 2019.

While some organizations will continue to rely on basic safety statements and paper-based procedures, an increasing number of companies are choosing to adopt incident management software to facilitate their overall incident management system. The right software can help any 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!

Related posts:

The Compact Guide to Choosing Incident Management Software

The Compact Guide to Choosing Incident Management Software

Are you curious about how to choose the best incident management software for your organization?

If so, we’ve got you covered with this compact guide!

We’ll explain everything you need to know about how to choose the best incident management software for your company, business or organization.

Choosing the right software can be challenging, and, while investing in software can bring plenty of advantages, there are also plenty of traps and pitfalls to watch out for along the way.

So whether you’re a small business owner looking to improve the way you handle incidents, or you’re looking for a way to harmonize incident management procedures across multiple facilities, we’re here to help.

We’ll explain the benefits of the leading incident management software packages on the market today and show you the exact steps you need to follow in order to choose the best software for your needs.

In this compact guide, we’ll be discussing things like:

  • What is Incident Management Software?
  • Who needs Incident Management Software?
  • Types of Incident Management Software
  • What can Incident Management Software do?
  • Why is Incident Management Software important?
  • What to look for when choosing Incident Management Software
  • Taking your next steps

Sound fair? Then let’s go!

What is Incident Management Software?

Incident Management Software is any software that helps a company, business or organization record, manage and investigate any incidents that occur on their premises or involve their staff.

When an organization starts using incident management software, it will typically make the software available to employees via computers, smartphones, and tablets. As everyone has access to the same software, members of staff can report incidents as they occur. Senior stakeholders such as members of the management team can track how each incident is responded along the way.

Incident management software can help with:

  • Reporting incidents
  • Investigating incidents
  • Analyzing incidents
  • Taking proactive actions

Who needs Incident Management Software?

Incident management software is available for companies, businesses, and organizations across almost all work disciplines.

This includes fields in the following areas:

  • Safety
  • Environment
  • Quality assurance
  • Product quality
  • Business management
  • IT/DevOps

Organizations across almost every industry can benefit from having some form of incident management software.

Types of Incident Management Software

We can group incident management software into two main categories:

  • Incident management software for physical operations
  • Incident management software for IT/DevOps

Let’s look at both of these categories in greater detail!

Incident management software for physical operations

Many businesses are primarily concerned with physical incidents such as injuries, spills, and accidents that occur on their premises. Firms in the building and construction sectors and agricultural sectors will generally fall into this category. They need incident management software that helps them monitor when accidents take place and how to minimize the chances of similar incidents occurring in the future.

These organizations are generally less concerned with logging and dealing with IT-related incidents, however they may have separate incident management software for that purpose.

Incident management software for IT/DevOps

IT-focused incident management software is specifically designed to address IT challenges such as crashes and errors. Firms that invest in this type of software may be less concerned with logging physical incidents, although they may have separate software for that purpose.

IT-specific incident management software is used as part of an organization’s overall IT management strategy alongside identity management, mobile device management, and service desk solutions. This software can help automate tasks, reduce downtime, increase coloration and unify projects.

Let’s look in greater detail at how incident management software does this.

What can Incident Management Software do?

Incident Management Software, whether it is focused primarily on physical incidents or IT issues can help with the following tasks:

  1. Reporting incidents
  2. Investigating incidents
  3. Analyzing incidents
  4. Responding to incidents

Let’s break these tasks down:

1. Reporting incidents

The main purpose of incident management software is to help an organization’s staff report incidents. Every organization, large or small, experiences incidents from time to time.

These could be categorized into one of three main groups:

  • Physical incidents
  • Environmental incidents
  • General incidents

Physical incidents include:

  • A near hit or miss
  • Staff/contractor injuries/serious illness
  • Fires
  • Explosions
  • Motor vehicle collision

Environmental incidents include:

  • Plant or equipment damage
  • Loss of environmental containment (spills/leaks)

General incidents include:

  • General complaints
  • Community complaints
  • Product withdrawal or recall

Incident management software helps organizations streamline the process whereby staff and contractors can report all of these types of incidents. With the incident management software platform shared among all staff and senior management, incidents can be logged in real-time.

Incident management software that focuses on IT/DevOps can help with reporting of:

  • Digital incidents and errors
  • Frequency of downtime and crashes

2. Investigating incidents

The second benefit of incident management software is that it helps an organization investigate any incidents that occur.

The incident management software platform contains a clear record of:

  • Where the incident occurred
  • Who witnessed and documented it
  • Any follow up actions that were taken

Incident management software can streamline the investigation process by giving access to all members of an organization.

However, IT/DevOps software can go one step further. It can not only alert staff of an incident with their company’s software or hardware, but it can automatically generate a report of the problem and initiate a workflow as well. This helps ensure that the error is responded to in the proper sequence and reduces the response time, helping to address the incident sooner.

3. Analyzing incidents

As we’ll explain in our upcoming start-to-finish guide on incident management systems, incident management software not only helps with reporting and investigating incidents. It also helps with analysis too.

For example, incident management software can track where incidents are occurring and notify senior management, prompting them to take action.

If a spate of incidents occurs in a particular location, specific safety precautions and procedures can be put in place to help manage the risk.

