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4 ways Health & Safety Mobile Apps are changing the OHS game
May 1, 2017
We all know that poor OHS compliance leads to low staff engagement, high turnover, lawsuits, fines, damage to a company’s brand and of course, their bottom line. So of course it makes sense to get your health and safety compliance running smoothly. Yet far too many industries are fraught with poorly defined procedures, employees uncertain about accountabilities, and little or no formality to recording and reporting occupational health and safety issues.
An independent study by US company BLR found that nearly 50% of OHS professionals still use paper forms, while in Australia and NZ, a complicated series of Excel spreadsheets is still the primary method of recording vital health and safety compliance information.
When you consider how important OHS compliance is for the success of a business, not the mention the livelihood of staff, it seems archaic that so much is dependent on a series of messy spreadsheets and bits of paper!
But time’s are a-changing!
Smart companies, both big and small, are recognising the benefits of Health & Safety mobile apps to meet and exceed compliance standards.
Here are 4 ways OHS mobile apps will help your business:
1. Respond in real time.
With spreadsheets and paper processes, people delay inputting information on any risks or hazards they have observed. Even a safety incident can often be recorded after the fact, when the details of the event might be confused.
With mobile technology, form submission and record keeping has never been easier! Health and safety apps allow staff to capture photos, make notes and fill out forms in real time while on site. Equipment, plant or environment inspections can be carried out through simple digital checklists on a smartphone or tablet, removing the time consuming and inefficient paperwork.
2. Improve data accuracy and integrity
The problem with spreadsheets and makeshift compliance recording is the lack of formality. However, by using formalised health and safety software and mobile apps, the correct data is asked for and easily captured through text, video and photos, offering a comprehensive and formalised process for OHS compliance.
3. Create a culture of safety
There is often confusion as to who is responsible for follow up actions and if there are policy or procedural changes, they are often poorly communicated.
Mobile apps remove these problems. They give employees the power to report hazards, risks and incidents with the highest amount of accuracy, while on the job. This empowers employees to take an active role in making their workplace safe and creates a culture of care, diligence and efficiency.
4. Improve communication and feedback loops
With employees able to submit forms with just a touch of a button, stakeholders can receive crucial information instantly. This is the data that should help inform the critical decisions made within a company. Having instant reporting abilities gives workers a direct line of communication to their managers and creates a feedback loop for managers to communicate actions to their staff.
The digital age requires businesses to keep up to date with technology in order to stay competitive, increase output, be faster, quicker and cheaper… but this only puts more demand and pressure on workers. However the same technology can be used to our advantage to help us stay competitive whilst also making workplaces safer.