These days, successful organisations view safety as an asset, and health and safety spending as an investment. This is because a safe workplace adds measurable business value, and can drive tangible improvements in performance, profit, and culture. But how do we get there? Discover how your organisation can utilise the latest software and mobile technology to manage and improve your workplace safety processes.
Adrian Manessis recently outline key objectives and processes that HSE Professionals can focus on to improve overall HSE outcomes. Watch the video of his presentation at WHS Show 2019 at The International Convention Centre in Sydney or read on for a summary.
9 Reasons to Prioritise Safety
1. Return on Investment
The notion that safety is good for business is not a new concept, but it is one that is gaining increasing traction as more in-depth research is released. One study puts the return on investment of health and safety spending at 2.21. Others have this number even higher. In fact, a Comcare paper reveals an average return of $5.81 for every dollar invested by companies into workplace health programs2.
2. Risk Management
The cost of poor health and safety management can be incredibly expensive and can cripple businesses of any size. In Queensland, where a PCBU, or senior officer, commits an industrial manslaughter offence, a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment for an individual, or $10M for a body corporate, applies.
3. Safety as an Asset
Organisations that value and prioritise safety perform better. One study analysed the stock market performance of companies recognised for their health and safety, and found an average annual return of 6.03 percent – well above the market average of 2.92 percent3.
4. Better Productivity
Businesses do not have to choose between safety and productivity. Lockheed Martin, one of the largest companies in the aerospace and defense industry, found that following safety procedures at their Paducah plant earned them a 24 percent increase in productivity, and a 20 percent reduction in factory costs4.
In a 2005 survey, businesses were asked to quantify the benefits of their occupational safety and health investment. The top-ranked factor was increased employee motivation and satisfaction. In fact, almost 40 percent of CFOs cited productivity as the top benefit of an effective workplace safety program5.
5. Lower Injury Frequency Rates
Safe companies often have drastically lower injury frequency rates. A 2010 study of manufacturing companies found that companies in the top 20 percent for operational efficiency and safety achieved an injury frequency rate of just 0.05 percent – 18 times lower than the industry average6.
6. Improved Safety Climate
A safety climate is the shared set of perceptions and expectations that workers have regarding safety in their organisation at any given time – the impacts of which can be significant. A 2005 study found workers with a negative perception of safety climate were more likely to engage in unsafe acts, which in turn increased the likelihood of an accident7.
A recent survey of Australian workers found one in ten were afraid to report a safety breach over fears it would cost them their job, and one in five said they had made a safety complaint that was never acted on. Furthermore, an alarming 17 percent of respondents said a colleague had been fired after being hurt in the workplace8.
7. Lower Workers’ Compensation Premiums
Workers compensation costs and insurance premiums are the business costs most directly linked to health and safety. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, successful health and safety programs reduce injury and illness costs by between 20 and 40 percent9.
The Adecco Group saved millions in their workers compensation premiums after a successful health and safety software implementation saw them reduce their lost-time injury frequency rate by 67 percent (read more).
8. Enhanced Reputation
Health and safety initiatives are used not only to avoid a bad reputation, but also to build a good one. Companies at the forefront of this thinking treat their health and safety reputation as a business asset. They have built their success on a strong reputation for doing the right thing. And they like to report on it
Not only can your safety reputation enable you to maintain your supplier relationships and win business tenders, it also helps to attract and retain your most valuable asset – your employees. A 2017 study found that the safety of the work environment is one of the top criteria employees consider when assessing a job offer or position10.
9. ISO 45001 Compliance
ISO 45001 is the new global standard for occupational safety and health. It gives organisations of any size a universally accepted framework for improving employee health and safety.
With an emphasis on incorporating safety throughout all levels of an organisation, from top to bottom, businesses should treat the implementation of ISO 45001 as a strategic move that will allow them to obtain many of the benefits outlined in this post.
14 Ways to Boost Your HSEQ Performance
1. Implement End-to-End Processes
Your health and safety system should facilitate your process workflows from beginning to end, seamlessly. This also ensures data integrity within the system and means trustworthy measurements and analytics.
Another key advantage of an end-to-end software solution is automation. Many mundane administrative tasks can be automated with workflow triggers, freeing up valuable time and resources to focus on making real safety improvements.
2. Improve the Culture of Safety
When an organisation implements a top-to-bottom safety focus, it signals to workers that safety is an organisational priority. And once you give workers the right tools to participate in the process, they begin to take ownership for safety-related issues, and a culture of safety begins to form.
