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How to ensure you pick the right health and safety management system

17 February 2017

In today’s world we are bombarded with computer solutions aimed at every aspect of our daily lives.

There isn’t an answer, it appears, which cannot be found somewhere at the touch of a button, from bringing up a child to how to become a time traveller.

The onslaught of tech solutions can on the one hand appear intimidating, but taking time to sift through all the morass can help you strike gold and put you very much on the front foot as far as your Health and Safety management is concerned.

One of the biggest dangers lurking is inheriting or dashing in and buying a system that doesn’t suit your needs. There are plenty of off-the-shelf products which will undoubtedly do a job, and some might be perfect for you, but equally you risk over-complicating your system, and perhaps having paid for elements of the software that you don’t need or want. The question you must always ask before buying is “Does this system really do the job I need it to do?”

It might look great, it might sound great, but if it doesn’t fit with your business need it is not really fit for purpose and let’s face it, every business is different and has its different shapes, sizes and needs.

Talking to a supplier and allowing them to get to know you and your business is crucial if they are to provide you with exactly what you need. Building a relationship will benefit both parties.

And then there is security. In the modern era where headlines about hacking are commonplace, you should take time to investigate where your data is housed and how secure it is, checking what security standards your host has. If you are not happy with those hosting arrangements and the security of your data, proceed with the utmost caution.

That should not, however, put you off taking the plunge. You may already use a digital health and safety management system, or you might be one of those many companies that embrace technology in lots of areas of their business, but still use a paper-based system, which when considering any businesses’ strength is its people, is an anomaly. If treating the safety and health of your workforce is a key priority then it demands as robust and helpful a health and safety management as possible.

H&S solutions have so much to offer, the starting point being they are a great asset to helping you meet your legal obligations. Software today allows companies to automatically record, audit, track and report all manners of activity, from risk at the outset to the right activity and ‘learning’ when something goes wrong. Modern systems are accessible online, allowing anyone in your business to input and update from wherever they are; working from home, out on the road, or sitting on a mountain (if they can get wifi up there!).

They simplify processes and streamline activity, setting an excellent example to your staff and providing a strong foundation for best practice.

This, along with so many other features available, means lower operational and staffing costs, and improved efficiencies, helping you towards operating a business with lower accidents and incidents, a positive internal and external reputation and increased confidence among your clients and stakeholders. And it saves lives!

Bob Betts, operations director, Warwick International Computing Systems