As we discussed, IT/DevOps software can automatically generate a report of the problem and create a workflow. This helps ensure that the error is responded to in the proper sequence. It also curbs the effects of major IT incidents by bringing the right information to the right people instantly, for faster response times.

4. Responding to incidents

Incident management software used to report and log physical incidents will lead to faster response times. It can bring critical information to the right people to ensure that problems are dealt with promptly. The software can provide immediate notifications to all affected staff and senior management.

IT/DevOps software also offers similar benefits as we’ve discussed.

Why is Incident Management Software important?

Incident management software has a number of benefits including;

  • Automated incident reporting
    When it comes to incident management processes, streamlining the process of reporting incidents is one of the key concepts for maximum success.
  • Instant notifications
    Notifying relevant persons with inbuilt workflows for incident management and investigation.
  • Quick reporting
    Notifying senior management, investigation, corrective actions – all in one centralized database.
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance
    In Australia, certain incidents (such as those that result in significant harm) must be reported to the relevant statutory authority. Incident management software can help automate this process and ensure regulatory compliance. This limits a company’s exposure to potentially expensive compliance offenses that may result in large fines or other punishments.
  • Reduced risk.
    Lowers the risk of excessive costs to the business (from fines).

What to look for when choosing incident management software

When choosing incident management software for your organization, there are certain key features and functions that you’ll want to look for.

Broadly speaking, these can be grouped into two main categories:

  • General incident management software functions
  • IT/DevOps-specific features and functions

The category you’ll want to pay the most attention to will depend on your organization’s field and the reasons why you’re looking to implement the incident management software.

General incident management software functions

Regardless of whether you want to log physical incidents or IT-related issues, you’ll want to look for the following features and functionality

1. Safety, Environment, and Quality functions
The first thing to look for when choosing incident management software is that it offers a broad range of functions.

At a bare minimum, the incident management software should be able to:

  • Monitor and alert staff about incidents and critical errors
  • Integrate with team collaboration tools to notify responsible parties

These functions ensure that your organization remains aware of all incidents and you’re your staff are updated in real-time as to progress about how these issues are being dealt with.

However, leading incident management software offers safety, environment and quality function tools, all in one convenient package. This lets you manage any incidents that occur in those three areas through a single incident management software platform. This helps you streamline your incident management processes.

2. Customizable dashboard and reporting options
When choosing incident management software it’s important to look closely at the dashboard and reporting features. Incident management software with self-configurable dashboards and reporting options will give your staff a broad range of ways to configure their dashboards to suit their own particular tastes.

Why’s this important?

If your staff are able to set up their dashboards just how they like them, they’ll be faster and more accurate when they use the incident management software. This should help boost your incident reporting rates and the accuracy of the reports that your staff members generate.

3. Comprehensive notification suite
The notification suite that comes with the incident management software should be comprehensive and customizable. After all, you will be relying on notifications for a wide range of activities such as;

  • Reminding staff to file incident reports
  • Monitoring and alerting staff about incidents
  • Prompting staff to take followup action, following an incident workflow
  • Notifying the relevant statutory authorities whenever a significant harm incident occurs
  • Notifying senior management to conduct investigations and take corrective actions

When choosing an incident management software, you want to ensure that its notification suite can be customized to suit the particular needs of your organization.

Ideally, you’ll want an incident management software that can offer workflow, SMS and email notifications. This will help streamline your organization and ensure the smooth running of your incident management procedures.

4. Analysis, allocation, and tracking
Leading incident management software can conduct root cause analysis whenever an incident occurs to help you identify whether a pattern is occurring. If it is, the software can alert key members of your organization so that they can take preventative, proactive measures.

You’ll also want to look for incident management software that can perform action allocation and tracking. This helps your staff stay informed about the practices and procedures that they need to follow throughout the workflow.

With the incident management software sending automated notifications to remind staff of their duties and responsibilities, you can be assured that incident management software investigations will proceed smoothly.

5. Ease of use
Whichever type of incident management software you choose, there’s no substitute for hands-on testing. Request a demo of the incident management software and see whether it’s easy to use

Ask your staff the following questions:

  • Is it accessible from a range of devices? (tablets, smartphones, computers)
  • Are the devices in your organization compatible with the software?
  • Is the software platform flexible and easily customizable?
  • Does it complement your business processes and procedures?
  • Can the platform be easily used and quickly understood?
  • Can you collate all your important data and documentation into one simple interface?
  • Is the data easily sortable??

Evaluating these areas will take practical hands-on use by your staff. This will take time but will ensure that you pick incident management software that can meet the needs of your staff and your organization.

IT/DevOps-specific features and functions

If you’re choosing an IT-specific incident management software for IT and/or DevOps, you’ll want to consider the above factors. But you’ll also want to consider the following specific areas, too.

  1. Can you create a standardized workflow for IT incident management?
    Just as Safety, Environment, and Quality function-related incident management software should be able to create a standardized workflow to help staff address and tackle incidents as they occur, so too should IT-related incident management software be able to create workflows. This will help you respond to incidents faster, or set up an automated response that is triggered as soon as the incident is detected.
  2. Can the software respond to, report, and investigate IT errors?
    One additional feature that IT-specific incident management software should be able to manage is automatically investigating IT errors.

