News

HEALTH AND SAFETY SOFTWARE – THE PRO’S AND CONS

HEALTH AND SAFETY SOFTWARE  –  THE PRO’S AND CON’S

30 June 2019

This year marks 30 years since the internet came into being. When it was first launched, many of our esteemed peers declared it would fail spectacularly, and yet look at us today. The internet affects and facilitates nearly every aspect of modern life. We use it for education by streamlining access to information and making it easier for individuals to engage in online learning. It is the place we go for information and is fast becoming our most used form of communication. Businesses, politics and government are all reliant on it, and the ways in which we use it continue to grow. Who would have thought!

The same goes for how we manage and achieve our Health & Safety objectives. Your business requires your focused attention in order to consistently meet your goals and stay ahead of the competition. If you are still using inefficient systems, clunky paper documents and placing high reliance on verbal communication, you may well find yourself having to eat your words, as Mr Metcalfe did.

This is true regardless of your industry or how long you’ve been in business. But if you’ve had trouble staying on top of compliance, risk management, governance, and people management, it might be time to look into health and safety software.

As you consider whether health and safety software is right for your company, weigh up these Pro’s and Con’s.

The Pros of OHS Software

You can Manage your Compliance Consistently and Sustainably

When it comes to health and safety, compliance is the goal. Compliance requires that policy and procedure is consistently and sustainably applied, and using compliance software is an effective way to maintain it. A compliance management platform will alert you to risks of non-compliance in real-time, and it can create reports to keep stakeholders informed and in control.

Your Risk Exposure will be Reduced

Health and safety software solutions today come with a range of products, that allow you to manage risk, your employees, visitors, contractors and even the general public will benefit from efficiency and consistency. Being able to manage every aspect of your business will protect the financial and legal security of your business.

Effective health and safety software allows you to be alerted to every incident, even if you’re out of the office. It will also ensure that the right people are involved with each incident, saving people who don’t need to be involved time and therefore your business money. When you use software that logs incident reports and safety policies straight from an App on your smartphone, you’ll always have the information you need to make informed, cost efficient business decisions.

Effective People Management

It’s difficult to keep track of all the details related to employees, contractors, suppliers and third party stakeholders. You need to track their training and certifications, manage injuries, illnesses, and rehabilitation, and handle all of these issues with grace and empathy. With employees working more and more remotely these days, performance management is also critical to the success of your business.

Health and safety software helps you to keep on top of all of these details. With all of this information in one place, you can easily access each person’s information. Employees will be properly trained and performance managed, which will make them feel more valued and will significantly increase the value of your business.

Your Assets will be Better Protected

Health and safety software allows you to monitor, maintain, and report on your assets from one centralized dashboard. All your assets can be centrally managed, reported on and decisions can be made from consolidated, accurate information. This will significantly streamline your asset management and help you better protect your assets.

Governance is made Simple

Keeping track of dates, goals and who is doing what can be a major task for managers. It is also very time consuming. Allow your health and safety software to help you solve governance issues. Some Helath & Safety Software solutions have a task management solution that allows you to assign tasks and track governance, and you can watch the progress of these tasks from a central dashboard. Workflow control can also be used to ensure the right person does the right thing at the right time. This allows your employees to spend less time on administration and more time thinking!

Easy & Remote Access

Cloud based software solutions allow information to be accessed at anytime, from anywhere, provided there is internet accessibility. This allows central storage of data, which removes the need for duplication and repetition. It removes inefficiency due to information delay and ensures that all involved are informed timorously and efficiently.

Cost

You may expect me to list this under the Con’s column as, like any other important component of your business, health and safety software isn’t free. Having said this, these solutions will remove administrative inefficiency from your business, making your employees available to add far more value than they currently do and saving the costs of unnecessary incidents. If correctly applied, a good Health & Safety software solution will save your business significant time and money.

The Cons of Health and Safety Software

Misplaced Expectations

At the end of the day, any software solution must follow the process and policy of the business. The efficiency and quality that the solution will deliver is depent on the quality of that process and policy of the business, and also on the quality of information input. If the culture of the business is not one of compliance and risk management, no system will deliver as required.

Internet Access

As most solutions are cloud based, internet access is required for them to work.

Choosing the Right Health & Safety Solution

You will invest time and money commissioning a Health & Safety solution, so it is important you select the solution that is best for your business. This may take you some time. Refer to our buyers guide to assist you with this important decision https://rapidglobal.co.za/free-buyers-guide/.

Conclusion:

I apologise if the Con’s seem light, but the reality is there is very little downside to using Health & Safety software. You may also want to consider how your competitors and customers are operating today. More and more companies are adopting software solutions to assist with the efficient running of their businesses, and your stakeholders will expect you to be able to keep up. Does this resonate in your industry?

Companies like OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd, the Africa Licensee of the award winning Rapid Global Software, have been delivering Health & Safety software solutions for over 15 years. Their only business is the continued development and improvement of their software, to make sure that the solutions keep pace with the ever-changing landscape. All their solutions come with mobile apps. Click Here to see what their solutions offer.

