Health and Safety Action Reporting – Are you on track?Category: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards | Published on: May 26, 2017 | Updated: May 26, 2017 Read more: Health & Safety
Earlier this week I received an email with a link to a video `from my car service technician’. The video went through an inspection of the underside of my car looking at brakes, suspension, exhaust system and tyres. It explained the recommended safety actions in pictures – I could see that my discs were worn and pitted and that my tyres needed replacing soon.
A health and safety audit is effectively a “road worthiness” report for your company – a regular inspection of the health and safety of our operating environment and, more importantly, the tracking, management and implementation of the resulting actions. What are you doing to track and manage those actions for your company today?
I have worked as a health and safety consultant for many years. In that time, I have written hundreds of health and safety reports for a wide range of organisations. The reports identified shortfalls and made prioritised recommendations for improvement.
The responsibility falls on the organisation to act on those recommendations. Unfortunately, many organisations take no action for a variety of reasons, including cost, time, not having a system to manage them or from a misperception that preventive H&S measures are not critical to the wider business plan. This can lead to subsequent 6-monthly or 12-monthly reviews identifying the same shortfalls because nothing has been done.
This is a potential time-bomb for the organisation. They are in possession of ready-made evidence of H&S shortfalls and, if an accident were to happen, this could be held against the organisation in court.
Tracking Health and Safety Actions
So, how can organisations ensure that actions are tracked and completed?
Since founding Arinite 6 years ago, we have been looking at ways to simply and effectively track and manage health and safety actions. We recognised that being able to track the management of health and safety was an essential part of workplace risk management, and that a failure to do so has serious potential consequences.
We evaluated a comprehensive range of health and safety management software. We also canvassed our clients to identify their needs. Most did not want to use a software package, they wanted to continue with personal professional support and written reports. And, if they were tracking and managing actions at all, they were invariably using Excel.
For a small company with perhaps one location and relatively few staff Excel is probably a workable solution. For larger companies this carries the risk of not implementing the recommended actions.
As a result, and having not found any existing systems that matched our requirements, we started to look at how we could develop tracking systems alongside traditional methods of H&S report writing. We progressed this further to look at a whole range of H&S reports including, Health and Safety, Fire Risk Assessments, Access Audits, Environmental Audits, accident report and investigation, risk assessment and Display Screen Equipment reports.
An overview of our resulting system model is shown below. Our first “client” for this new system was Arinite itself. We’d grown to a point where we were managing hundreds of locations and thousands of associated health and safety documents and actions.
1. Our system begins with Data Capture and this an area in which we allow complete flexibility. These can be web forms, mobile app forms, Excel, Word or PDF forms or even paper forms.
2. Actions need to be extracted from the Documents. This is an automatic process with web and mobile app forms. It can also be automated from digital PDF documents, Word documents or Excel spreadsheets. And manual extraction of Actions from any form regardless of format or structure can be achieved in a cost effective manner.
3. At the heart of the entire system is a secure, cloud based, Action management and tracking system. Everything else either feeds this system component or is driven from it.
4. The cloud based document database contains all the completed health and safety audit forms and other documents that we have been contracted to complete and deliver to our clients. These are discoverable documents in the case of a legal health and safety incident and form part of the audit trail to prove that our clients are compliant with health and safety legislation. They are also the primary source of the Actions.
5. Depending on client requirements we filter the Actions for presentation in the dashboard.
6. The dashboard provides the overall health and safety status including colour coded action maps and lists of outstanding actions by location or subject. The dashboard is accessible on all platforms – iOS, Android or web.
How are you tracking health and safety in your business?
Are you tracking and managing your health and safety actions? Do you have reports sitting on the shelf or in electronic databases that have not been followed up? If so, you could have a time-bomb ticking in your business. With the large increase in health and safety fines, you cannot afford to ignore the threat.
How Arinite can help
Arinite can assist organisations in ensuring that there are systems in place to keep health and safety management on track. As with many aspects of our business, we maintain a flexible and open approach to systems implementation. We can either deliver the entire system or system components that can build on and protect any similar investments you may have already made.
Smaller companies who don’t need a software system, but who choose Arinite as their health and safety provider, can be reassured that their actions and health and safety documents are being managed in a secure environment.
Arinite clients appreciate we provide practical, no-nonsense advice about what you need to do to establish and maintain a safe and healthy working environment. My team of health and safety consultants take pride in keeping health and safety simple.
If you need to call upon our expert assistance, or just for an informal chat, please call our office 0207 947 9581, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.