Health & Safety has an unfortunate, but often justifiable reputation as a business inhibitor. The Press love a good "Health and Safety prevents..." story but the reality in business is that the process and the means to deliver and manange it, can be unwieldly, particularly when using conventional Office tools.
The result is potential risk exposure to the business!
Common challenges can include:
- Maintaining and reviewing Risk Assessments
- Producing management reports
- Keeping up-to-date records that are easily accessible
- Delivering the appropriate training within the appropriate timescales
- Tracking activity to address "non-compliances"
- Managing inspection programmes for Plant and equipment
- Issuing the correct PPE
Unsurprisingly TIME is often highlighted as one of the barriers to an up-to-date and efficient H&S System and the loss of time to administration of Health & Safety will frequently be at the expense of the analysis and management of activity, that can deliver back both improved business protection and improved efficiency in the workplace. It can also provide important operational management insights that may be impacting on productivity or quality.
The solution to this could well be a bespoke IT-based manangement systems. H&S as a process is enshrined in 18001, just as Environmental is in 14001, which means it can be "programmed" within a system. Typically the system will link together all of the component parts of the Health and Safety arrangements, cutting out duplication and repetition of effort and providing instant access to data and records, thus reducing administration time significantly and potentially delivering other benefits to the business, for instance:
- 1.5 IT Dept days per month maintaining a H&S System based in Word/Sharepoint
- 45 hours of chargeable accountants time completing Worksation Assessments
- Reduced costs of insurance
Of course a bespoke management system will have a cost, either one-off or annual licence costs, however when it comes to producing the cost-benefit analysis, the tangible "time" savings will make the financial justification easier.
And to this you could also add improved claims defensibility, enhanced supply chain reputation and almost certainly a more effective and happy H&S Team.