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When it comes to safety, consistency is critical. However, maintaining consistency becomes more complicated as organizations grow, and things can slip through the cracks. Well-thought-out procedures that protected employees when the company was small gradually become less effective as they are modified, forgotten, or disregarded as new employees and facilities are introduced.
Companies have a legal and moral obligation to provide their employees with a safe workplace free of recognizable hazards. However, simply writing an employee safety handbook isn’t enough; companies must actively enforce those rules and establish a process to ensure compliance. Thankfully, companies implementing well-thought-out workflows can eliminate many risks and improve workplace safety and compliance.
Organizations can’t leave things up to chance with something as crucial as workplace safety. As companies grow, maintaining safety and compliance often becomes complex. Workflows break these tasks into easily digestible pieces and make it easier for employees to do their part in tasks that detect and prevent injuries among their peers.
Let’s say an employee has just been involved in an auto accident while driving a company vehicle. While the driver has received training on the proper protocol, all that training flies out the window as soon as their adrenaline starts pumping.
During a stressful situation, it’s easier to get distracted by the moment and forget what we should do. Understandably, instead of thinking about what to do next, the driver’s mind is occupied with worries that this accident could cost them their job.
Both drivers briefly discuss what happened, and the other driver apologetically claims responsibility for the minor vehicle damage. The two exchange insurance and go on their way. Unfortunately, a few months later, the other driver filed a lawsuit claiming severe injuries sustained in the crash and that your company driver was negligent.
With no pictures, written statements, or a police report to back up your driver’s side of the story, it turns into he said, she said, and lawyers get involved. While these scenarios are common, they are less likely with good policies enforced by software workflows.
While companies expect employees to read their safety manuals, the reality is that most don’t. With software workflows, your safety manual comes to life, giving employees the information they need and prompting them with the right questions when needed.
How about something as familiar as a safety inspection of a fleet vehicle? Many companies use printouts that provide a framework for what employees need to look for. While this is better than nothing, it can still miss important steps because the steps are not digital and the data is not tracked across the entire organization. If it was digital, leaders could proactively spot trends and identify issues before they turn into something serious.
Workflows provide leadership with a greater assurance on the effectiveness of their workplace safety programs. They also create accountability by clearly showing which people and departments are fulfilling their safety responsibilities and which are not. In addition, it is an excellent place to record safety incidents because you can standardize the information so it can be cleaned up and analyzed to get the most out of it.
In addition to enforcing rules and prompting employees to complete necessary steps, such as entering details about the vehicle accident, some workflows can also automatically notify other people who need to be informed of the incident. For example, they could set automatic triggers that alert different people based on severity.
We have grown to accept human error in our lives; however, if those errors threaten the health and safety of employees and the company, they need to be eliminated. The automation provided by software workflows does that.
EHS software with built-in incident management, activity management, and audit management workflows can be a powerful tool to improve workplace safety and compliance. When choosing an EHS software system, verify that it is configurable to adapt to your organization’s specific policies and roles. And evaluate whether the software can reduce the amount of data entry for your teams by incorporating data from systems such as HRMS (for employee records), asset management systems, and third party administrators for data such as employee claims.
Visit our demo library to learn more about how the digital solutions from ProcessMAP can help you create a safer, more compliant workplace.