Occupational health as a whole is something that has been present since onsite and offsite worker health was recognized as a priority for all industries. Over time it has become crucial to any workplace, specifically those that have traditionally high incident rates such as construction, oil and gas, and transportation. While occupational health itself used to be a paper-based process where action plans would be in binders, incident reports were filled out by all necessary parties, and training classes were accompanied by handouts and written tests, this is simply no longer the case. With the move towards the digital realm, companies now have far more tools at their disposal that can be used to streamline almost every process, and specifically within occupational health with the use of OH software. But what can OH software do to help shape the future of occupational health best practices and reduce incident rates?
Improve Employee Engagement
Using a paper system, and the associated filing cabinets overflowing with information, is no longer an effective route when it comes to training, incident reports, and action plans. This is an obsolete system in the digital age. Engaging employees is key in preventing incidents and the delivery of workplace safety information. Safety software has the ability to directly address these problems. All reports can be input digitally, training can be provided via modules on the system and updated on an as needed basis, and all data collected can be analysed quickly and effectively.
As an example, let’s take a look at the construction industry, which has notoriously high incident rates. Construction workers can learn from past incidents and their causes because they were reported in a digital format. All they need to do is log in to their employee profile and an incident that occurred can quickly be reviewed, along with the causes, and the amendments to the current action plans to avoid reoccurrence. However, if this incident was logged via hard copy and filed away most employees are not going to make the effort of requesting files to view past incidents in order to avoid them. In this instance they are going to expect the occupational health manager to review all data and provide employee briefings. By going digital, a company can actively engage employees and ensure that they have all of the tools at their disposal to keep themselves and others safe.
Access to Offline Help
EHS software solutions also have the ability to be used in an offline format, which means that employees who work in remote locations such as on jobsites out of cellular data range or Wi-Fi can have access to valuable safety information. For example, if an incident occurs during a night shift on a building site and an employee needs to file a paper-based report which is often time-consuming, they may choose not to. This could lead to a similar accident in the future due to lack of reporting. With OH software a report can quickly be filled out digitally, possible courses of action provided, and when back in range the report will be filed within the system and made available to managers.
Essentially, the future of occupational health will be one characterized by automated reporting, management, and evaluation processes that can be utilized at all levels.