Why You Need a Health and Safety Management System
Implementing an effective health and safety management system is an essential choice. But where do you start?
20 July 2022
Implementing an effective health and safety management system is an essential choice for any business. But where do you start?
When deciding on a health and safety management system, many business owners feel overwhelmed. There are so many things to think about, and it can be difficult to know where to begin. A health and safety management system will help you organise your workplace safety more effectively, collect and review data, and respond to incidents and trends effectively.
But not all health and safety management systems are created equal. You need to pick the right one for your business.
Why do I need a health and safety management system?
By law, you must take steps to ensure the health and safety of your employees. Good health and safety software will help you do that.
In the UK for instance, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 imposes the obligation to have a health and safety policy that is communicated and implemented. However, it doesn't specifically state that a health and safety management system is a legal requirement. Looking objectively though, it's difficult to see how you could comply with the law without having a system in place.
Other laws and regulations also place different obligations on employers. For instance, ISO 45001 sets out additional requirements that health and safety management system must fulfil.
A good health and safety management system will streamline your efforts to meet these obligations, and make it easier for you to identify potential hazards and take steps to mitigate them. It will also give you a clear framework for investigating accidents and incidents. It will help you evidence regulatory compliance more easily too, with regular and robust Audits & Inspections.
Please note of course that the specific requirements will vary depending on which country you are in. Check with your local authorities to find out what is required in your area.
How do I choose the right health and safety management system for my business?
There are a few things you need to think about when choosing a health and safety management system:
- How big is your business?
- What industry are you in?
- What are your specific needs?
- Do you need a paperless or digital solution, or will a paper-based system suffice?
- Do you want a comprehensive solution that includes everything from incident reporting to training modules, or something more basic?
Answering these questions will help you narrow down your options and choose the right health and safety management system for your business.
For instance, do you only need a system now that can do your Audits & Inspections? Audits are key part of you safety processes, conducting regular essential checks of safety standards and regulatory compliance. Or do you need Risk Assessments, Safety Briefings, Inductions, or better contactor management?
If you only need one or two features right now, a modular system might be best. You can then scale up in future if and when your needs change, rather than being tied into a full-service bundle you don't necessarily need.
If you're still not sure which system is right for you, our team of experts can help. We have a wide range of experience with different health and safety management systems, and we're always happy to chat about your specific needs.
Time to choose a paperless health and safety management system
Let us address this key point in more detail. You may think that a paper-based health and safety management system is sufficient for your business. But using a paperless digital health and safety management system will certainly be easier and better.
There are many advantages to using a paperless system. First, it is more efficient. Your data is all stored in one place, so it is easy to find what you are looking for. There is no need to waste time searching through filing cabinets or piles of paper.
Second, paperless systems are more accurate. There is always risk that information gets lost or misplaced when using a paper-based system. But with a digital system, everything is stored securely and backed up.
Third, paperless systems are more flexible. You can access your health and safety management system even when you're out of the office, as they can be accessed from anywhere. And if you need to make changes, it is easy to do so.
Finally, paperless systems are more environmentally friendly. They save paper and reduce waste.
So if you're thinking about switching to a paperless health and safety management system, now is the time to do it.
What should I look for in a health and safety management system?
So, you have made the choice to move to a digital health and safety management system. But what do you need that system to be able to do? What features do you need, and how will you use it? Here are some basic points we think it is important to consider.
Your health and safety management system should be easy to use. It should be intuitive and straightforward, so you can get up and running quickly without needing extensive training.
Your system should be flexible enough to meet the needs of your business today, and in the future. It should be able to grow with you as your business grows.
Your system should make it easy for you to collect, store, and analyse data. The easier the system is to use, the more data you will collect. So, you will have a better overview of what is happening in your workplace.
Analysis and insight
Your system should provide you with the tools you need to analyse data and identify trends. Does your health and safety management system have a good dashboard function? It should help you make quick but informed decisions about health and safety in your workplace.
There is no substitute for human review, but you can certainly let the system do the leg work for you. Your system should provide a range of reports, so you can track progress and compliance. It should also allow you to generate custom reports, so you can get the information you need, when you need it.
Your system should be secure, so you can be sure that your data is safe. It should also be compliant with relevant laws and regulations, and hold the right accreditations. You must consider how your data is stored.
Your health and safety management software should be compatible with a range of devices, so you can access it from anywhere. Do you need a handheld health and safety app you can use on the move? Can you access it online or in the office as well?
Your system should be able to integrate with other systems, so you can share data and work more efficiently. Look out for the ability to link to common off the shelf software such as Microsoft365, or APIs to other business systems.
In today's multicultural workplace, communicating health and safety can be a challenge. Break through the language barrier by picking a system that is available in a range of languages as standard, or offers translations.
Your system should be configurable, so you can tailor it to the specific needs of your business. Do you need to apply specific templates or branding? Good health and safety management software will provide a customisable framework that isn't restrictive.
There is no point picking a software package, then having to work out the details yourself. You will want to get started quickly and resolve issues promptly. Your system should come with ongoing customer support and training, so you can get help when you need it.
Your system must be priced competitively, so you get the best value for money. You should avoid being tied into costly long-term bundles stuffed with features you do not want or need. Alternatively, Work Wallet charges per user, per month, per feature, keeping you in control of your budgets.
Work Wallet's health and safety management system can help you
Which set of health and safety management tools you choose depends on what your needs are. You will also need to decide on the importance you place on the factors outlined above.
We know our product is one of the best around. We are confident that Work Wallet can help to streamline your health and safety processes, improve compliance, and protect your workers.
Our modular system is simple to use, flexible, and configurable. We provide everything you need, all one place. However, you can simply subscribe to one module, if that is all you want. And our pricing model means you only pay for what you need, when you need it, easily scaling up or down.
A health and safety audit assesses your workplace policies, processes, procedures, and systems, highlighting areas for improvement.