Keep Employees Safe!
Workplace injuries can happen in any company, at any time regardless of the industry you operate in. However, there are more hazards present in heavy industries like mining, construction, and oil & gas. The severity of injuries tends to be higher in these business sectors since workers are exposed to hazards like high temperature and heavy equipment in motion. The AWCBC publishes annual data about occupational injuries and illnesses in Canada, and there were 271,806 lost-time claims in 2019 (latest year reported as of April 2021). This data is also broken down by business sectors, including heavy industries:
- Manufacturing = 36,432
- Construction = 28,111
- Transportation and warehousing = 19,297
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting = 12,539
- Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction = 2,016
- Utilities = 770
Environmental, health, and safety software can aid in accident prevention in the workplace by automating many tasks related to workplace safety. EHS software makes compliance easier by making key documents like training certificates and operator tickets easily accessible. For example, a Training Record Management System or TRMS can keep track of certificate expiration dates, and send automatic notifications when certificates or licenses must be renewed soon.
Here are five ways safety software contributes to accident prevention and OHS compliance in workplaces.
1) Comply With Regulatory Standards
Occupational health and safety regulations are should be strictly enforced everywhere, but they can vary by geographic location. As a result, compliance can be challenging for companies that operate in several provinces, territories, or states. However, EHS software can manage the safety training and documentation requirements of different jurisdictions. EHS software can automatically generate a safety checklist for each employee, based on their job position. For example, safety software can create a customized training program with a list of mandatory courses and certificates, and a dashboard with all the digital forms that will be needed while working.
2) Reduce Workplace Risks
Safety software makes hazards more visible while providing guidance on how to manage risks.
For example, an operator can report that a piece of equipment is malfunctioning, and everyone who may use it will be notified immediately. When a hazard is identified, there is no way to send an immediate warning to the entire staff. Many accidents can be prevented by making workers aware of hazards as quickly as possible, and this can be accomplished with software. 62,035 of the injuries reported by the AWCBC were caused by contact with equipment and objects, 55,139 were caused by falls, and 18,351 were caused by exposure to harmful substances or environments. For example, some harmful gases have no color or smell, and workers may be exposed to a lethal dose without being aware. In these cases, safety software can provide an immediate company-wide notification when a leak occurs, indicating the specific gas and location of the leak, along with safety instructions.
3) Provide Adequate Training
Safety training gives workers important skills to protect themselves and others. With training, they can become familiarized with the main hazards they may encounter at work, how to identify and combat them. To avoid a hazard, you must first know it exists and many of them are not evident. For example, there is no way to tell if a surface is extremely hot or electrically charged based on vision alone. EHS software can manage the training requirements of employees, making sure they are ready for any task. Keeping track of courses and certificates by hand may be possible for a small company, but not for a corporation with hundreds of employees on multiple sites. Without software, employees have a higher chance of missing critical safety training for their job.
4) Inspect Equipment
The AWCBC reported 20,211 injuries caused by tools, instruments and equipment. Just like safety software can manage training programs for a large staff, it also simplifies the inspection and maintenance requirements of a large fleet. Inspection forms can be filled digitally, and employees can receive automatic reminders when a specific form is due. Malfunctions can be reported right away, ensuring that nobody uses the affected equipment until it gets repaired. Keeping equipment in optimal conditions contributes to accident prevention, and safety software can help manage preventative maintenance programs. Solving equipment issues before they happen is safer and less expensive than allowing breakdowns.
5) Incident Tracking
“You can’t control what you can’t measure” is a popular quote among engineers, and it applies to workplace safety. To improve your organization’s safety program, first, you must know which accidents and near misses are the most common. With EHS software, any incident can be reported within seconds. On the other hand, minor accidents and near misses are more likely to stay undetected when employees don’t have access to a quick reporting tool. Even near misses may indicate serious issues, and a major accident may happen eventually if no actions are taken.
Safety software makes compliance simpler since any training certificate or safety document required by inspectors can be opened within seconds. Software can offer reporting functions that can contribute to accident prevention by making workers aware of the hazards present. Incidents can be tracked more effectively over time, revealing underlying threats before they cause more accidents. EHS software also makes safety management simpler, by automating workflows and tasks. Normally, managing safety training and maintenance programs is a time-consuming responsibility, but many tasks can be completed much faster by software. For example, training certificates and inspection forms involve plenty of paperwork normally, but they are just a few clicks away when safety software is used. Introducing EHS software into your company can streamline safety procedures, reduce injuries, and keep your employees safer!