Why safety management software?

Why safety management software?

Running a successful business calls for proper management of organisational data and statistics across various departments with quality information systems

Gone are the days when accountants entered financial data into paper-based journals. In our modern world one would be hard pressed to find a company still making use of old-style paper journals to manage their financial and/or accounting data. And yet, many companies are still in the dark ages when it comes to using software systems to manage their other organisational functions across health, safety and environmental matters (HSE).

With the advances in technology, more and more companies across the mining, manufacturing, engineering, oil and gas, and other industrial sectors are moving away from paper-based systems to automated, centralised software solutions. These systems ensure real-time data is entered accurately, is readily available and can be easily accessible to ensure improved decision-making, better planning and ultimately benefit from savings of time and money – and, ultimately, lives!

There are a number of benefits of a safety management software system, so let’s look at what should be considered when choosing one, as well as what you can expect.

Safety management software system?

Safety management systems are composed of several key processes: hazard identification, risk management, performance measurement and quality control.

A safety management software system typically gives a company the ability to manage and support these key processes electronically. It should allow for (but is not limited to) management and reporting of incidents, injuries, inspections, audits, corrective actions, hazards, risks, observations and other statistics on a centralised, easily accessible and security-controlled software application.

Benefits of a safety management software system

• Central security-controlled database: By eliminating spreadsheets and disparate systems, greater efficiencies and data accuracy can be established, which leads to more informed and better business decisions.

• Remote access: It is essential to have the correct data available, whenever required. It’s possible with most safety management software systems.

• Creates accountability: By defining who is responsible for what, and then having the tools to track this, the organisation can ensure that responsibilities are being taken seriously and that timely close-out actions occur.

• Streamline workflows for consistency: Streamline key workflows and build consistent processes across departments, sites, business units and countries. This will also ensure that methodologies are standardised across the organisation.

• Compliance: The ability to continually track, monitor and audit safety-related processes, to ensure they are aligned with applicable laws, organisational policies and standards, is essential for obtaining and maintaining compliance.

• Reporting: By having a system that allows for the generation and scheduling of reports in seconds, rather than days, organisations can save a great deal of time and money.

• Automated reminders, escalations and scheduled reports: Spreadsheets do not have the capability of sending notifications, reminders and escalations for actions, which is one of the reasons organisations are moving to safety software applications.

• Leading indicators: Historically all organisations used to track lagging indicators, like incidents and injuries, but the trend in the industry is now to focus on leading indicators – such as observations, inspections, audits and meetings – where organisations can prove what proactive (as opposed to reactive) measures they’re taking.

Choosing a safety management software system

There are many similarities between HSE software systems, but there are also a number of differences as far as functionality is concerned. Drawing up a requirements document, to define these, which can then be shared with possible vendors, will go a long way in determining whether an application is a functional fit. Other aspects that play a role are:

1. Reputability and experience: Every second consulting company nowadays is either developing or offering their own software system to the market. With the plethora of new systems available, you should ensure the software you choose has a proven track record with a reputable client base. INX Software has 20 years of research and development that’s gone into the product so far, and for the last 13 years, INX Software applications have been implemented across a number of projects all over Africa.

2. Configuration vs customisation: In short, customisation costs additional money and configuration is typically something that a client can change themselves at no additional expense. When a vendor indicates that customisation is required, this typically means that it’s not been done before, but can be done at a cost. Configuration changes implies no additional development is required and for the most part can be changed by the client themselves. INX applications are highly configurable, and include functionality, which allows client administrators to make changes to drop-down menus, workflows, risk matrix, reporting structures, escalations and methodology at no additional cost.

3. User support: Once a system has been implemented and the organisation goes live, user support typically kicks in. Good product support is key to the continued successful use of any system, so ensure the vendor you choose has a proven support module and that support is available in your time zone. INX Software follows a “global” support approach, with a global company offering – local support for different time zones. All African clients are supported by the INX support offices in Centurion, South Africa.

In summary, if you are contemplating moving to an
electronic safety management system, are unhappy with your existing system or simply want to find out more, give us a call so we can assist you in moving forward to a safer work environment.

Contact us on +27 12 644 1118 or send an email to info@africanhl.co.za

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SHEQ Management

SHEQ MANAGEMENT is the definitive source for reliable, accurate and pertinent information to guarantee environmental health and safety in the workplace.
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