OVS Solutions, the Africa Licensee of Rapid Global, also have a great support team who are available to assist with live demonstrations, user guides and relevant information you may require. They will share their tips on how to best maximize user adoption and can help you deliver on your plan!

 

What is the best way to drive user adoption of EHS software?

In a time frame that is far shorter than we anticipate, mobile, real-time access to centrally stored data is going to become the standard operating protocal for all businesses.  Gen Z understand nothing else, it is in their blood and they cannot function without it.  They wake up with it, go to sleep with it and will spend an average of 5.2 hours a day consuming & generating content on their phones.

They will be running our businesses soon, and the use of software will be a given – not a nice to have. It is crucial therefore that, for your business to survive and thrive, that you adopt the use of software in your business today.  The problem is that much of your existing workforce are used to doing things differently and as we all know, change is a scary thing.

Changing how your employees process and access information is going to be one of the biggest obstacles you will face when adopting EHS software.

The adoption of Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) software is challenging as the software will need to be accessed by many employees and various levels in your business.  The lack of ability of users to adopt the EHS software is often completely underestimated and can be the primary reason for the software solution not rendering the benefits it can. and the return on investment it should generate!

Here are some management techniques you can use to ensure your staff adopt your EHS software.

1. PULL, DON’T PUSH!

A great way to get buy in from your team is to involve them in the decision about which EHS software to use.  Get them to draw up a list of their frustrations with their current process and incorporate this is the EHS software requirements list.  This way you get buy in from the start – your team will see the EHS software as a tool that is being put into your business to help them and not to hinder them.  Often this will result in them asking when the tool will be ready for use and how they can help to expedite the process.  Your team will pull the business along and you will not have to push them every step of the way.

Some good questions to ask to help them list their frustrations might be:

  • Do you spend too much time on non-value adding administration?
  • Are you inefficient because you are given incorrect data?
  • Are you unable to meet your deadlines because you are waiting on someone else for information?
  • Would you be able to operate more efficiently and effectively if you could access your information from anywhere, at any time?
  • Do you spend unnecessary time searching for information from multiple sources in multiple places, therefore extending the amount of time you need to complete a task?
  • Have you had to take on extra work because a fellow team member has left the business and not done a correct handover?

EHS software alleviates all these issues, so anyone who answers yes to these questions will easily be able to see the benefit of using the solution!

 

2. Make sure the EHS software solution you choose is easy to use.

Be careful not to assume that because you find an EHS software solution easy to use that users at different levels will also find it easy.  A good way to test the ease of use of any EHS software is to get users at all levels of the organisation to test the various solutions you are considering.  This way to ensure that the ease of use is perceived by all AND you are involving the team in your upfront decision making again.  Offering them a choice of solution will empower your team and make them feel they have been included on the decision, which will gain far higher acceptance of the process!

 

3. Explain the benefits of the EHS software so they are clearly understood.

If I were sitting next to you on a boat and I told you to jump overboard, you would sit right were you were and not move a muscle.  If I told you to jump overboard because the boat was about to explode you would move very quickly.  The same goes for the implementation and use of EHS software.  Explaining how the solution will benefit both the business and the team will motivate users to adopt the solution.  Some key benefits of EHS software include:

  • Access to real time data. This is critical for Health & Safety as people sometimes need to act quickly to avoid further damage or injury.
  • No more duplication of data – information needs to only be loaded once into most EHS solutions, and then the same data is available for all. This saves time and improves accuracy of information.
  • Time saving – the biggest benefit of any EHS Software solution should the amount of time it saves its users. Centrally stored data, pre-designed templates, automated reporting, easy transfer of tasks, real time access to data from anywhere and central communication will result in significant time saving for all members of your team.
  • Workflow control is offered with some EHS software solutions, and this benefit will ensure that actions are assigned to the right personnel and authorised by the right manager before they are approved and / or closed. This way you don’t drop the ball!
  • Ease of use – dashboard reporting is available in some EHS software solutions and this makes it very easy for the user to quickly assess the current state of affairs, understand where they should prioritise their time and who to engage with to assist.

 

4. Make sure your implementation process is user orientated

Communicating progress during the commissioning of the EHS software, proper training with user guides that are easy to follow and use, use of the software by the team driving the implementation themselves and patience and understanding are all critical to ensure maximum user adoption.  Make sure they are all part of your plan!

 

Conclusion:

It is important to remember that software is a tool to help you solve a problem—not a solution within itself. The structure of the EHS software should follow the structure your business needs and not the other way around.  Successful software adoption is a process. It involves deciding about adopting a particular tool, weighing the pros and cons, considering how it will help the productivity of your team and your business, and then forming a communication plan and implementation plan. Once you have invested the time and money required to implement an EHS solution, it is going to need to generate the return, so make sure you and your team are fully committed when you take the leap!