Taking your next steps

This compact guide has explained everything you need to know about choosing the right incident management software. You know that spreadsheets, paper systems, and carrier pigeons don’t work, so electing the right incident management software that can help your organization achieve its goals for a safe and secure workplace should be your next step.

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 lets 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.

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 process this data and create graphs or reports which 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 and quickly pullup 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:

Tip 1. Look at Build versus Buy
Tip 2. Look for evidence of customer success
Tip 3. Look at mobile capabilities
Tip 4. Consider data protection
Tip 5. Choose transparent pricing
Tip 6. Look for ongoing support
Tip 7. Investigate integration
Tip 8. Check for GDPR compliance
Tip 9. Look at the onboarding journey
Tip 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 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.

 

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 greatly simplify your employees’ work and enables 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 are choosing to migrate your OHS software to a new provider or are implementing a 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 onboarding 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 ‘onboarding 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 onboarding 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 onboarding journey with their software. They should outline the following areas:

  • What support you and your staff will get in terms of getting the most out of your OHS software
  • What staff 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 onboarding 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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OHS Management System: Examples and Key Elements

OHS Management System: Examples and Key Elements

Are you considering whether your organization needs an occupational health and safety (OHS) management system? If so, you’ll likely know that there are many different options available to you. In this article, we’ll look at what OHS management systems are, and offer examples and key elements of various systems to help you understand more about your options.

In this article, we’ll be discussing things like:

  1. What is an OHS management system?
  2. Examples of OHS management systems
  3. Examples of OHS management systems for small businesses
  4. Examples of OHS management systems for medium and large businesses
  5. Key elements of OHS management systems
  6. Key elements of software OHS management system.

1. What is an OHS management system?

OHS is an acronym for Occupational Health and Safety. An OHS management system is part of an organization’s management system and covers the following areas:

  • The occupational health and safety organization in a company
  • The health and safety policy in a company
  • The planning process for accident and illness prevention
  • The line management responsibilities for health and safety procedures
  • The practices, resources, and procedures for developing and implementing the occupational health and safety policy
  • The ongoing practices for maintaining and reviewing the health and safety policy

The system should cover an organization’s occupational health and safety organization in its entirety. This includes everything from planning OHS-related tasks, to developing strategies and procedures, as well as analyzing data and keeping abreast of any changes and updates.

2. Examples of OHS management systems

OHS management systems come in all shapes and sizes and can take a variety of formats. The most common options include:

Paper-based OHS management systems

Traditional OHS management systems use handwritten or printed documents that are filed and stored. Some documents may be typed on MS Word or Excel and then printed for safekeeping. For example many small businesses create a written document called a Safety Statement. This specifies how the business will manage OHS issues and stipulates the risk assessments and control measures needed to minimize risk in the workplace.

Electronic OHS management systems

Electronic OHS management systems can be developed in-house or purchased from third-parties. They are used to store and manage files electronically and provide a user interface for staff members to find, navigate and manage the files. Many smaller organizations purchase software from a third-party while larger businesses develop their own software in-house to better develop, store and manage their OHS system.

Cloud-based OHS management system

Cloud-based OHS management systems are provided by a third party and involve storing OHS-related documents on off-site servers belonging to the provider.

Hybrid OHS management system

Many organizations use a combination of one or more of the above approaches and incorporate paper-based, online, offline, and cloud-based solutions to satisfy their OHS management needs.

3. Examples of OHS management systems for small businesses

Small businesses make up the majority of businesses in Australia and many of the challenges they face are also faced by medium and large organisations. Primarily, they are legally required to provide a safe and healthy working environment for their staff and are compelled to comply with health and safety legislation.

The majority of low-risk small businesses draw up a Safety Statement. This written document specifies how OHS will be managed by the business. It also outlines the risk assessments and control measures needed to minimize risk in the workplace.

Some small businesses, especially those in high-risk sectors, may benefit from having access to more resources that traditional safety statements provide. They may find value in buying a cloud-based OHS management system.

4. Examples of OHS management systems for medium and large businesses

Medium and large businesses have many challenges in common with small businesses in that they must provide a safe and healthy working environment for their staff and are compelled to comply with all health and safety legislation. However, they also face specific challenges, such as being spread across several sites nationwide or even internationally.

Medium-sized businesses must have a Safety Statement that outlines how OHS requirements will be managed and show how the company will comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

Large business must also have Safety Statement but face a greater financial cost of non-compliance. Dedicated OHS management software, whether developed in-house or brought in, can help streamline safety processes throughout a large organization. It can help develop consistent rules across multiple sites and ensure that processes are uniform across different locations. Most OHS management systems can help facilitate better communication between departments in large businesses.

5. Key elements of OHS management systems

Regardless of type, all OHS management systems have the following key elements:

  • Policy and commitment
  • Planning
  • Implementation and operation
  • Measuring performance
  • Auditing and reviewing performance

We’ll discuss each of these five areas in greater detail.

Policy and commitment

First and foremost, OHS management systems must help organizations prepare an occupational safety and health policy program that is fit for purpose. This program must set a clear direction for the organization to follow and must demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement. It must also meet the expectations of all stakeholders, whether they are shareholders, employees, customers or society.

