When you’re searching for safety software, it can be tempting to choose one of the many form tool options out there. They are often cheaper than full-service safety solutions, and they allow you to digitize your current paper process or standardize your current set of forms. However, there are other things to consider when selecting a safety software package. Forms will definitely capture your data, but what will you be able to do with it afterward?
1. Is the software you’re considering allow you to close the loop on an inspection? Can you assign it to someone on your job site or a subcontractor? Can they update the status to show that the inspection loop has been closed? When completing an equipment inspection, does it notify the shop automatically?
A comprehensive software solution will allow you to close the loop with your inspections. Easily conduct equipment, site, project, environmental, quality, or custom inspections, assign follow-ups, and track the progress of any failed inspection items. You should be able to easily report and analyze inspection data for trends to prevent future issues.
2. Does the potential software let you quickly pull up the skills and certifications of everyone on your job site? Do you know who is considered competent on a particular piece of equipment? Can you hold safety training and automatically update the skills of all attendees, both at the office and out at the job site?
Your software solution should allow you to track and manage the skills and certifications of every employee on your job site and quickly pull up a transcript of an employee for an inspector. You should be able to hold safety training at your site and automatically update the skills record for every employee who attended, and capture the training materials used for that training.
3. Do you know which employees attended which safety meetings and what the subject was? Can you see it instantly, with the setting of a filter? Or years later, in case of litigation?
A comprehensive safety software allows you to filter a specific employee, meeting, or subject, now or in the past. If you need to say whether someone attended an onsite training or whether they participated in a toolbox talk or other safety meeting, you can look it up quickly with a few filter settings. You do not need to go through stacks of bankers boxes, flip through binders of papers, or re-open hundreds of PDF files. You can quickly look them up online and have all the details you need.
4. Can you schedule safety meetings and invite employees? Does your potential purchase provide a trusted library for content?
A comprehensive software solution should give you the ability to create your own content for safety meetings, such as pre-built toolbox talks, or allow you to browse a library of content from trusted sources, such as OSHA, the AGC, DOD, and Army Corps of Engineers. After you have created the content you want, you can schedule the meetings to particular jobs, personnel, groups, or company-wide.
Predict Trends with Leading Indicators
5. Does the software allow you to analyze leading indicators for trends to prevent future incidents?
While most forms tools allow you to report safety data, they lack the ability to capture information to create and run analytics in order to spot trends and leading indicators. With a comprehensive software solution, you can not only report data, but analyze it to figure out where future problems may occur.
6. Does your potential software purchase give you a two-way communication system with the field?
Forms solutions provide a one-way electronic transfer of documents. A comprehensive software solution should give you two-way communication with the field. With all the safety components available at the job site or facility, you not only send information to the field, but you also get information from the field. Through the use of observations, you also give a voice to the crew and gain valuable insight into the safety of work areas. By capturing data from meetings, inspections, JHAs, observations, and near misses, you can gather much more information than a static form can.
7. Can you integrate with other processes within your organization?
One huge benefit of a comprehensive software system is that you can integrate safety into the rest of your operations. You can analyze your operations and safety together for greater insight into the health of your projects. In addition, you will want to integrate externally to your accounting, a learning management or training, and human resources systems.
8. Lastly, what are your organization’s goals and motivations with regards to safety? Is it to create a safer and healthier workplace for all employees, or is it simply to capture information to meet company, contractor, state, or other requirements?
A comprehensive software solution will allow you to create a culture of safety within your organization through critical thought. It allows you to empower your workers with safety on a personal level, not just your management on a higher level. It is about more than mere compliance. It allows you to establish a process where everyone can be involved. Schedule safety meetings, hold safety training, update skills and certifications, conduct inspections and JHAs, report near misses and incidents, and allow everyone in the organization to submit observations. You can still use your forms, stay compliant, and create scorecards, but you will also create the safe processes that achieve the long-term objective of sending everyone home safely every day.