Companies like OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd, the Africa Licensee of the award winning Rapid Global Software, have been delivering EHS software solutions for over 15 years.  Their only business is the continued development and improvement of their software, to make sure that the solutions keep pace with the ever-changing landscape.  All their solutions come with mobile apps.  Click Here  to see what their solutions offer.

OVS Solutions, the Africa Licensee of Rapid Global, also have a great support team who are available to assist with live demonstrations, user guides and relevant information you may require.  They will share their tips on how to best maximize user adoption and can help you deliver on your plan!

 

3 Questions to ask to determine if your company needs a mobile app as part of your health and safety program

20 April 2019

“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.”

Continue reading “3 Questions to ask to determine if your company needs a mobile app as part of your health and safety program”

How EHS Solutions can assist in improving and maintaining Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) programs in 4 easy Steps

Implementing a health and safety management system is a good start. But it’s just a start. Every single day, we get a front-row seat to see how technology is transforming how we do business and the speed at which we do it. A great example of this is PayPal. This company was founded to be a cryptography company! As we all know, today it is the default online payment system of millions of people. The company had to adapt and quickly to ensure its success.

Continue reading “How EHS Solutions can assist in improving and maintaining Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) programs in 4 easy Steps”

Managing Contractors and Suppliers? 4 Ways to be compliant without the admin burden.

Having contractors & suppliers on your premises is becoming increasingly risky and therefore costly.  The responsibility is placed squarely on the business using their services and/or products to ensure they are compliant, safe and working in a healthly environment.  Misplacing a single document or missing a single step could result in significant financial loss and time burden to your business. However making sure you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s requires significant time and resource.  If you don’t find ways to do this effectively and efficiently, the cost of compliance could result in unecessary fianancial loss for your business. Fortunately there are ways you can be compliant with minimal administrative burden.  Here’s how…..

Continue reading “Managing Contractors and Suppliers? 4 Ways to be compliant without the admin burden.”

5 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS TO IMPLEMENT IN 2019 TO IMPROVE WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY

South Africa has seen many fatal tragedies in the last few years, from the collapse of the Grayston Drive pedestrial bridge to the fatal fire in the building belonging to the Gauteng government this year.  Nearly 5 000 workers die each year as a result of fatal injuries incurred during work-related incidents

As the person responsible for health & safety in your business, there are some key steps you can take to ensure 2019 is a safe environment for your business, and that you will meet all your EHS objectives.  Identifying these steps with your teams and turning them into New Year’s resolutions for your business will be a great way to kick off your year.

Continue reading “5 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS TO IMPLEMENT IN 2019 TO IMPROVE WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY”

EHS Trends, Challenges and Technologies facing South Africa – an OVS Solutions Leadership Perspective

Despite the economic and political challenges South Africa faces, the Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) laws and regulations in the country continue to grow at a rapid rate.In the last few years, South Africa has increased its regulatory framework and structures to address increasing EHS incidents and concerns. The influence of international laws, the use of real-time technology, globalisation, public pressure and ever increasing use of systems to identify accountability of employees are all contributing factors.   

Continue reading “EHS Trends, Challenges and Technologies facing South Africa – an OVS Solutions Leadership Perspective”

5 Ways to Justify the Cost of Health and Safety Software to the Executive

Getting budget approval and buy in from senior management is not only difficulty for EHS professionals but can also be a daunting task. Did you know? Getting buy-in and budget approval is noted as a top barrier to purchasing EHS Software, with 31% of companies saying that ‘no ROI justification’ is the main barrier to getting EHS tech funding.

If you can relate to these barriers, it may be time to start building your case! Below are the top tips to help you along the way:

1.GET YOUR EXECUTIVES ATTENTION!

Make sure you spend some time thinking about what makes your CEO, CFO, COO and decision-makers tick. What are the problems they’re facing and what keeps them up at night? Continue reading “5 Ways to Justify the Cost of Health and Safety Software to the Executive”

5 Signs it’s time to replace your spreadsheets with online scheduling systems

23 August 2018

With today’s highly pressured and very performance managed working environment, it becomes ever more important that your time is efficiently and effectively managed. Time spent planning, scheduling and assigning tasks can be utilised in a more value-addding way if this process is automated. Scheduling tools can assist by automating repetitive tasks with the click of a button. They will also allow you to save and retain all information from multiple users in 1 place, so you can save time by not having to access several databases to access the information you need. If you can relate to any of the signs below, it may be time to automate your processes!

Continue reading “5 Signs it’s time to replace your spreadsheets with online scheduling systems”

Why Compliance is Worth the Investment

Safety compliance and efficient workforce management are vital to large corporations for many reasons. It’s a known fact that with a comprehensive compliance plan, the workplace becomes safer and consequently, productivity increases.

However, the benefits extend beyond the safety factor. There are numerous other positive aspects and we have outlined some of these below.

Continue reading “Why Compliance is Worth the Investment”