Planning

The second element of an OHS management system is that it helps an organization create a plan that sets out how it will fulfill its health and safety policy. This includes any arrangements and management structures required for an organization to meet its health and safety objectives and targets.

Implementation and operation

Thirdly, OHS management software should outline how an organization plans to implement its health and safety policy and meet its objectives and targets. This includes how it will motivate employees to work safely, avoid accidents and protect their long term health. In terms of operation, the OHS management system should help an organization in the following areas:

  • How to involve staff to participate in the OHS process, via safety committees and safety representation system.
  • How staff members are empowered to make responsible and informed contributions to the health and safety program.

How assessment methods are used to eliminate risks, through the selection and design of equipment, facilities, and processes. If risks cannot be eliminated, there should be ways of minimizing risk through safe systems and physical controls.

Measuring performance

Fourthly, the OHS management system should outline how the organisation plans to measure, monitor and evaluate safety and health performance. It will state the standards against which performance will be measured and state whether active self-monitors or reactive monitoring will be used to guard against or respond to accidents, ill health, and incidents.

Auditing and reviewing performance

The fifth element of OHS management systems is to state how an organization plans to review and improve its health and safety management system. This covers legal responsibilities, reference to key performance indicators, external comparison with the performance of business competitors and best practice in the organisation’s employment sector. This helps companies report on how well they have performed on worker safety and health in their annual reports and how they have fulfilled their responsibilities with regard to preparing and implementing their Safety Statements.

6. Key elements of software OHS management systems

Software OHS management systems have the same basic elements as paper-based systems. However, they also have a number of unique elements that are not found in paper-based OHS management systems. These elements are:

  • Mobile Capabilities
  • Cloud-based
  • Connected Processes
  • User-friendly

We will outline each of these elements below and show how they relate to software OHS management systems.

Mobile Capabilities

Most software OHS management systems offer a range of mobile capabilities. They allow employees and/or contractors to access and edit safety documents and procedures via mobile devices. This works using a special app, developed especially for OHS management system.

Using the app, staff can make observations and report hazard no matter their location. This helps to engage your workforce with health and safety rules and procedures, and helps you meet your OHS goals.

Easy-to-use mobile capabilities such as apps can help employees feel part of the safety process. Mobile apps can make it easier for everyone to participate in the process and feel part of the team. This also eliminates tedious paper-based reporting and helps improve efficiency by reducing the time it takes for staff to comply with OHS procedures.

Cloud-based

Many OHS management systems are cloud-based and make it easier for organizations to manage and meet their OHS goals. Cloud-based systems make it far simpler for businesses of all sizes to share actions, tasks and compliance data throughout an entire organization. As everything is run online, employees can quickly access data on any internet-enabled device, no matter where they are. This helps managers create and assign duties, share reports and updates, from any location.

Cloud-based OHS management systems will let senior management see whether activities and duties are being completed. This helps improve regulatory compliance and improve the efficiency of data collection and reporting by putting all OHS data in a single, centralized location. Any incident logs can be quickly accessed, tracked, managed and analyzed to help avoid them in the future.

Connected processes

Most software OHS management systems adopt a ‘connected processes’ approach that makes health and safety management far simpler. A connected OHS management system is one where all the processes are integrated and a change to one process is automatically saved and made available to everyone using the system. This can make your work life far simpler by greatly simplifying the OHS management processes.

For example, a connected OHS management system can offer the following tasks:

  • Automatically log incident reports
  • Use data to generate reports
  • Conduct analysis of OHS incidents and reports
  • Make suggestions about future tasks and improvements

User-friendly

The fourth key element of software OHS management systems is that they are far more user-friendly than paper-based systems. The software interface is fully customizable and offers functionality that far surpasses what can be accomplished with paper-based approaches. For example, the software interface is clear, simple and intuitive and lets employees accomplish the following tasks:

  • Report incidents, injuries, hazards, and risks.
  • Conduct risk assessments
  • Manage accidents
  • Receive automated reminders.
  • Work within simple ‘open’ workflows
  • Generate dashboard reports

As you can see, software OHS management systems offer a range of unique benefits that aren’t available to paper-based systems. The software helps employees understand the cause of accidents and gives them the tools to reduce the chances of a repeat accident. The software also helps organizations understand associated costs and confidently management risks.

Benefits of software OHS management systems

Software OHS management systems have many unbeatable advantages of traditional paper-based OHS systems. These include:

  • Improving incident reporting rates
  • Reducing risks and incidents
  • Improve employee efficiency by reducing the time taken to complete paperwork
  • Enhance a company’s compliance with OHS legislation
  • Protect a company’s reputation by reducing risk.
  • Identify and develop cost-effective strategies, thus minimizing lost time.
  • Improve competitiveness by reducing time spent on staffing costs.
  • Develop communication, especially with large organisations spread across several locations

Overall, software OHS management systems let businesses manage their OHS strategies across their entire organization, helping to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries while protecting themselves against non-compliance legislation.

Conclusion

With a wide variety of OHS management systems available, there’s never been a better time to consider whether your organization in on the right track. Our outline of the types and examples of OHS management systems show that many businesses would benefit from reviewing their OHS provisions on a regular basis.

