Work Health and Safety Management Software: The Comprehensive Guide

Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management Software has become an integral component of many Australian businesses’ HSE management processes. Organizations that are not currently using WHS software are either considering it or actively looking for WHS software solutions that can assist them in making their workplace safer.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about WHS management software. Here, you’ll learn what WHS management software is, how it works, and how to choose the best solution for your business no matter its size, industry or organizational structure.

What is Work Health and Safety Management Software?

Work Health and Safety (WHS) management software is any type of program that is designed to improve WHS processes within a business, organisation, or working environment.

The most common processes are:

  • Pre-qualification
  • Contractor management
  • Job safety assessments
  • Training and inductions
  • Hazard management
  • Incident reporting

Most types of WHS management software are applications designed to supplement paper-based systems. These systems rely on manual inputs from staff members and managers, such as paper-based incident report forms. The WHS software is then used to help compile, store and manage this data.

However, top of the line WHS management software programs offer much more comprehensive functionality. This includes providing active assistance to HSE managers, such as autonomously generating safety reports and tracking employee training. This helps to ensure greater workplace safety and regulatory compliance.

To learn more about the key elements that make up Work Health and Safety Management Software, be sure to check out our guide to the 10 key elements of WHS management software.

Types of WHS software explained

The primary aim of WHS software is to help businesses and organizations abide by industry regulations and implement proper WHS procedures. There are various platforms that can provide organizations with an ‘all-in-one’ solution, and also a few types of WHS programs that have particular uses.

These include:

Program management

WHS software that offers program management helps businesses with a range of functions such as real-time tracking of EHS metrics, carrying out internal audits and efficiently generating reports. This software helps minimize the risks of human errors and accelerate activities that are typically time-consuming or labour-intensive.

Compliance management

By far the most common form WHS management software is compliance management. Compliance management systems deal with Australian workplace health and safety laws. This software can let you know about the various changes to compliance standards, gather information, and streamline log reports, besides other functions.

Waste management

If your organization is especially concerned about waste disposal and management, a waste management platform can help. Such a system generally uses a centralized platform for supervising the management, shifting and disposing of waste. This type of software can help ensure that your business is dealing with waste in an environmentally friendly way.

Chemical inventory management

If your business activities including handling and storing chemicals, even the smallest mix-up can have expensive and sometimes lethal consequences. You can use chemical inventory management software to monitor the use and storage of toxic chemicals, satisfy the obligations and prevent the violation of the necessary safety rules.

What are the top benefits of WHS software?

Now that we’ve looked at the types of WHS management software on offer, it’s time to look at the top benefits of using WHS software. Some of the top benefits of Work Health and Safety management software include:

Consistency

The key advantage of using WHS software is that it helps you gather, access, store and manage data more consistently. Work Health and Safety management software can make data collection more accurate and can help staff members with repetitive tasks related to data collection and management. WHS software helps staff review information from previous experiences and access data that may provide insights into similar situations in the future.

Compliance

The second key benefit of WHS software is that it helps ensure that your business complies with all relevant Australian workplace health and safety laws. This helps you keep your staff regularly updated with the latest development. WHS software can help staff members stay informed about the latest regulations so that your business operates legally at all times.

WHS software automatically addresses all current Australian legislative requirements and standards, including:

Efficiency

The third key benefit of WHS management software it that it boosts your company’s efficiency in dealing with your health and safety obligations. WHS software can help you streamline your safety reports and store of all the necessary information about your business on one single, easily accessible dashboard.

Employee confidence

WHS management software is great for boosting employee confidence. Your contractors and staff need to know that your organization regards their health and well-being as a vital aspect of its everyday operations. Once workers realize that your business regards Work Health and Safety as a top priority, staff morale will inevitably get a boost.

Remote usage

One of the key benefits of Work Health and Safety Management software is that mobile applications help you stay abreast of your WHS data, even when you are away from the office. Whether you need to file an incident report from the bush or report a hazard from the bottom of a mine-shaft, WHS management software can help!

Data streamlining

WHS management software helps you streamline your data. Whether you need to store information about a specific incident or complete a specific form about a hazard, WHS management software helps your staff members address their specific needs while complying with the latest regulations and standards.

Saving money

When you stay on the right side of the law, keep updated about the latest regulations that are in place, and offer a reliable and consistent information database – if the same is needed in case of any incident – you can significantly reduce the risks of legal consequences or penalties for your business.

Higher level of customer trust

Businesses that take workplace health and safety seriously get better word-of-mouth recognition. The public will get a positive impression about the moral and ethical standards of your business, and take your company more seriously. Investing in WHS management software helps you earn the trust of your customers and the wider public.

