Safety affects your company at every level. Whether the work environment is putting people at risk, or safety outcomes are affecting the bottom line, everyone in an organization has a reason to care about safety. If you use the right tools and execute each step well, your safety program will benefit everyone – from technicians in the field to executives in the boardroom.
Where do you start? Fundamentally, all well-designed safety programs follow these four simple steps:
1 – Record the incident
It’s important that every incident is recorded so you know what exactly went wrong. Often that means capturing photos, sign-offs, and more. With paper, attaching photos and getting everyone to sign off is a tedious process, as a stack of paper is handed from one person to another.
Digital forms, however, simplify that process radically. Rather than rifling through stacks of paper and trying to match photos to incidents, digital forms offer an easy to navigate platform for data collection, including seamlessly embedding photos directly in a mobile form.
2 – Report the incident
Once the problem is recorded on paper, that document needs to make its way back into the office. Whether that means fumbling with a fax machine or scanner, or someone manually driving it back to the office, the process is time-consuming. Plus, if the incident report includes photos, it also means downloading, printing, and matching photos to the site visit they belong to – if the photos were collected at all.
Rather than taking a series of unnecessary and cumbersome steps, use mobile technology to capture and report everything in a single step: when you hit submit on a digital form, all the data – names, addresses, incident details, photos, recordings, GPS locations, and signatures – is forwarded directly in a single report to key stakeholders for review. A copy of the report is also sent automatically to back-office systems for an easily-auditable record.
3 – Fix the problem
If a faulty piece of equipment causes an incident, it needs to be fixed. Working with paper forms, a project manager needs to wait until that incident report has made its way back to the office, before work can resume. If the office is far away from the incident site, that’s days or weeks that people are in danger or no work is being done.
Instead of relying on paper forms and fax machines for your repair and maintenance scheduling, send an SMS to a safety officer, dispatch a work order, and email a manager from a single form submission. The recipients can vary from case to case, based on the answers collected in the form. For instance, if a large excavator breaks down, mobile forms are smart enough to automatically route the report to the Heavy Vehicle Repair Shop, while a report on missing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) will be sent to a Supply Manager – without the field technician having to make those decisions. This way, issues are resolved as quickly as possible – not as quickly as paper can move from one place to another.
4 – Make sure it doesn’t happen again
Reviewing and referencing information stored in paper forms trapped in file cabinets is challenging. Even if those forms are typed manually into a database, there’s always a lag between when the incident happens and when the data makes it into the system, and data entry mistakes happen all the time due to illegible handwriting, coffee stains, and incomplete information.
Time is critical when making decisions on maintenance, equipment purchases, and more. Being able to view every form submission in real time on dashboards customized for each department and jobsite enables management teams to make the best decisions to keep their people safe, and their business running smoothly.
Teams with the best intentions can be stymied by something as simple as paperwork. At every step of the process, papers can be misplaced or damaged, and are prone to human error and lengthy delays. However, with digital forms, things are changing. Having the best safety management practices in place is important, but what actions are taken after an incident or accident is just as important.
To learn more about how ProntoForms improves safety from the field to the boardroom, download our eBook.