If you’re still taking unnecessary risks with the safety of your staff and your reputation as an employer, don’t. Contact Beakon today and find out how our OHS management system can help protect your business. Our unique software will help your organisation achieve its goals for a safe and secure workplace.

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ultimate Guide to choose the right OHS management software

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right OHS Management Software

What is this guide about?

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) software has become a vital part of the IT package for many businesses. But what exactly is it and how can you choose the best OHS management software for your organisation? To answer these questions, we have created our Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right OHS Management Software.

This guide covers a wide range of topics, including how to how to switch from paper to software, how to use software to improve employee safety, and how to choose the right OHS solution for your business. Whether you are planning to pursue a health and safety accreditation for your business or are simply tired sifting through piles of paper, our guide will provide you with everything you need to know about choosing the right OHS management software.

Contents

1. What is OHS Management Software?
2. Why is OHS Management Software important?
3. Paper to software: Why should you change?
4. Build vs Buy: Which is right for your organization?
5. How to choose the right OHS management software
6. Taking your next steps

1. What is OHS Management Software?

OHS Management Software is the backbone of a company’s safety management system. It offers a systemic approach to managing health and safety and helps ensure that a business complies will all current Health and Safety legislation. The software should be able to cover the complete spectrum of an organization’s OHS process.

Some of the key elements covered by leading OHS Management Software include:

  • Health and safety workplace policy
  • The process for accident and ill-health prevention
  • Procedures and resources for developing the OHS policy

2. Why is OHS Management Software important?

Organizations without OHS Management Software may lack a structured system for health and safety and can feel as though they are fighting an uphill battle against ever-changing rules and regulations. OHS management software helps a business minimize risk to their employees and reduce the likelihood of an incident. This protects the business and its reputation, by helping to ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly.

But preventing accidents and reducing risk is only one small part of what OHS management software can do. OHS management software also promotes business efficiency by enabling long-term health and safety planning, including training requirements and resource needs. This lowers costs and helps keep businesses aware of the latest legislation.

OHS management software can also help organisations communicate health and safety requirements to all of their employees. This helps the business avoid expensive fines that can result from failing to comply with health and safety laws. Recently, businesses in tenders have been required to have a certified OHS management system in place, making them essential for general business.

3. Paper to software: Why should you change?

Many businesses are starting to adopt OHS management software to modernize and streamline their health and safety processes. If you are still managing your health and safety management processes with paper, here are five reasons to consider making the change to OHS management software.

Better compliance

Many health and safety duties are time-sensitive and it may cause problems if employees forget to check written tasks or reports. Unlike paper-based systems, OHS management software can give automated prompts and reminders to employees. It can also keep your organization updated on the latest legislative changes, and ensure complete regulatory compliance.

Less clutter

Paper-based OHS management systems may not be viable for many medium and large businesses. They take up valuable office space and documents are difficult to sort through. This hampers an organization’s efforts to increase levels of efficiency. Online or cloud-based OHS management systems let you store limitless files without the need for physical filing cabinets. This can be especially useful for smaller businesses with premises where space is at a premium.

Improved collaboration

Digital documentation makes it easier to identify the origin of a document and track any changes made. Files are easier to sort and manage compared with paper documents that can be lost or misplaced. This makes collaboration easier and reduces the time spent looking for specific files or documents.

Improved security

Software systems reduce the chances of documents being lost or destroyed. They also make it easier to have inspections, and for staff to have offsite meetings, work remotely or work from home, without any risk of documents being lost.

Lower costs

OHS management software lets you restrict access to certain documents, or make them available at will, as you see fit. While data loss is still possible, making a back-up on hard drives is simpler and cheaper than backing up paper documents. While there are initial costs of implementing an OHS management software system, organizations will likely see a return on their investment in terms of reduced storage costs.

4. Build vs Buy: Which is right for your organization?

You’ve decided that your organization needs OHS management software but with many different options available, which should you choose?

Your main options are:

  • Build a software solution yourself (in-house)
  • Bring one in (buy software or use a cloud-based solution)
  • Adopt a hybrid approach

To understand which approach could suit your organization, it’s important to understand the differences between managing your own software in-house and buying software or using a cloud-based OHS management system. In this guide, we’ll be exploring the advantages and disadvantages of each option and then offering some tips for choosing the right OHS solution for your business.

Cloud-based OHS management systems

Cloud-based OHS management systems offer a number of benefits and disadvantages compared with in-house software solutions.

Advantages

Cloud-based OHS management systems can help:

  • Minimize capital expenditure
    Cloud OHS management systems allow access to recourses without large capital expenditures. They are great for startups where cash flow is tight. The pricing model is ‘pay for what you use’.
  • Disaster recovery
    Cloud-based backups minimize the risk that sensitive health and safety data is lost.
  • Immediate capacity
    If you need to sudden increase or decrease the amount of data you store, cloud-based options excel at providing flexibility and are highly scalable.

Disadvantages

Cloud-based OHS management software isn’t always superior to building in-house OHS solutions. Examples of drawbacks include:

  • Skyrocketing fees
    Startups and small organizations may be tempted to sign up for cloud-based OHS management software services and then find that the fees skyrocket as their usage increases.
  • Poor performance
    With data stored in the cloud, the speed of the service is dependent on internet connection speeds and the location of the servers where the data is stored.
  • Cybersecurity issues
    Cloud-based OHSB management solutions may expose organizations to cybersecurity issues that in-house IT software wouldn’t.