3. Learn From Safety Incidents
To learn from a safety-related incident and prevent a similar one from occurring, organisations must first understand exactly what happened. This process involves effectively logging incidents, assessing impacts, investigating the root cause, linking the incident to any hazards, and creating actions to ensure the hazard is controlled and incident is closed.
4. Action Management
Whether you’re mitigating an identified hazard, eliminating a risk, preventing an incident from reoccurring or closing out an audit finding, Actions make sure things get done by holding users accountable for their tasks. Notifications, reminders, and escalations make sure actions don’t get lost in the system.
5. Configurable Mobile Access
Mobile Apps have become a critical component of the modern safety system. They promote accountability and culture by allowing users to quickly log and view actions, incidents, hazards and safety observations in the field. Key mobile app features include offline integration, real-time updates, and mobile configuration.
7. Inspections and Audits
Inspections provide value in their ability to uncover hazards in the workplace and perform corrective actions before an incident occurs. Your safety system should allow you to create annual audits, periodic workplace inspections, and pre-operations checks on equipment, vehicles, and machinery. Use technology to configure custom inspection templates, assign and schedule them to users, and add images and link actions.
6. Improve Hazard Management
Effective hazard management allows you to build your organisation’s risk profile. There are 4 steps that help to build a company’s risk profile – Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment, Control, and Review. Your safety system should guide the user through a proactive process that enables continuous improvement and risk reduction in your business.
8. Manage Assets
Use technology to track the whereabouts and status of every piece of equipment and when it needs to be tested. Better still, use QR codes to access employee and equipment information in the field with the touch of a button. This can significantly speed up and simplify an organisation’s inspection and audit process. Incorporating smartphones and QR codes into your management system boosts the reliability of your information and prevents data entry errors.
9. Manage Contractor Compliance
When a contractor steps onto your worksite, they become a representative of your company. Poor workplace health and safety standards, and any missteps or incidents, become your company’s problems, as well as the contractors. Your safety system should quickly capture all relevant contractor health and safety documentation, including competencies, high-risk work licences, insurances and safe work method statements (where applicable). This data should be held in a centralised system that issues automatic notifications whenever there are compliance, insurance, or training issues. The system should also streamline compliance processes by managing expirations and re-certifications. Learn more.
10. Manage Training Requirements
All employees need to be adequately trained and qualified to perform their specific roles. This can be difficult with even a small number of employees. On large worksites, where roles are varied and employees can number in the thousands, this can be incredibly daunting. Use software to easily identify employees’ training needs, plan the required training, send the necessary reminders, and finally have all employees training records readily on hand.
11. Use Technology for Inductions and Learning
Employees are said to be an organisation’s most important asset. Which is why a considerable amount of time and resources is spent training them. These days, online learning is a flexible option that offers increased value at a reduced cost. Build your own courses, automate the training/induction process, and ensure workers know how to do their job safely.
12. Communication and the Big Picture
Successful (and safe) organisations run on effective communication. Your safety system should facilitate rapid communication, enabling you to transmit vital information, whether it be a warning or a lesson learnt, to all concerned within your organisation.
13. Empower Your Team With Technology
Getting users to adopt new software and processes can be daunting. Treat your technology like a team member and give your staff the tools and access to learn quickly. The myosh Academy is designed to empower your team with the latest Videos, Skills, Tips and FAQS – all designed to ensure they use their software tools productively. Visit myosh Academy.
14. Configure, Analyse, and Share
Your safety data has an important story to tell. Good data visualisation tells that story and allows users to make better decisions that achieve real change in safety habits, productivity and performance.
Dashboards provide powerful organisation insight by transforming your HSEQ data into intelligent visual charts, maps and tables. Up to date data is derived from modules and displayed in an interactive visual format, customised specifically for you and your team. Instantly access vital data, identify trends, filter, analyse and report for quick action.
1. International Social Security Association, The return on prevention: Calculating the costs and benefits of investments in occupational safety and health in companies, Geneva, 2011
2. Australian Government (Comcare), Benefits to Business: The Evidence for Investing in Worker Health and Wellbeing, 2011
3. J Occup Environ Med, The link between workforce health and safety and the health of the bottom line: tracking market performance of companies that nurture a “culture of health”, 2013
4. JICOSH, Lockheed Martin Case Study, 1999
5. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Chief Financial Officer Survey, 2005
6. Aberdeen Group, Rockwell Automation’s Safety Maturity Index, 2010
7. University of Helsinki, Workers’ Perceptions of Workplace Safety and Job Satisfaction, 2005
8. Shine Lawyers, Health and Safety Survey, 2018
9. OSHA, Business Case for Safety and Health, 2018
10. Employers, America’s small business insurance specialist survey, 2017