How can digitalisation contribute to a higher safety culture?

The digital revolution has been going on in companies for years. However, the corona pandemic has given it an even stronger push. Accounting and personnel management have been managed on different platforms or software for more than 10 years, then other processes, such as production monitoring, sales process monitoring, task monitoring, are beginning to become more and more popular. It is gratifying to note that the digitalisation of health and safety processes are also starting to grow, but it is still in its infancy stage.

Switching to a complete platform with all occupational health and safety processes is common in very large and international companies. In medium-sized companies, usually some processes have been solved digitally, but it is still mainly managed on excel sheets and paper (10 reasons to stop managing health and safety on excel..). In small businesses, managing occupational health and safety digitally is a rare occurrence, which is understandable because occupational health and safety activities are less frequent and can be handled in a Google Drive folder or a document management or personnel program.
Digitalisation in health and safety (6 myths) will certainly help to increase the safety culture.

The whole organization is involved in the processes

When an organization adopts a new platform or digital tool, the whole organization becomes aware of it. In some cases, all members of the organization are involved in the use of the new tool, such as incident reporting, but in some cases everyone is aware, but only those responsible for the process actually use it, such as preparing a risk analysis. However, because there is a constant overview of activities and the result is visible to everyone, the due diligence is ongoing and this is increasing the culture of safety.

Unified processes make everyone behave in the same way and understand goals

When in excel everyone is creating a system and design that suits them, then in a digital platform everyone is following the same system and recording all the required data and displaying the results in a coherent way. Similarly, process participants are united by the pursuit of common goals, and platforms enable the visualization of processes and KPI performances.

Greater time savings allow for more prevention and safety culture.

The biggest win for most digital platforms is time saving, as it allows you to solve different processes more efficiently. Therefore saving more time means more time that can be spent on prevention and safety culture. 

Digital solutions help to make the invisible visible in the work environment

Most platforms allow you to retrieve reports or summarize trends that show the causes of incidents, hazardous processes and other issues that occur in the work environment. If these trends are addressed systematically, it will all help to improve the safety culture.

Main benefits of digital revolution

1. Access – all necessary parties have access to the data 

2. Searchability – data is structured and therefore easy to find (Searchability)

3. Overview – the data is in one place and the processes are executed in one place, which allows the results and the current situation to be displayed unambiguously in real time.

4. Preservation – Data is stored in one place and on a uniform basis

5. Interaction – users can show progress, complete actions and receive reminders through the system 

6. Integration – Some systems require integration with other systems, such as personnel management software through which employees’ data is exchanged and therefore there is no need to insert it twice. 

7. Recoverability – in general, data can be recovered on all systems in case something is accidentally deleted

In conclusion it is worth considering implementing a software (13 tips on how to …) for health and safety management. It helps to make the life of the health and safety responsible persons so much easier and also helping to increase the level of safety culture. 

headshot of Dan Wheatley, Straight Talk Consulting founder

By Jaanika Jelistratov, Founder