In-house OHS management software

Developing your own OHS management software has a range of advantages and disadvantages compared with using a cloud-based solution.

Advantages

Developing OHS management software in-house typically offers the following benefits:

  • Higher security
    In-house software can help shield a company from the risk of cybersecurity threats that using a cloud-based service may expose them to. In some cases, cyber-security attacks may lead to a breach of data. In-house software carries a lower risk as most variables are within the company’s control.
  • Improved performance and reliability
    If properly set up, in-house software can offer better performance and reliability that public or shared cloud-based solutions. This is because many cloud service providers operate their service via dispersed locations, creating latency issues that users are often forced to pay exorbitant fees to avoid. Organizations that own their own infrastructure and develop their own OHS management software have complete control over their OHS management: they can implement new features, make fixes, or initiate changes without being reliant on a cloud provider.
  • Lower costs
    While in-house software has a high initial development cost that cloud-based OHS management software, it may prove to be more cost-effective over time, if managed correctly. It depends on the monthly cost. For some large organizations, the monthly cost of using a cloud-based solution (say AU$30,000) may exceed the cost of developing software in house. On the other hand, some companies, especially startups, with limited data requirements will find that cloud-storage offers the best value.

Disadvantages

Developing OHS management software in-house may have the following drawbacks:

  • High set-up costs
    Developing in-house OHS management software requires a significant up-front investment, compared with using cloud-based software.
  • Lack of scalability
    While cloud services operate on a ‘pay-what-you-use’ model and are easy to scale, in-house management software will require further investment if your data requirements increase.

5. How to choose the right OHS management software

You’ll likely hear many differing opinions as to whether it’s better to build a software solution yourself or bring one in. Ultimately, your choice will be guided by the following five essential considerations.

These are:

  • Connected processes
  • GDPR procedures
  • Mobile capabilities
  • Transparency
  • Engaging your workforce

We’ll look at each of these areas to help you weigh up which approach would best suit your organization. You’ll want to use these considerations to decide which OHS management software would work for you.

Connected processes

If you’re interested in making your work life a lot easier, you may be interested in buying OHS management software that uses a ‘connected processes’ model. This model helps ensure that all staff can track changes made to any of your health and safety documents. You can see the origin of documents and view any changes or updates made and the date they were made. This connected system makes safety management far simpler and helps keep all staff up to date on the latest changes. OHS management software built around a connected system ensures that your company is always in compliance with the latest OHS legislation.

GDPR procedures

If your organization operates in any markets where the EU’s GDPR must be implemented, you’ll likely already know how important this is for health and safety. Your HR department and IT experts have probably already been sent on courses so that they know how to comply with GDPR. If this is a consideration for your business, bringing in OHS management software can help ensure that you comply with GDPR rules at all times.

Mobile capabilities

If you want your staff to have access to your OHS documents in an easy-to-use way, buying OHS management software can help. The latest software packages offer specialised apps that offer your staff a secure way to view and manage documents on the go, whether they are meeting remotely, working from home or having an off-site meeting. If mobile capabilities are important for your business, bringing in OHS management software may be more economical than trying to develop your own mobile app in-house.

Transparency

When choosing the right OHS management software for your business, you need to be aware of transparency. If you are keen to buy software, look carefully at the pricing model used by the company and check for hidden costs. For example, some cloud-based models may charge you based on the number of admins you have, dramatically increasing your monthly costs. You’ll want to carefully examine pricing when weighing up whether to develop your own software in-house or bring one in. Investing in OHS management software solution can be nerve-racking, so you must have complete clarity on the costs before you start transforming your health and safety management system with a software or cloud-based solution.Transparency of your data is another consideration. Many businesses worry about control and access to their data, making is a significant factor in choosing to implement OSH management software. If bringing in software, look at the safeguards in place to ensure that your data remains secure and protected at all times. If data security is a high priority, it may make sense to develop your own OHS management software in-house.

Engaging your workforce

If you want to make health and safety a priority in your organization, it is vital that your employees feel engaged. They must find it as easy as possible to report incidents or hazards and management must feel comfortable conducting regular safety checks and tasks. One reason to bring in an OHS management software solution is that it helps foster a positive safety culture within your business.With a comprehensive software solution, employees feel like participants in safety procedures, not passive observers. They feel empowered to make a difference but highlighting unsafe aspects of your business and helping you to improve. How? Some software solutions offer a mobile app that lets users submit incident reports and observations. This eliminates paper-based reporting and helps boost engagement among employees who feel more comfortable using a social-media style app.

6. Taking your next steps

These five important considerations should help you find the best OHS management software solution for your organization. Making radical changes to your health and safety system can be daunting, but with the right approach, you can confidently choose the right solution.

Learning Management Systems in Australia: 5 Things To Look Out For 

Worldwide, millions of dollars are being spent on training by businesses yearly.  Australia is not left of this global trend as it is common knowledge to employees that staffs work better when given the needed training. A learning management system is an excellent tool for achieving this feat.

