Safety software provides a helpful tool for construction companies to implement strategic risk management policies. Having safety protocols in place adds value to your company by enhancing a positive brand image and may also increase your company’s ability to borrow capital funds for expansion or improvements.
Investing in safety software is a clear sign to your employees that you put their safety first. Morale and productivity go up, deadlines are met, and project expenses are kept within resource estimates, preventing expensive cost overruns and leading to increased profits. In addition, safety risks can be identified and resolved, fewer fines for violations occur, insurance costs are reduced, and project management can be streamlined with more oversight.
Let’s look more closely at four ways you’ll save money by investing in safety software.
In 2020, the National Safety Council stated the construction sector had more preventable fatal injuries (958) than any other industry in the U.S., with another 250,000 injuries that required medical consultations. This was during the COVID-19 pandemic when construction had been seriously curtailed. Approximately 11 workers across all industries died every day, down from 2019’s average of nearly 15 workers a day. As the nation returns to business, numbers will likely return to pre-pandemic levels.
Workplace injuries are costly. First, there are obvious medical and workers’ compensation expenses. The average workers’ compensation cost of one lost-time injury for 2018-19 was around $42,000 (ranging from $23,000 for a cut/scrape/puncture to $82,000 for a motor vehicle accident, the most common). That figure doesn’t include any compensatory payments the company might provide or pension/medical coverage.
Then, there are property/equipment/materials damages, regulatory fines, and possible lawsuits. Increased expenses may also include penalties from missed deadlines, lost productivity, replacement worker training and wages, and increased administrative time spent rectifying the safety issue and filling out reports. In addition, there might be serious damage to the company’s reputation and/or brand.
Safety software can identify potential safety risks at construction sites and offer ways to minimize accidents and provide stricter adherence to federal safety standards. These features alone can reduce injuries, avoid fatalities, and save the company money.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identified the 10 most common safety violations, five of which are in the construction industry: fall protection, ladders, scaffolding, fall protection training, and eye and face protection. The other five common violations—respiratory protection, hazard communication, control of hazardous energy, powered industrial trucks, and machinery and machine guarding—are shared by other industries but can also apply to construction. These violations can result in falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object, or being caught between large objects such as vehicles.
Most accidents are avoidable if safety hazards at the construction site are removed, the site and equipment are inspected daily, and the workforce is trained. Safety technology can keep management on top of current regulations and job site inspections, avoiding compliance fines. By providing daily checklists, access to OSHA standards, best practices, and emergency management on the job and in real-time, safety software allows corrective measures to be taken immediately, preventing many accidents. It can also share data among supervisors, owners, administrative personnel, and others in the company, allowing a free flow of communication.
Construction companies carry a variety of insurance, including general liability, builders risk insurance, surety bonds, and inland marine insurance that covers tools, equipment, supplies, vehicles, and leased equipment. Commercial auto liability insurance and workers’ compensation are required by law, and medical insurance is often an additional cost.
When there are more on-the-job injuries, insurance companies recalculate the increased risk associated with the company, raising insurance premiums. These increases can be costly when premiums for workers’ compensation alone run $5,000 to $8,000 a year per employee. Insurance companies look favorably at companies that can prove they are reducing accident risks on the job. Safety software shows insurance adjusters a company is actively complying with OSHA standards and offering consistent low-risk protocols.
Safety software acts as project management software by providing solid budget information, and it helps you keep track of safety regulations and job site conditions. Cost overruns are common in the construction industry; by reducing hazards and bolstering the safety of construction workers, projects can avoid downtime due to work stoppages caused by accidents.
Using the software to plan for safety from the beginning of a project can prevent many of the issues that lead a project to go over budget. Communication can be enhanced among the site workers, suppliers, supervisors, management, and project owners. Initial planning and project design can be improved through environmental risk analysis to build safety protocols from the ground up, helping supervisors oversee the project and estimate a contingency reserve (time, resources, money) if necessary. Using the software to provide a maintenance schedule for equipment and vehicles can avoid cost overruns and keep everything in working order.
Safety software not only helps companies comply with OSHA safety standards and regulations, but also helps them save money, enhance project management, reduce paperwork, and improve communication among all stakeholders. Finding the best construction safety software is easy—Salus and its user-friendly tools let you manage safety from the job site or in the office.
Compliance management helps you monitor real-time activities and ensures the necessary forms are completed on time. The subcontractor portal lets you and your subcontractors communicate more efficiently and share forms. Salus digital forms help you collect and manage data in real-time; and with special search capabilities and filters, you can meet customer requests or audits easily. Asset management provides notifications, maintenance reminders, and asset logbooks. In addition, Salus certificate management provides notifications, expiration management, and high-level reporting to keep you up to date.
Book a demo today and learn more about how Salus can help you work safer and save money.