Incident Management: Your Springboard to Deeper EHS Efficiency.

Category: Health & Safety
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Incident Management: Your Springboard to Deeper EHS Efficiency.

In this instalment of HSI Donesafe’s Nourish & Knowledge series, Joel and Olivia shared some real world examples about how the right EHS platform can significantly improve your EHS outcomes. 

In this article, we’ll share the highlights from the webinar from how ‘just starting’ can be a catalyst for improved workplace safety, learnings from successful program rollouts, and examples of how HSI Donesafe can move your organisation from baseline reporting to becoming a safety powerhouse.

Incident Management: Where it all begins. 

For the majority of organisations, the EHS journey begins with basic incident management. The immediate goal is to record incidents and hazards when they occur and figure out where and why they occur, identifying their root cause.  

This is a great starting point but soon many find limitations in the way they capture incidents, which can be paper based or manual entry into spreadsheets and often disconnected from the rest of the organisation. For some, they’ve implemented an incident management system but when they look to do more with the data captured, they are unable to due to system limitations.

Don’t just record the hazard, reduce the risk.

Once incident management has been implemented most EHS professionals seek to do more. The trigger to explore better EHS systems is pulled when limitations in the current systems are uncovered. 

Driven by their desire to keep people safe, they want to explore how they can go beyond and control the hazards, implement plans to reduce an incident occurring in the workplace, and to share safety information by promptly alerting officers across the organisation (and at multiple sites). 

As Olivia shared, the momentum then continues (kind of like a safety snowball). 

“Incident Management leads into Risk Management. They [EHS Professionals] want to look at ways to identify certain risks, and alert the right people in the organisation, and hold them accountable to managing and minimising those risks.” 

Auditing is also a commonly requested module, followed by contractor management to ensure everyone is liable, keeping competencies and training up to date to reduce incidents and injuries is the workplace”. 

Once these are in place, the next logical step is linking incident management and hazard management into risk management to improve safety processes.

This all seems logical but with some much on your plate, you’re probably thinking ‘but how can I successfully expand my safety management program?’. 

The answer is simple – start simply and scale over time. 

Slow and steady wins the EHS race.

As Joel explained, “often we see people coming across [to HSI Donesafe] because they’re systems are manual, starting from nothing or systems no longer meet their needs. The most successful are those programs who have a phased approach… not biting off more than you can chew.”

While the pain of the current system is raw, you may be tempted to roll out a complete system overhaul but we generally advise against this approach.

“You already have your full time job as a safety manager, and to try and bring in a project and implement a huge number of modules all at once is just not being fair on your capacity.” Joel shared, favouring a controlled, phased implementation plan.

“With a phased approach, we can build them around frameworks, such as basic safety management framework which incorporates incident hazards, checklist, audits, and action management as well.”

For many, digital safety management systems are seen predominantly as great ways to catch data. But with HSI Donesafe, the system can link everything together to give you a full 360 degree view of your organisation. And with a successful rollout, you’ll unlock a whole new level of safety insights. 

As an example of how HSI Donesafe can improve safety across your organisation, the team demonstrated a basic step-by-step incident register.

While the screen looks simple – it is intentionally designed that way to quickly and accurately capture data – there’s powerful tech working behind the scenes. 

Available on any device, all forms are guided by and tailored to your needs to get the best outcomes for your workplace and staff members. It can be accessed by a url, or QR code, and is available in multiple languages. 

As Joel explains, when it comes to incident reporting your forms should be simple to use, simple to understand, and require the minimal viable information to record the incident. 

“At the end of the day, if you don’t have a high level of safety maturity, we don’t want the incident form to be asking them a huge amount of detail around the nature and mechanism and breakdown of agency and those sort of things when it comes to the injury because they’re potentially not gonna know it. What we’re going to do then is create a barrier for them actually entering the data. The other one is language as well. Keep things simple using terminology that’s used on the shop floor… to help them engage with the platform.” 

Unlike a thorough paper form that’s complex and asks for unrelated information, it’s instant, easy and therefore more likely to be completed. The system also allows upload of multiple files and file types and will recognise the device you’re using – so if you’re on a smartphone you can take a photo and instantly attach it to the report. 

Thanks to the easy customisation, each organisation can specify what type of injury it is, and link it to hazards recorded in the system. Olivia and Joel showed how easy this is to do with the HSI Donesafe Incident Management module, and how it can effectively alert multiple people in multiple locations to reduce risks across the organisation. 

Once an incident is reported, a manager is alerted and can instantly link the incidents to existing hazards, or if the incident has created a hazard, a new hazard can be created.

The hazard report includes the hazard name, category, and risk level and can be completed in seconds.

And when that’s done you’ll be able to see the related hazard(s) linked to the incident as well. Now, if that particular hazard is applicable in other locations, you can then alert your wider team by pushing a notification, informing them of the incident/hazard, why it was caused, and for them to check their environment to make sure the same incident doesn’t occur in other locations. 

Reporting: Using data in a meaningful way. 

Data can be overwhelming, but HSI Donesafe makes reporting simple and easy to understand. Quick filtering by type, risk rating, time frames and more, opens up opportunities to help organisations to look at their risk matrix and take learnings and results from one site to apply best practice to other sites. 