Learning Management Software: What It Means

A learning management system is software configured to make learning as flexible and comfortable as possible. To this end, getting the best out of Aussie employees requires that you make use of this tool which possesses some key features. Some of these features are as follows.

Acquiring LMS: Important Factors to Look Out For In Australia

1. Mobility

Your staffs have their mobile devices with them most of the time. This bond is an excellent opportunity for you to explore given the fact that it allows them to train at their own convenient time.

Learn management tools based on a mobile device has an additional benefit in Australia. This is a significant advantage for remote workers because it connects them to their employees, allowing them to receive training and get better at their job regardless of their location.

 2. Micro-learning

Eating is enjoyed better when done in small bits. In the same manner, learning is not only appreciated but also more effective when materials are broken down to smaller modules.  Aussies are fast learners, but they are not robots.

They deserve an enjoyable form of learning. Adopting a learning management system that encourages micro learning gives users a better pace of understanding and ultimately saves time because they won’t have to do much of repeated knowledge.

3. Distributed Practice

Spaced repetition should be adopted in a modern-day Aussie LMS. Software content should be repeated and summarized until the user has mastered it enough. This should be in bits as the inclusion of the concept of micro-learning makes distributed practice more effective.

This is even more effective as the configuration of the learning management system makes use of dedicated features to ensure only content that users are likely to struggle with is given more attention.

4. Interactive Interface

This is another critical factor to look out for in choosing the right learning management software for your business in Australia. A good number of LMS in the country are very passive in terms of user-software interaction.

This has done a great deal of damage to the engagement level as it has been discovered that users rarely complete the learning process because of boredom. When choosing a learning management system, make sure to go for the most engaging one available. This gives users a better chance of course completion.

5. Swift Update

A third party company makes almost all learning management systems in Australia. It’s been noticed that once the transaction between the developer-company and organization which uses them is done, mechanisms are not put in place for an update.

Integrating your authoring tool with the learning management system and creating lessons with the use of templates makes an easy update possible. And updates can be received immediately by anyone on your team regardless of their location in the country.

 Train More Effectively with the Right LMS Today

Companies interested in training their staffs face a broad variety of challenges. Getting the right learning management system software means you need to contact the right learning management system developing company to see how they can solve your problem uniquely.

At Beakon, we recognize this challenge, and we have taken up the responsibility to offer unique solutions to better learning with the use of our software. Get started today with a FREE trial.

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Learning Management Systems Software: Top Benefits You Should Know

Learning Management Systems Software: Top Benefits You Should Know

How do you like your learning environment? Would you rather be seated in a classroom, a park, a library, or in the comfort of your room? Studies show that this subject is an issue of “different strokes for different folks”. The best way to capture people with diverse study preferences is through the use of a learning management system software.

Being a web-based application; learning management system software is designed to help companies render contents to targeted learners. These may include staffs, clients, and prospective business partners. It is an effective platform for first-hand engagement and measurement of participation of the target audience.

While it has been affirmed from experience that there are many benefits of using a learning management system software, let us examine its top benefits.

1. It Offers Conventional Learning

Integrated learning is one big advantage of using learning management system software. Imagine a platform where you can offer training, performance, and development content all at once to your target audience. This is what learning management system software provides you.

This means multiple users can have access to information in a diverse form. Isn’t that amazing?

2. Feature Accountability is Possible

Like the popular saying “an identified problem is half solved” when you have tracking and reporting tools that let you access the level of growth of your software users, it serves as a pointer to areas where improvement can be made.

Also, the effectiveness of webinars and other forms of web-based training organized by the management can be analyzed and decisive actions can be taken in the direction of organizational growth.

3. User Evaluation is Possible

Reaching your target audience can pose a great headache. Doing it the conventional way can be stressful. Learning management system software eases the stress of this process with its evaluation capabilities.

For example, employers can evaluate the retention level of employees by assigning tasks to them and assessing their records. Users can also review their personal performance based on the results of such assessments.

4. The Upgrade is Done Easily

Time and again, change or addition to needs of an organization may bring about to the need for an upgrade to the content of your learning platform.

A centralized location of information makes it easy to perform an upgrade on the content of your learning management system software. You need not worry about how new content will be added to your learning platform when the need arises because it is easily upgraded.

5. Learning Process is Simplified

Another advantage of using a learning management system software is its awesome level of simplicity. The learning process is so simplified that even new users experience little or no difficulty in figuring out its functions.

The simplicity of learning management software is not only restricted to its usage but also in terms of affordability. Standard learning management system software is always a good buy considering the value it offers.

6. It Can Be Used On The Go

The top benefits of a learning management system software won’t be complete without discussing its mobility. Top modern Learning Management Systems have a cloud-based storage system and work beautifully on tablets and mobile devices.

This provides users at both end access anywhere and anytime provided that there is internet access thereby delivering unparalleled convenience for users.

Get Started Today

Considering these fantastic benefits, You can never go wrong by taking advantage of a learning management system software in promoting the interest of your organization. This is just what beacon offers you; learning management system software which is designed to fit uniquely into your company’s aims and objectives. Contact us today and see how we can help your organizational growth with the use of this excellent tool. You can start with a free trial.

