The Safety Software Dilemma
Updated: Feb 14
It’s a common safety management software dilemma – balancing less effort with better information
As workplace health and safety professionals, we tend to like all the intimate details of an incident to be recorded in the safety management software.
The date, the time, the people, the place, what went wrong and what the outcome of it all was.
We need this information for a range of purposes – the investigation itself, to ensure the right
people are involved, to identify trends or to help focus limited resources on root causes.
Given this desire for information, the temptation is for organisations to ask their people to provide every possible data element, every single time.
All this data indicates we’re being diligent, have a system and a process and take incidents seriously.
And more information means better decisions can be made, right?
The temptation that leads to frustration
But a common cry from the people tasked with the entry of this information into the safety management software is ‘Why is this so hard? Why do I need to tell them? Don’t they already know this?’.
And often this can be a fair criticism – it is hard, it does seem meaningless and some of the fundamentals are known.
So in the face of these challenges, the user records whatever it is that they feel is relevant, leaving out anything that’s not known or too hard, or simply adding the bare minimum to get the process over and done with.
The frustration with the mundane impacts the collection of the important
Missing data, or incomplete descriptions generally results unproductive work chasing up the missing details or clarifying what occurred. An unsatisfying interaction with the safety management software is compounded by an unsatisfying conversation with someone who finds this information valuable, with the result that there’s more detailed work to be done! And that detail can be construed as having little value in preventing the incident from happening again.
Is this really the safety culture we’re all striving for?
Get your tools to work smarter, don’t ask your people to work harder. The safety management software you choose, the integration to other organisational tools (such as SAP) and the configuration options you choose can all impact on the user experience.
If information about people can be sourced by the safety management software from products such as SAP or SuccessFactors, there’s no need to ask the user about it.
Where possible, hide it and get it off the screen. Only ask the user for the information that is needed to trigger an appropriate initial incident response. Structure your triage or investigation steps to collect the data may be needed for analysis later.
Scale your data requirements up or down as the situation dictates. Tune your safety management
system to mandate more from a critical event and less from a minor one.
Utilise common tools on mobile devices. A picture tells the story of a thousand words, and those thousand words will be easier to record using voice recognition software. GPS coordinates, weather apps and decibel meters can assist in determining ambient conditions at, or shortly after, the time of the incident. While health apps can paint a picture of physical activity. A screen shot and camera roll upload should be all it takes.
Get your safety management software out of the way!
When users find it easy to tell their story, you should see an increase in both the quality of the
information that’s offered, but also the quantity. Isn’t that the outcome that everyone is aspiring to?
Safety management software that’s the solution, not the problem
If you’re keen to understand how you can improve your people’s perception of their safety
management software, while also improving the quality and quantity of the data that you have
access to and can analyse, reach out to SafetySuite or one of our amazing partners today.
We have over 25 years’ experience providing quality safety management software to organisations
that every day Australians know and trust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is safety software important?
Safety software is important for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to minimize the risk of accidents and incidents, which can have a major impact on an organization's reputation and financial stability. Secondly, it helps organizations comply with industry regulations and standards, which can be complex and constantly evolving. Finally, safety software can help organizations improve their overall safety performance, and make data-driven decisions to prevent accidents and incidents from happening.
What features should safety software have?
Safety software should include tools for compliance management, safety training, data analysis, and incident reporting.
How does safety software improve safety performance?
Safety software helps organizations identify and manage risks which improves overall safety performance. The key is providing employees with key safety training and education resources to deliver peak performance.