How easy has health and safety reporting been for you in 2020? It’s the end of the year. And what a year it has been, especially for health and safety regulations in the construction industry. Who could have imagined that our world would be turned upside down and inside out. Now that we’re on our way into 2020, are you taking time to reflect on the year and how you’ve managed to navigate through it? Is there anything you would have done differently? Or is there anything you’ve done that could be done even better? Can you make 2021 an even easier year to help balance out the stress of 2020?
2020 – the year of PPE, hand sanitiser, face coverings and physical distancing
Of Course PPE is always a feature of a construction site. But not to the extent that it has been this year. Disposables, soap, sanitiser, stickers, face coverings, rules, rules and more rules. HSE’s website is chock full of information and checklists and must-do’s. And COVID-19 has its own dedicated section. There’s ‘Popular Guidance’ and ‘help with assessing risk’ and ‘ongoing updates to information and advice’. It’s a lot to take in.
Were you able to successfully keep track of everything you needed to, without any stress? For those organisations that are lucky and clever enough to have a watertight reporting procedure in place, adding COVID-19 measures into the mix might not have been more than a bit of an intrusion.
For smaller businesses, or businesses without robust health and safety reporting processes, it could have been more of a challenge. And more of a headache.
But now that we’re through the worst of it all, is your business using the benefit of hindsight to inform future decisions? If another worst case scenario were to hit us, would your business be ready for it? Staying on top of every aspect of health and safety is not easy. But it should be and it can be. By looking back at 2020 and using the pandemic as a yardstick, changes can be implemented to make health and safety reporting easier for everyone.
Make health and safety reporting the number one priority for all
The war cry of the pandemic is that we are all ‘in this together’. And that should continue for all aspects of health and safety at work. It’s important to have stringent procedures in place that are easy to use and accessible to everyone. Making everyone in an organisation responsible for health and safety can go a long way to ensuring people are protected. But in order to do this, everyone needs to know how to report problems, issues, near misses or concerns.
By adopting an easy reporting method – like an app – employees, contractors or suppliers can access what they need simply by going onto their phone or a tablet.
Traditionally when someone enters a construction site, a poster might be displayed on the wall providing health and safety requirements. But how do you track who has seen or read the poster? Or what do you do with the list of names and signatures jotted onto the paper on the clipboard?
What if a tablet was located at the site entrance where a form is displayed which confirms that a person has received PPE, read the site guidelines and any additional measures that need to be adhered to. This would be signed and emailed to a central admin office to be kept safely on file.
Accountability on site
Now that people are on site with their PPE and they’ve read the safety guidelines, which by now they’ve forgotten about or are too busy focusing on the task in hand to remember to take notice.
What if employees or site visitors were issued with a reporting app for their mobile phones whilst on site. On the app there would be a form for reporting near misses, potential dangers or even simple things like being low on hand sanitiser. The form can be opened and completed quickly and easily, signed and then emailed to the relevant person to action immediately.
These are just two very simple examples of how you can make your health and safety reporting easier and more efficient in 2021. Embrace new technology with an app based reporting tool and make it easy for everyone to be part of the priority of health and safety at work.
If you find that your health and safety reporting is falling short, take the time to identify how you can make it better.
Will McIlmoyle is Technical Director at INSPCT. He has a wealth of experience developing software and leading a successful team.
If you’d like to investigate how INSPCT would work for your health and safety reporting, please get in touch with us today.