 

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6 Ways an Online Learning Management System can Reduce Your Business Costs 

The business climate which we find ourselves today requires that you incur expenses to ensure your business experiences a healthy growth. While it is good to channel a reasonable part of your resources to the growth of your business, there comes a challenge. How do you spend less and at the same time, maintain a healthy growth of your business?

While purchase comes with a cost, The use of Online learning management system can help you reduce expenses. Here are some ways in which the use of this tool saves your resources in the long run.

1. Your Business gets Better Scalability

Handling increased market demands is not a meager task. Sometimes, events take a surprising turn, and it’s pretty tricky to predict what business will look like precisely in a few years. An online learning management system can help you reduce the cost of adapting to new trends in your business line.

Your training is not restricted to any size as you can choose to train any desired number of people. Also, money spent on acquiring materials can be channeled to other meaningful and productive areas. Experience shows that companies that have adopted an online learning management system have been able to reduce training cost by half or even beyond that in some cases.

2. Training Modification is Possible at Anytime

Taking a look at how business was done in the years past, there has been a revolutionary change. This is due to a change in tools and trends and a host of other factors. This old tools and method won’t get people’s attention in this present age.

The rate of change in trends is even faster these days, hence, a need for easily modifiable training materials. Overhauling old training materials can take lots of resources. An online learning management system makes this easy as it has been structured to be easily updated without having to do a total overhaul.

3. More Efficiency-Per-Expenses is Derived

Gathering your staffs together for training during working hours could slow down activities and get you behind in the schedule of events. There are high chances of your employees finding the training boring as a result of fatigue.

These factors are very likely to reduce efficiency by a significant margin. However, with an online learning management system, learners are allowed to learn at their pace, thereby increasing their effectiveness, and in essence, value is realized from every penny spent on training.

4. Saves You More Time for Productivity

Being able to learn anytime and anywhere saves both employers and employee a great deal of time. It gives all parties a high level of flexibility, which means they can arrange their affairs in a manner that drives optimum productivity.

5. Reduces Staff Loss

Employee retention is the key to business stability. Your best hands are likely to leave if they feel your organization doesn’t support their development. You don’t want to experience the headache and current training expenses that come with replacing vital members of your team.

Every dime you spent in obtaining an online learning management system is worth. It gives your staffs the impression that their development is essential to you, and that makes them happy to be in your organization.

 6. Provides a Cloud-Based Library for all Your Content

Choosing an online learning management system has additional benefits asides being a basin for necessary training materials. The top online learning management system provides tools capable of integrating its content with related contents online.

This gives learners access to more resources and encourages them to be innovative. The result is often a fruitful return on expenses made.

Get Started Today

In the long run, getting the right online learning management system software can save you a fortune by helping you reduce business costs.

This is exactly what we offer here at Beakon. Get started today with a free trial to see how our learning management system can help YOUR company reduce business costs.

 

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Benefits and Challenges of Implementing a Safety Management System in Australia 

The average safety manager wants a safe workspace. But only a few are brave enough to act towards getting one. Why? Mostly because a lot of them don’t know how to implement a safety management system.

Adopting Safety management system has been on the rise over the years. Australia is not left out in this trend and it has had a fair share of its dividends. Nonetheless, it has also generated new tasks let’s consider some of these benefits and challenges.

BENEFITS

1. Improved Hazard Control of Aussie Firms

Over the years, Safety management systems have changed the way managements addressed work safety in Australia. It has given a boost to the previously designed safety programs majorly as a result of automation feature incorporated into it.

 2. Promotion of Safety Values among Australian Workers, Visitorsand the Management

Safety management systems in Australia have not only done a good job in terms of hazard protection alone, but also in terms of safety awareness. The rate at which work safety is being talked about has increased in recent years.

This has contributed positively to safety at work as the average Aussie worker knows how the safety management system of his firm operates and he knows what options are open to him and how to use them when in danger.

3. Improved record keeping for development of a safer workspace for Aussies

Keeping records of safety reports by Aussies has been a stressful one in years past. It is even more heartbreaking when it yields little or no meaningful result because it is quite hard to make sense of a huge pile of paper documents.

However, the era of a safety management system brought about a revolution in that aspect. Safety issues are now being tracked more formally and there has been a huge boost to record keeping. This has translated to an increased database which is way easier to analyze and inferences are taken for implementation of a safer environment.

CHALLENGES

1. Data Collection and Has Become a Major Concern

The management of most Aussie firms has identified the need to encourage channels of data acquisition of safety issues. They do this by creating safety management systems that make reporting of work hazards easy. However, It has been noticed that some still find it a challenge to adapting to these systems and are still stuck with the old archaic procedures.

2. Protection of Sensitive Information 

A change in the mode of acquisition of safety-related data has also demanded a change in its protection mechanism. Paper documents could be locked up in safety drawers or better still, be kept in banks if it contains information that is sensitive enough to pull down the firm.

On the other hand, a cloud saving configuration of most modern day safety management systems makes it open to hackers. This calls for new protection measures on the part of Aussie safety managers.

Adopt a Safety Management System Today

Installing a safety management system gives your firm access to safety on a new level. This is just what beakon offers you; a safer working environment for you and your staffs. Contact us today and see how we can help make your workspace safer. You can start with a free trial.

 

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