Olivia shared a recent example, with an aged care client, who uses the simple visual reporting dashboard to improve their processes:

“What they were looking at doing and what they loved about [HSI Donesafe’s] risk management solution is that it does open up opportunities to help… they look at the risk matrix and go, ‘OK on this site here, they’ve got very low ratings. What are they doing there?’.

“So that site manager might have a conversation with the other one about looking at how they are managing their staff. What protocols do they have? So it’s a really good learning piece for them to change some of their processes that they have and really helps them dig deep into sharing that information… and then the ability to report to their key stakeholders with that information is super crucial.”

Joel continued with an example from the manufacturing industry, where reporting helped build the case to replace an old piece of machinery that was causing injuries. 

“I remember years ago now working with a client that had an old bit of machinery that they knew was causing injuries and incidents.

But the business was like, ‘no, it’s gonna cost us, you know, $200,000 to replace it’.

“Through reporting, the EHS leader was able to show the executive team that the replacement cost was far less than the cost of not replacing it. The report showed them the 4 four injuries caused and the $500,000 in workers compensation.” 

The machine got replaced. 

And that’s the power of great reporting. 

As Joel states, “Once we start to paint the picture in that light, and give a global view rather than specific injuries and incidents you can improve safety while tying it to everything else that’s happening across the business. And ultimately tying it back to dollars and cents is always useful”.

Moving to more advanced use cases

As organisations begin to harness the full potential of their safety data, the next step is to integrate other relevant data points – the possibilities are endless. Olivia and Joel discussed some examples, from existing corporate risk libraries, external platforms such as google reviews, and videos.

The great news is that HSI Donesafe can quickly evolve and integrate with the data and systems you need to continually scale and improve your EHS program. 

Example 1: Building insights from incident reporting.

While the ability to quickly report an incident or hazard is a critical starting point, mature safety systems will go beyond this.

As Joel illustrated, with HSI Donesafe’s incident review, not only does it ask all the usual things you would expect – whether it’s notifiable, what the severity is, and so on – you can look at it from a risk framework. That is, what is the risk of this incident happening again?

By integrating your risk library, you can quickly search and select the risk category that the incident relates to, for example slips, trips and falls. This instantly pre-populates with the risk description and controls, creating a central record of all incidents linked to that specific risk category. Now you can easily conduct your risk review.

Additionally, the visual and simple to understand graphs can help you compare risk categories at a glance. By doing so, you’ll quickly see the highest risk categories throughout your organisation and can focus your attention on decreasing the most common incidents and hazards. 

From here, audit and quality control can be introduced and you can review, and report on, the reduction in the number of incidents from these quality control measures. 

Example 2: External Contractor Safety Management

For many, safety management goes beyond the employed workforce and third party contractors must be aware of, and adhere to your organisational safety requirements. Ensuring they are up-to-date and report incidents while on a job is critical.

Luckily, HSI Donesafe can simplify this and keep all records within your safety management system. As Olivia explained:

“So we’ve got organisations that might record an induction video, a learning management module, for contractors to complete as part of their induction.  This will help control incidents from happening because they’re ticking off those protocols when they’re joining and doing work in the organisation”.

The system can also flag each contractor’s insurances and accreditations ensuring they meet all your requirements before they begin any work. With a fully customisable checklist that’s fit for purpose, you’ll ensure your organisation’s safety and liability is never put at risk. 

Example 3: All departments working together to reduce risk. 

It’s amazing how seemingly unrelated data can help with your safety efforts. 

This is highlighted in a case study that Olivia shared, from a client in healthcare – they’re working with their marketing team to reduce safety risks and improve quality… using Google review data!

“I’m working with a healthcare client at the moment, who’s been using Donesafe for quite some time, they’re in roll out (phase) number four… they’ve got a lot sitting within the platform, and a lot of it’s deeply integrated.

“At the moment they’re actually working with their marketing team to look at patient feedback and everything that’s coming through and being able to tie that to incidents as well.

“By bringing that data into Donessafe and then being able to say, well this one [review] was actually related to this clinical incident… they can tie those two things together, and then they can start to again look at that risk management framework and look at that from a reputational risk point of view as well.”

As you can see, it’s amazing how much you can achieve when you use incident management as a springboard to EHS efficiency. Through a steady, phased approach you can significantly improve safety outcomes and you don’t need multiple systems to do so. 

In fact, having a universal system will help improve safety outcomes across your organisation, driving adoption and engagement while reducing wasted admin time and resources. You’ll unlock all the tools you need as you grow, but easily start now with the essentials. 

If you’re not confident in your current systems or are curious about how HSI Donesafe can help move your organisation from “managing acceptable risk” to really understanding and reducing risks, get in touch with us today. 

HSI Donesafe simplifies EHSQ. By seamlessly combining all Health, Safety, Environmental, Quality, and Risk Management programs into a unified system you’ll reduce admin time while drastically increasing engagement. Accessible everywhere for everyone, from the front-line to the boardroom, your organisation’s safety will always be in sync. 

All your reports. All your insights. All your actions. All in one place. 

Contact us to discuss your unique challenges and one of our team will advise you of the right modules to begin with. Together we’ll roll out a plan that has low stress and high adoption, ensuring a smooth transition for you and your team.

Keen to explore Donesafe further? Reach out today.