Key features of WHS software

Now we’ve seen the top benefits of WHS management software, it’s time to look at some of the key features on offer. WHS practices today are more heavily regulated than ever before; there is a greater professional emphasis of organizational safety and much higher public awareness than at any point in the past. Fortunately, there is a whole industry that assists HSE professionals in developing a safer workplace environment. WHS management software is used by thousands of Australian businesses to meet their regulatory obligations.

So, what are the key features of WHS software to look for?

Health management

WHS software programs that offer health management can assist in supervising industrial hygiene and occupational health in the workplace. The software can track the health status of workers and measure illness rates among staff.

Data quality check

Sifting through gathered data and ensuring accuracy can be time-consuming and tedious when conducted manually. WHS software with data checking functionality helps organizations to automatically and easily validate all their own records.

Safety management

With this feature, businesses can assess, track and avoid workplace accidents and incidents and ensure that they provide a safe working environment for their staff. The data that is gathered with the help of this tool may be used, and seminars may then be conducted about work practices and occupational hazards.

Risk assessment

WHS software that offers a risk assessment feature allows businesses to efficiently conduct analysis of all those processes that carry inherent risks. Such software can assist in the development of risk reduction plans, manage insurances, determine hazards in the workplace and optimize safety audits.

Action plan creation

With this feature, businesses can refine their employee protection approach and let users develop preventive and corrective action plans that are based upon incidents that have occurred within the workplace.

Read our post about the key components of WHS management systems to learn more.

How to choose WHS software?

At this stage, you might have a clear idea about the things that you need in a WHS system, but you have to ensure that you look for one that’s appropriate for your own workplace. Apart from the affordability and quality of WHS software, you have to also consider various other factors before making a decision. When you look for such type of program, you have to insist on various things in order to make a sound choice.

Here’s our advice on what to look for when choosing WHS software.

Comprehensive reporting

Comprehensive reports on every detail recorded by this type of program need to be made readily available in just a few clicks. The better the information and the more up-to-date it is, the quicker you will be able to act on the results that are obtained. This can make the difference between whether or not the crucial changes are implemented in time.

Strong features

Before you invest in an WHS platform for your organisation, check out which features are on offer. Ensure that the tools can easily be used and are robust enough to deal with all your operational needs. Be sure that all members of your organisation will be able to use the platform with minimal training. You may wish to try a free trial of the software before making a judgement.

Familiarity

It’s important to choose WHS software that draws on your existing WHS processes. Check whether the same language and terminology is used by the software program. Find out whether the user-functionality can be recognized. Consider whether it follows the same kind of logical progression all through the procedures. This can help reduce the time for training, and also means that you can have the software program up and running as quickly as possible.

Automation

Automation is a natural component of improving any process, and is a key way of improving your existing WHS processes. When choosing WHS software, look for programs that help you automate your existing tasks and duties. For instance, auto-refusal of access in case of expiry of the insurance of a contractor, auto-reminders for when an induction is set to expire, auto-notification of important people on incidents related to safety matters, etc. This will help save your staff time and improve your overall efficiency.

Workplace safety requirements

Before you choose WHS software, it is essential to check your organization’s particular workplace safety needs. The better you are able to understand the things that are unique about your own HSE needs, the more convenient you’ll find it to try to find appropriate Health and Safety software programs. You have to look for health and safety software solutions that are proven and aimed at actively improving the safety of your workplace through improved HSE management.

Reasonable cost

While it is important to spend your money wisely, you do not necessarily have to pick the lowest-cost serviceable software program on the market. You have to ensure that you are spending on a platform that can give you all that you need, at a cost that is reasonable. This will help you to get the maximum bang for your bucks over the long term.

Scalability

The requirements of your business might change over a period of time so it’s important to choose WHS software that grows as you do. Increasingly, many Australian businesses are choosing cloud-based WHS software solutions for this very reason. Cloud-based WHS software is highly scalable and can be quickly scaled up as your business grows.

Reliable technical support

Regardless of how advanced the WHS software is, you’re still likely to experience technical issues from time to time, such as user errors, glitches or bugs. To minimize downtime, look for WHS software system vendors that have a proven track-record of offering reliable customer assistance. Customer support take the form of customer training, video tutorials, knowledge database, email support, 24/7 Phone Support, Live Chat or a mix of any of these.

By the way, if you’re wondering how to measure and evaluate WHS management systems you may be interested in reading in our complete post!

Conclusion

If you were curious about Work Health and Safety Management Software, hopefully our comprehensive guide has answered all your questions!

Having an appropriate WHS software system can work wonders for your own business activities. It can help you to ensure the safety of your workplace, assess your organizational security and maintain your business’ sustainability. The use of these programs can help you to stay compliant with the necessary regulations of the industry, and also offer ways to improve every aspect of your business!

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