Reposted from Security Magazine
While technology advances have significantly improved the communication and collaboration aspects of work in all industries, there are also multiple ways in which tech can be used to boost safety and productivity for workers.
Especially for employers with an isolated workforce or with lone workers that can come across third party risks or hazards completely outside of an employer’s control, tech solutions can make a great difference.
What are the ways in which technological solutions improve workplace safety and boost worker productivity? From wearable safety devices, incident reporting software and alarm monitoring systems, to incidents and task management software, employers have access to a whole host of solutions to try and implement.
In this article, you’ll learn about how to leverage tech in the health and safety industry, from the importance of doing this to some practical solutions that you can embrace easily.
Why use technology for safety and productivity?
When technology is discussed in a workplace context, it is normally associated with productivity, especially from a process improvement perspective. This can range from office organization tools to sharing information, calendars, and resources.
Especially recently during the health crisis, technology has also been heavily linked to communication in the office as well as in more operational contexts. Delivering meetings via online platforms, being able to share screens and documents, and enabling colleagues to contact each other virtually 24/7 through a host of apps has become the norm in the modern workplace.
However, the health and safety industry has yet to fully tap into the potential of tech solutions. Currently, technology can be used to prevent injuries and even fatalities thanks to the use of devices like a man down alarm.
Some organizations might make use of trackers and incident reporting software. But many of the tools used to keep people safe and manage their daily workload are becoming outdated, complex, slow, or lead to even more problems for managers.
This is why embracing new, simple and well-performing tech solutions can make a huge difference to how your teams work every day. With intuitive, reliable and integrated tools, workflow management and ensuring safety and security move into the modern era.
Using the full array of tech solutions available for workplace safety and productivity can yield multiple benefits:
- Reducing the risk of manual errors and missed reports or check-ins;
- Adding a layer of fail-safe security measures to fall back upon in case of incidents, even when workers involved may be less well trained or more junior;
- Making safety and security more transparent and easier to enact thanks to apps and devices;
- Shareable workflows and to-do lists which enable the whole team to communicate and collaborate better, while staying aware of where everyone is;
- Easier and faster lessons learnt logging and information sharing.
Top tech solutions for your workforce
So, what are the best ways to include technology for your workforce to support their health and safety, while also boosting productivity? Below is a non-exhaustive list of solutions you can proactively implement with your teams quickly and easily.
Safety devices and lone worker apps
The first step towards ensuring worker safety in any environment is conducting a thorough risk assessment. This should be based on interviews with staff, a process overview and any lessons learnt from previous incidents.
After your risk assessment, you will most likely find that the minimum requirement for worker safety is that your teams are equipped with safety devices. These include lone worker safety devices and apps, which allow them to contact a central in-house or external monitoring team.
These solutions ensure real-time communication and alert raising during emergencies. They also offer a seamless user experience, especially when using apps that support two-way voice calls, a one-touch discreet alarm activation, and the familiarity of a mobile phone we all use every day.
Finally, they are a great source of peace of mind for workers, allowing them to be productive without worrying about being stranded in case something goes wrong.
Alarm monitoring systems
Having safety devices and apps is a great first step towards ensuring employees’ safety. However, a key element of keeping your teams safe is the ability to always respond when an alarm is triggered.
This is where alarm monitoring systems come in. The latest, most competitive ones offer custom-fit solutions that match your organization’s requirements. Look for one which integrates perfectly with your workers’ devices and is supported by a cloud-based platform for perfect interoperability and access from wherever your monitoring team is situated.
Incident reporting software
Preventing hazards from developing into safety incidents is facilitated by the use of safety devices, alarm monitoring systems, and overall improved communication and monitoring of workers. However, things can always go wrong and it’s important to be able to accurately and easily report incidents.
New tech solutions enable workers to streamline and speed up their reporting, capturing the information quickly and accurately.
This has two benefits: firstly, it makes reporting easier and more attractive, as it is less awkward than filling in long paper forms or outdated systems. Secondly, modern incident reporting software boosts productivity, too. As less time is spent logging, more time can be spent on moving ahead with important work.
Finally, consider using incident reporting software that allows the users to log hazards and near misses. This can significantly improve overall safety by reducing the likelihood of incidents occurring. It also boosts productivity as it reduces the hours possibly missed as a result of an incident.
Mass notification software
Depending on your industry, mass notifications can become very important for alerting entire regions or wider populations that could be impacted by an incident or hazard. Keeping people informed before, during, and after critical events can make the difference between a hazard and a massive accident.
For mass notifications, there are also significant productivity benefits to be gained from efficient communication and alerts. Rerouting workers, organizing plan B activities or putting in place continuity plans can also be made easier by using mass notification software that alerts everyone concerned quickly and efficiently.
Inspections and task management software
Finally, when it comes to managing workloads and tasks, coordinating groups and logging and ticking off actions, the latest task management software can make a huge difference for saving time and ensuring productivity levels are at their best.
From a health and safety perspective, software supporting inspection forms that can be created in easy-to-use templates will help save time and make it easier for your inspectors to complete their work. Organizing corrective action plans can all be done quicker and in a more interconnected fashion if you’re using an all-in-one app, too.
Task management software that allows management to see where the workforce is deployed at all times also enhances security and productivity.
An overview of teams’ locations ensures that they can be contacted for pre-emptive hazard reporting, located easily in the case of an incident, and deployed effectively when synergies are noticed in activity on the ground.
For example, noticing that one team member is not far from a site where others need help, contacting and deploying them at that location, saves everyone significant time and travel.
Eliminating pen-and-paper reporting makes all the information easier to share, come back to in the future, and use in training. It’s also a more sustainable, enduring way to log all the data for the long term.
Proactively use technology to enhance your teams’ safety and productivity
Embracing tech solutions in your business will enable your teams to work safer and quicker, creating a positive and interconnected workplace.
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