If we look at the official data for non-fatal accidents at work in the EU, the statistic will show us graphs that either go up or down. Going up means more accidents at work, while going down means the opposite. More accidents means more expenses. So the reasonable question here for both – regulators and private enterprises that are subject to regulations is: how to control the rate of work accidents and keep it down? The indirect answer is: by optimising the safety inspection program of the organisation. The more direct answer that tells exactly how to do that, you’ll find below.
The basic purpose of optimising the safety inspection programs is to ensure:
1. Worker’s safety
Keeping the workforce safe ensures the long-term stability of the company’s worker retention program
2. Good reputation
An organisation with low rate of work accidents is an organisation with good reputation. It’s an advantage and should be recognised as such.
3. No disruption of operations
The safety of the work environment improves productivity and reduces the disruption of operations. Avoiding disruptions helps company to keep their work on the budget they planned.
4. No fines by regulators
Regulations are being updated regularly. That’s why it’s important to use an inspection solution that ensures that regulations are being followed in an up to date manner. Because fines may seriously side track the company’s plan.
A good safety inspection program may be divided by three components:
The inspection planning and scheduling component needs constant optimising because a good plan can improve the resource utilisation and prevent mistakes.
The inspection execution component is the part that can significantly improve the speed and quality of inspections. The use of technology can transform the work of inspectors by allowing them to use pre-defined inspection checklists or just benefit from entirely digital document management system. The digital infrastructure of the inspection management process can remove the manual work that often slows down inspectors.
The digital infrastructure allows inspectors to gain better visibility on inspection outcomes and therefore recommend relevant actions and training to the workers that can reduce the risk of accidents on the workplace.
The importance of digitizing the safety inspection checklists
What’s the best way for inspector to identify risks during safety inspection? By following a checklist. When everything’s written down on a checklist, the inspector has a better chance to cover all of the potential risks. With digital inspection management solution, the process can be improved even more. When regulatory bodies adopt software solutions for safety inspections, the pre-defined checklists can be easily implemented into the work process of inspectors. For different types of safety inspections can be configured specific checklists.
If we step out of the regulatory inspections field for a moment and look at the general impact of checklists, we’ll see double confirmation about their benefits. A lot of researches are pointing that checklists help experts to execute their projects more efficiently. In an important field like safety inspections, the power of checklists must be utilized to ensure the wellbeing not only of workers, but of the community at all.
Checklists remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance.
Why a safety inspection software must have configurable checklists?
Safety inspections are complex and that’s why configurability must be a part of the requirements to any inspection management solution. A good configurable inspection software will allow regulatory agencies to configure specific checklists for each type of safety inspections – safety inspections for tools and equipment, for electrical concerns, for scaffolding, etc. Checklists are very overlooked component in the inspection programs. Their function is a gamechanger when it comes to data gathering. Because only detailed and correctly gathered data may generate a valuable inspection report.
The importance of optimising safety inspection reports
The outcome of a safety inspection inspection ends into a report. The report has the purpose to recommend corrective actions to reduce the risks of hazards in the future. However, a report may or may not be efficient if the best practices aren’t followed.
The benefits that safety inspection reports bring are:
1. Capturing erro-free inspection data
A good inspection checklist is a key to gathering sufficient error-free data that can be exported into inspection report.
2. Real-time documenting of inspections
Recording inspections in real-time allows inspectors to capture fully their observations. The performing of field inspections with tablet allows them to capture images in the mean time and attach them to the reporting file. The image can make feedback more clear.
3. Full visibility over inspection data
The digital gathering of inspection data allows inspectors to gain better visibility over the inspected subjects. The leverage on data can make inspections more risk-focused and help not only to mitigate risks, but also improve over all compliance.
4. Make safety inspection reports readable
Big words and complex sentences have no place in inspection reports. Reports must be understandable and clear. No unreadable handwriting! Automating the generation of inspection reports based on the gathered data and collected observations, can ensure the readability of the reports.
How to find the right safety inspection software?
The choice of inspection management system depends on the strategy that the organization is following. If a government agency is following a cloud-first strategy, then sure their focus must be on cloud inspection services. If the organization is focused at health and food safety, then they should aim at a solution that is specialised in this sector. The same applies for enterprises that want to transform their inner inspections and audits.
Two rules for preparing safety inspection research:
- Find something that will answer your goals – cloud-based solution or on-premise solution?
- Find something that will be a good fit to your use case – work safety inspections, food safety inspections, environmental inspections, etc.
Prepare a list of requirements and start your research. Then reach out to potential suppliers and book a Product tour or a Demo session that can highlight the features that can provide the execution of the best practices we described above. The next reasonable step would be to order a proof of concept.