Safety Management

Putting Together a Digital Safety Program That’s Right for Your Company

Shannon M Farley @sfarley
Safety & Compliance
7 min read
March 2, 2022

From slips, trips, and falls to electrical hazards, falling objects, and ergonomic problems construction is an industry fraught with danger. In an effort to make the industry safer, firms are now turning to technology for innovative and data-driven solutions to drive safety standards to new heights. As more construction businesses leverage digital safety solutions to collate data, it is becoming easier to spot trends, make connections, and detect potential hazards.

Researchers at the University of Colorado, for example, were able to predict not only the type of injury but the body part affected in construction incidents after dissecting a list of over 5000 injury reports garnered from 470 contractors spanning millions of work hours.

Safety is one of the most challenging aspects of construction — it’s multi-faceted, complex, always evolving. In today’s ever-increasing digital world, manual, paper-based processes are just not viable, practical, logical, effective… take your pick. They are error-prone, tedious, slow – the bane of every construction project manager’s life.

Without access to accurate data that tells a comprehensive story of site activities and associated risks, onsite safety data can be hard to gauge and even harder to track. Companies are unable to make informed, real-time decisions – especially when it comes to site safety. This not only jeopardizes worker safety but can also put a company at financial risk.

To make headway, you need a digital safety process built with workers’ needs top-of-mind. A digital approach to safety processes can have had a transformative effect on your construction business, raising efficiency, productivity, along with significant reductions in operating costs. But, importantly, it’ll demonstrate your commitment to site safety.

Establish Better Management of Construction Projects Through Digital Tools

Digital safety processes play a pivotal role in driving your construction company’s safety culture. Leading construction firms are rapidly ditching paper-based checklists, documents, forms, and reports because they realize this approach opens the door to litigation and non-compliance issues.

Digital tools provide precise, accurate, real-time data that provides companies with the information they need to stop risky behavior before it becomes an injury or worse. Digital tools improve response times, limit incident exposure, raise employee morale, and prevent costly and often avoidable legal claims. A safe site is a successful site; with safety and productivity in a reciprocal loop in which progress in one area spurs progress in the next, and so the cycle continues.

With a digital safety approach, the flow of information from HQ to job site to each team member is instantaneous. Instead of physically hauling documents to individual stakeholders, safety officers can route them digitally over the cloud. This means everybody can sign off and receive a copy within a few seconds of sending it. With manual processes, someone could’ve gotten injured in that time.

With a digital safety approach, the flow of information from HQ to job site to each team member is instantaneous.

Using Digital Tools In Propagating Digital Safety

Digital tools offer certain advantages in ensuring that everybody buys into safety protocols quickly. It allows site managers to instantly post the current status of each site worker. This includes tasks, progress, and general well-being. In case of safety issues, site managers can post reports or raise concerns that everybody can immediately access.

Mobile applications, which each project team member can access remotely, mean everybody is in the loop all the time. Safety officers and project supervisors can send reports and receive updates, admin can gather data from the work site even without being physically present.

Casting a bird’s eye view of what’s happening on-site, managers and owners have instant access to critical insights to make important decisions that ensure projects run on time, on budget, with all safety considerations checked. By identifying risky behavior and addressing it through data-driven insights, you are mitigating risk. Fewer injuries mean more employees on the job. With the right solution, construction companies can continue to improve employee safety, satisfaction, retention as well as industry reputation.

Communicate And Train Your Employees Through a Digital Safety Program

The best way to create safer job sites and prevent serious accidents from ever happening is to set the tone from the beginning of a project. Instilling this safety culture starts by impressing on everyone from the get-go that it’s not just their own safety they need to be concerned about – but everybody else’s too.

Safety is key, but too many companies forget about that fact until there is an accident. Making safety part of your overall business strategy gives you an effective risk management framework. By stating your commitment to safety from the start, it sets in motion the idea that safety is paramount and should underpin every process. With this type of culture in place, your workforce will be invested in keeping each other safe.

Digital tools effectively connect team members and draw on input at every level to find holistic solutions to safety issues. Accurate and timely information, backed up by multiple reports from different workers, and accessed in real-time, can make a huge impact on construction safety, and this is exactly what smart construction safety solutions offer.

No firm wants to have an accident. But, it happens. When they do and there’s personal injury involved, it can be very damaging to a company’s public image and industry standing. After all, with the reach of technology today, every slip (literally) is widely shared in real-time. The aim of having a solid safety culture, therefore, is to significantly reduce such slip-ups from happening in the first place.

When barriers such as poor communication are eliminated through smart solutions, then true transformation permeates the job site and beyond. The Salus communication platform, for example, harnesses email’s documentation ability and puts it into easy-to-navigate posts. You have the ability to share real-time incidents (tracked by job) with everyone on your network and store them for future and easy access. You no longer have to rummage through mountains of emails and text messages trying to find what was communicated and when.

A digital approach spawns extensive online databases, where site managers are able to easily find and drill in on information—which workers have received what training, who still needs sessions in a specific area—ensuring there are no potentially dangerous information gaps. Using a construction-specific App, employees can access safety manuals and training videos at any time if they are ever unsure of anything or need to brush up.

The collaborative nature of a digital approach really leverages the power of teamwork and lets everyone input info into one system that provides a holistic view of project status and safety. This functionality for everyone to input data and access it in real-time allows managers to allocate tasks more efficiently and provides greater flexibility.

Simplify Safety Inspections And Report Through Safety Management Software

Going digital allows construction projects to streamline compliance with industry-mandated safety requirements. In addition, safety officers have a better, faster, and more efficient way to complete and upload their safety inspections and reports. Site workers, meanwhile, get instant access to updated safety policies with timely alerts on upcoming training schedules.

Simplifying the reporting process while improving access to information can go a long way to improve communication and collaboration between management and teams and can dramatically improve a company’s safety record.

Partner With Digital Safety Management Software Designed For the Construction Industry

The construction industry is primed for the 4th industrial revolution, fueled by mobile devices which are now ubiquitous. Going digital is now mainstream, giving workers bigger roles in safety management – collecting and disseminating real-time information on hazards, accidents, and near misses.

Digital safety solutions are picking up steam in the construction sector as firms seek to better protect workers and create safer construction environments. From digital forms, subcontractor portals, and compliance management to corrective actions, asset, and certificate management, companies are going beyond the minimum and implementing safety-focused digital software solutions.

Salus software is built from the ground up by construction industry veterans who recognize the challenges of putting safety management at the forefront of every project. We further believe that going digital should not be a complicated journey. That’s why, along with our cutting-edge solutions, you also get a dedicated Customer Success Manager that’ll walk your team through every step of your digital transition to ensure a smooth rollout.

If you’re ready to let go of the old and embrace the new and be empowered to have digital safety for your construction site at your fingertips, schedule a Salus demo now and discover why going digital represents a super-smart, cost-cutting, life-saving investment.

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