Which Incident Management Tool is right for you?
When it comes to health and safety, one of the most important decisions you'll make is which Incident Management tool to choose.
24 June 2022
One of the most important safety decisions you'll make is which Incident Management tool to choose.
An Incident Management tool is designed to help businesses manage health and safety incidents, from reporting and investigating to recording and analysing.
Many businesses still use paper-based processes, but these can be difficult to use, analyse and maintain. However, with the right digital tool, businesses can go paperless, save time, boost productivity and be more sustainable.
There are many different incident management tools on the market, so how do you know which one is right for you? There are many factors to consider. In this blog post, we will discuss the top factors to consider when making your decision.
What to look for in your Incident Management tool
Here are some of the key factors to consider:
The tool should be easy to use, with a clear and concise interface. It should be intuitive and user-friendly, with minimal training required. The easier your incident management tools are to use, the more likely people are to use them effectively, and the more valuable they will be to your business. You'll gather more data, giving you a complete picture of what is happening in your workplace, and why.
Accessibility and permissions
The tool should be accessible to all employees who need it, with the appropriate permissions in place. Everyone should be able to report an incident, to make sure you capture comprehensive data about your incidents and near misses. But, for example, you may want to give managers or incident investigators access to all data, while restricting other users to view only data relevant to them.
The tool should also allow you to easily share data with other stakeholders, such as health and safety professionals, insurers and regulators.
Available on mobile and desktop
You Incident Management tools should be available on both mobile and desktop devices. This will allow employees to report incidents anywhere, anytime, empowering them to become part of your safety culture. It will give you the flexibility to use the tool in the way that best suits your business, and offer seamless communication between the workplace and office-based management teams.
The tool should allow incidents to be reported quickly and easily. The reporting process should be straightforward, with clear instructions on what data to capture. The more complex the reporting process, the less likely it is that employees will use the tool effectively.
You need built-in flexibility to use free text fields or speed up the reporting processes with a pre-defined menu of options. Additionally, using images and simple clickable menus - such as pictorial injury reporting - makes it easier too.
Your Incident Management tools should help businesses meet their health and safety obligations. The tool should also make it easy to share data with other stakeholders, such as health and safety professionals, insurers and regulators.
It should allow businesses to easily evidence compliance with health and safety legislation, such as RIDDOR - The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
Under RIDDOR, there are four main categories of incident that must be reported: deaths, major injuries, over-seven-day injuries, and dangerous occurrences. Furthermore, there are specific details that must be recorded by law. Not reporting these incidents properly, or at all, is a criminal offence, potentially punishable by an unlimited fine from the HSE. Getting your reporting right is essential.
You will also want a system that keeps your evidence to hand at all times, making data storage and accessibility important too.
Accurate record keeping
Your Incident Management tools should keep accurate records of incidents. This is vital for understanding patterns and trends in your workplace. It will also help you to target interventions, and make improvements to health and safety in your business.
Under RIDDOR, and as a minimum, you will always need to capture at least the following information:
- The date of the incident
- The location of the incident
- The names of those involved
- A description of what happened
- The name and contact details of the person making the report (if different from above)
However, by capturing more data, especially at the time of the incident, the better the record you will have of what happened. Consequently, you will be able to draw better conclusions.
A picture speaks a thousand words, and simple text is rarely enough to detail an incident properly. Therefore, the tool should allow for multimedia reports, including photos and videos.
With the snap of the camera on your mobile device, you can take images contemporaneously at the time of the incident. Images allow you to capture key details that may otherwise go unreported. This will give you a more complete picture of the incident, and help you to understand what happened.
Photos and videos can also be used to show the location of an incident, the extent of injuries, or the condition of equipment. This is especially useful for dangerous occurrences, which may require investigation.
The big bonus of choosing digital Incident Management tools is that the system can do the leg-work for you.
The tool you choose should provide built-in analytics to help businesses track trends and improve incident management. Integrated dashboards should allow you to see your headline information in real-time, at any time.
This data can help you to target interventions, and make improvements to health and safety.
It's possible you may still want to do more analysis yourself manually. Therefore, an option to export your complete data set is still important.
Integrations with other systems and features
Ideally, you will probably want your Incident Management tools to integrate with other safety systems and features. This will give you a more complete picture of your overall health and safety situation.
For instance, why not look for a system that provides more comprehensive functionality, while retaining user choice? If all you think you need - at least for now - are Incident Management tools, find the best system for that for you. However, keep an eye on what your future needs might be too. A modular system, such as Work Wallet, allows you to easily scale up at any time.
In addition, consider if the system will offer link-ups using an API, or whether it offers out-of-the-box integrations with popular software applications. For example, Work Wallet offers connections with packages including Power BI, Azure, and Active Directory.
Data storage and security
When an incident happens, you will need to collect the name and contact details of those involved. This is personal data, and subject to GDPR. The Incident Management tools you use must, therefore, have robust security measures in place.
Your Incident Management tools should offer:
- User management and permissions
- Password protection
- Data encryption
- Data backups
- Regular security updates
It's also important to consider where your data will be stored. For example, Work Wallet is a cloud-based platform hosted in a secure UK data centre. Your information synchronises instantaneously, maintaining accuracy with no data loss. Additionally, make sure whatever system you choose has the necessary data security certifications in place.
The cost of the tool should obviously be considered when making a decision. However, it's important to remember that the Incident Management tools you choose will save you time and money in the long run.
A paper-based system is often free to set up, but can be costly to maintain. You need to factor in the cost of paper, printing, and storage.
Using digital Incident Management tools will minimise your costs. Although there may be a subscription fee, this will usually be offset by the efficiency savings you make. Consider also whether the Incident Management tool offers a free trial, helping you to try before you buy, with no risk.
The Incident Management tools you choose should offer good value for money. They should also be affordable and flexible, with different pricing options to suit businesses of all sizes.
Many providers have one overall product package, with a one-size-and-one-price-fits-all approach. Consequently, this means you inevitably pay more for a system with parts you don't want or need.
Making the right choice
Choosing the right incident management tool is essential for protecting your employees and your business. By considering the factors above, you can make sure you choose a tool that meets the specific needs of your situation and business.
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