Trades work is one of the riskiest industries in Australia, with dozens of accidents and injuries occurring every year. In fact, the latest reports from Safe Work Australia found that there have been 86 fatalities as of June 18, 2020. Most of these fatalities were the result of injuries sustained from continuous work activity and exposure to workplace hazards.
Key to preventing these risks is a reliable safety and compliance platform. This is a type of software specially designed to monitor, enforce, and audit everything related to occupational health and safety policies. It ensures everyone is following appropriate working procedures and keeps jobsites safe. It’s simply a must-have solution for every trades business, whether they be in construction, plumbing, electrical, or HVAC.
The problem is that businesses are spoiled for choice when it comes to safety and compliance platforms. Unless you know what to look for, you can end up with a solution that doesn’t fit your needs. To save you from wading through hundreds of options, we’ve listed five elements that a safety and compliance platform must-have.
In the past, risk management, incident reporting, and safety inspections were done manually, but there are many downsides to this approach. For one, inputting data and making reports by hand is time-consuming and error-prone. It’s also easy for contractors to lose track of health and safety protocols, especially if they’re taking on several projects with a large workforce. Worse of all is that without a systematic way to track these protocols, tradies face an increased risk of accidents and other hazards.
The best safety and compliance platform automate the processes involved in work health and safety compliance. It gives smart templated forms that guide users on entering correct data in the right formats. Safety and compliance platforms even offer automated workflows that ensure reports and data are properly validated by managers before these are processed in the system.
Another indicator of a good safety and compliance platform is if it’s capable of automatically distributing information amongst your tradies. With automation features, you can deliver the relevant compliance forms modelled after official Safe Work Method Statements to on-site tradies. This ensures tradies are following proper health and safety protocols before starting a job. For example, construction workers will be prompted to complete forms associated with site surveys, traffic management, steel fixing, and equipment checks.
Safety and compliance platforms should allow you to monitor tradies and workplace conditions at a glance. Look for platforms that come with contractor and subcontractor portals. These features provide a centralised dashboard that tracks whether tradies are meeting contractual and workplace safety standards for the work allocated.
What’s more, contractor and subcontractor portals store data within a single database. This makes retrieving specific documents for compliance purposes far less tedious and stressful. Contractors can easily audit health and safety reports, risk analyses, permits, and training certificates, enabling you to mitigate any liabilities to your business.
Ease of use
When your safety and compliance platform is complex, tradies will likely misuse the software or avoid using it entirely. It’s therefore imperative that you find a platform that’s intuitive and user-friendly. Menus should be straightforward and make it simple for first-time users to find the features they need in seconds.
Intuitive safety and compliance platforms also take the guesswork out of managing workplace health and safety issues. They allow you to upload relevant compliance forms to the system and forward them to the right tradies. Even reporting incidents and hazards is a seamless process since you can design interactive forms that are easy to fill out.
Don’t opt for a fixed platform that requires software developers to update settings every time new safe work legislation arises. Regulations and procedures are constantly changing, so you need a flexible safety and compliance platform. This means the system empowers you to customise compliance forms and automated workflows to how your business operates. For instance, if a renovation job has potential chemical hazards, you should be able to change your safety procedures without a hitch.
Mobile applications are vital for tradies. Incidents can occur anywhere and audits are much more accurate when performed on-site. If tradies can only fill out reports on a desktop computer, then they’re more likely to miss important details about safety hazards and incidents.
That’s why your safety and compliance platform should be compatible with all company devices and operating systems like iOS and Android. The ability to make risk observations, access compliance forms, and take videos and photos for visual evidence with a mobile device is a game-changer. It allows tradies to provide a more accurate account of workplace safety issues and upload it to the database thanks to cloud technology. More importantly, it saves everyone a trip to the office and having to recall key details about the job site.
Choosing a safety and compliance platform can be a daunting task when you consider all the features and options available. However, if you need a solution that possesses all the elements above, consider WorkBuddy. Our flexible and intuitive mobile platform is designed to make compliance easy and ensure your workers are safe. Request a free demo today to learn more about WorkBuddy’s job safety and compliance features.