As an employer, health and safety cannot be an afterthought. While most businesses manage to maintain a basic standard, it only takes one error in judgement or lack of adequate provision, and you could be at risk of significant fines following a serious incident with one of your colleagues, contractors, or members of the public. Somewhat alarmingly, the most common methods for managing health and safety remain spreadsheets and paper-based forms and processes. Accident books in a large number of establishments are hand-written, as are accident report forms and follow up actions, and while these all serve a basic purpose, the risk of loss, incorrect information being logged, or human error is high.
Why Good Health and Safety Management Matters
Good health and safety management and having appropriate systems in place are essential to an effective and high performing business. It is a legal requirement for all companies with five or more employees to have a documented health and safety policy, including risk assessments on the work that is conducted. The importance of good health and safety management can fall under three main areas:
Positive attitudes towards health and safety helps build a better workplace culture and encourages productivity. In addition, it’s an opportunity to help build a better understanding of risk management and working safely—a good health and safety management system helps to minimise risk and protects against accidents/incidents.
Businesses must comply with health and safety law. The proper management system and processes are vital to avoid legal ramifications. Businesses with an appropriate management system and well-documented accident reporting have a much stronger case if they find themselves facing a civil lawsuit from a former employee or from the public. Remember it’s incredibly important to retain those records too, which digital solutions lend themselves to rather than rows of ring binders and filing cabinets.
According to the HSE’s data, the average health and safety fine was £145,000 during 2020/21, totalling nearly £30m. This kind of penalty could spell the end of many businesses, and in some instances, poor record keeping and therefore the inability to be able to make records available, is a root cause leading to the fines. Managing health and safety effectively is vital for your business’ financial health. As well as avoiding penalties and fines, it can also have a positive impact on absenteeism and staff sickness. 2020 saw 5.8 sick days on average per employee, impacting a business’ ability to operate and remain open.
Digital Transformation for Health and Safety Processing
Moving to a more digitised approach to health and safety management is an effective way to remove the risk of human error and benefit from the instant efficiencies in the organisation of reports and assessments. As specialists in purpose-built safety software solutions, we know just how much more effective they are than the traditional pen, paper, and spreadsheets. These basic tools have their place in history, but they are no longer appropriate in the majority of cases for ‘future-fit’ organisations who put the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees at the centre of their culture. Utilising a solution designed for this purpose helps improve the effectiveness of your processes, makes them easier to manage and drives adoption of a safety culture within your organisation.
Automation of activities such as board reporting data, action tracking and intelligent dashboards with the support of machine learning (which begins to shift the needle from reactive to proactive risk identification) enables professionals to focus their time on demonstrating the real value they bring to the business.
All business areas, including health and safety, are evolving. More companies are recognising the benefits of opting for digital solutions to ensure the most effective results in all business areas. Notify offers mobile-first software solutions that can revolutionise how your company manages health, safety, wellbeing and sustainability. Our focus is improving business’ implementation of Health, safety, environment and quality (HSEQ) strategies and streamlining them to make them more practical for everyday use.
Our smart and easy to use apps allow businesses to immediately report any health and safety incidents quickly via their smartphone. In addition, our software provides a central hub for all reports, actions, audits, and assessments. It also helps businesses reduce their time-off figures and potential lawsuits by conforming to ISO45001 and mitigating workplace risks through constant, real-time access to health and safety data.
Work with us to digitise your health and safety workflows, putting you on the front foot at all times and ensuring it is not an area that is holding your business back. Book your demo with the team to find out how we can help your business.