April 29th, 2016 by Dakota Software Staff Industry News
Incident reporting is one of the many vital roles EHS managers oversee. Proper follow through on incidents and accidents isn't only important for EHS compliance, it's also critical to an organizations safety culture. While paper-based incident reports have been a go-to tool for many organizations, they are not an efficient way of handling required reporting. Electronic reporting tools provide capabilities paper reports cannot, making an EHS manager's job easier and the facility he or she oversees much safer.
Digital reports increase visibility across the organization
While paper reports continue to be used for safety compliance requirements, the information documented in these reports is siloed and difficult to leverage. When EHS managers use digital reporting tools, visibility increases dramatically through the use of email alerts, notifications to management and dashboard reports. Commercial EHS software applications can ensure the right people are notified at the right time. There is no way a report can be misplaced or improperly filed. The structure is already in place to send automatic notifications, which ensures personnel take the right steps to prevent or reduce similar incidents in the future.
Digital data enables enhanced trend analysis
With paper reports, it can be difficult to spot overarching hazards and trends. Identifying common occurrences from a stack of reports is nearly impossible and data from paper reports can be difficult to express until it's assembled in a chart or graph. While it can be difficult to discern trends from a large amounts of data, digital information is more easily manipulated. Commercial EHS software applications chronicle all information appropriately and create visual aids to support decision making processes throughout the organization.
Simple and easy reporting
Reporting incidents to the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration can require hundreds of man hours when facilities use paper reports. OSHA is moving toward the electronic submission of this data and increasing the number of times per year facilities have to report this information, so this means more work for those still relying on paper incident reports. As regulatory agencies move toward standardized electronic reporting, it's becoming more apparent that commercial EHS software systems will become valuable tools for effectively managing incidents and accidents.