Today, however, Safety Management Systems (SMS) have evolved to digital cloud- or site-based systems that track safety incidents, monitor training, and regulate compliance. In other words, health and safety (H&S) professionals have more data than ever before. These state-of-the-art data safety systems provide prescriptive data from sensor technologies, and predictive information; all of which can be used to improve your company's safety standards.
To demonstrate the value of good data collection and management, here are eight ways that simplified data tracking can create new opportunities to improve workplace safety.
8 Ways That Data Tracking Improves Company Safety
#1 - Predicts Workplace Safety Incidents
#2 - Monitor And Benchmark Company Safety Culture
For instance, data can be used to analyse a sequence of events and identify issues leading up to an incident, as well as highlight any outlying circumstances or any contributing factors. Furthermore, tracking tools can monitor and report on how frequently that incident occurs and classify it by type or severity of injury.
By linking the historical work safety data with HR information like worker experience, length of shift, and training, your company can meaningfully change safety policies and procedures or develop better practices.
#3 - Improves Compliance
In the event of a compliance investigation or inspection, the availability of an abundance of workplace H&S information could potentially reduce the length of the investigation or even prevent a fine from regulatory agencies. The more safety and compliance information readily available, the faster investigations will conclude.
#4 - Identifies Root Causes of Incidents
It is much easier to implement changes and influence adoption of a new policy, which is essential to the safety among the staff, when the cause has been determined and evidenced by data.
Just as well, effective data management can be used to inform employers of ways to prevent illness and injury in the workplace.
#5 - Inform Safety Awareness Campaigns and Training Programs
Data reporting tools help to determine skill gaps and training needs, enabling the advancement of focused training programs for employees to have the latest safety information, track training progress, and assess employee performance.
Creating awareness amongst employees about the company's standard operating procedures (SOPs) is essential and can be ensured by linking corporate safety data with HR systems to justify the employee training and certification.
#6 - Improved Analysis of Working Conditions
The ability to gather and investigate data of workplace conditions and incident reports in real time provides any company keen on improving safety the opportunity to swiftly interpret the data and make informed decisions. Business managers can then make necessary changes to operational procedures, length of shifts, and the combinations of factors that could potentially lead to endangerment.
#7 - Real-Time Monitoring of Equipment Operations
For instance, wearable devices with operator monitoring & intervention sensing technologies can send alerts to work supervisors when a safety threshold is reached on worker-fatigue levels or heart rate that could lead to stress.
In emergencies, supervisors can contact workers who are in close risk of getting into an incident when operating certain machinery. A clear example of this benefit is Seeing Machines safety sensors which track eyelid movement of truck drivers to detect how tired they are and notify their supervisors when there's a need for alarm.
#8 - Expedites Incident Reporting
With mobile reporting systems like wearable devices, smartphones, and tablets it is possible for workers to provide real-time incident and compliance reports without the delay of having to get back to the office to deal with exhausting paperwork. Naturally, it allows supervisors to have more time monitoring the workplace, and less time having to ask workers to complete paperwork.
Digital data tracking safety solutions like these, save time and money that would otherwise be spent on handling paper printed reports and safe record keeping. Not to mention that cloud-based SMS systems provide scalable storage services that safely store data to prevent the transactional records of incidents from being lost or forgotten, and yet easily retrievable.
Now that we have explored the value of data tracking, let us look at how to make sure that data collected is lowering risk and improving performance & compliance.
4 Steps To Make Sure Data Tracking Improves Your Company Safety
For your company's data to be practical, meaningful, and actionable you will have to follow these four steps:
STEP I: Decide What You Want To Know Before You Start Measuring
STEP II: Give Context To The Data Being Collected
To do that, it helps to have a target, or a baseline, or evidence and date how safety behaviour had been in the past, to compare the incoming data to. This part is fundamental to interpreting the data and creating the context that is necessary when informing supervisors and workers on the cause behind collection of specific data and what happens thereafter with it.
STEP III: Use Different Metrics At Different Levels
Thus, understanding when to use different metrics is key at this stage. Empowering your teams and departments to have their own measurements ensures better targeted impact.
STEP IV: Use Data in Report To Tell A Story
The process of these four steps must be executed correctly, from beginning to end. Many business and safety managers get stuck at defining what data is important to pay attention to. However, the key lies in being able to use leading and lagging indicators to avoid measuring too much.
If safety data management is still unclear in your business, it may be time to take another look at your business analytics. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have, by reaching out to us here.
Or give us a call today and get a free consultation!