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Dakota Software's Blog for EHS and Sustainability Professionals

Improve Efficiency with Safety Management Software

June 24th, 2019 by Dakota Software Staff

Improve Efficiency with Safety Management Software

Occupational safety is a top concern for many organizations, particularly those operating in more high-risk industries, such as manufacturing, energy & utilities, chemical services, and oil & gas. All good safety managers strive for continual improvement when it comes to safety performance, and many have safety management systems in place to enable such a cycle of incident reporting, analysis and adjustment.

Despite their best intentions, though, many safety professionals struggle to actually sustain continuous improvement. For a significant percentage of organizations, data analysis will reveal incident rates, lost time and various other metrics rising and falling repeatedly over a period of years. Other businesses may find it challenging to maintain consistency across multiple departments or sites, while still others may struggle to get beyond a performance plateau.

Such an inconsistent safety culture is unacceptable for a variety of reasons, chief among them the increased risk of onsite job hazards putting workers at risk of serious occupational injuries. Additionally, organizations with poor or lackluster safety management are more likely to violate compliance obligations, which could result in costly fines and penalties. And even if these consequences are avoided, inefficient safety management systems represent, at the very least, an unnecessary waste of time and other valuable resources.

One way to achieve more effective safety management is through the use of integrated safety management software. Dakota's compliance-based management and auditing tools allow organizations to better establish and maintain regulatory compliance, implement and manage changes to their internal policies and processes, document hazards and controls and comprehensively track corrective and preventive actions, training requirements and other activities related to process safety management.

Improved compliance with safety regulations and requirements

Remaining compliant with all relevant laws and regulations is one of the primary directives of any effective safety management system. Dakota's software solutions make that goal much more attainable through the use of integrated regulatory content.

Dakota's Compliance Planning software keeps organizations aware of current and relevant regulatory changes, allowing them to plan accordingly when it comes to EHS compliance. The software makes it simple to identify which new or existing regulations impact specific sites so that facility managers can be responsive in planning and assigning activities related to those requirements.

Keeping up with OSHA requirements has never been easier, as the technology allows safety managers to create regulatory profiles that automatically determine applicable site-specific regulations, create compliance calendars and role-specific task templates and then confirm that those tasks are completed on time through due dates and automated alerts. Thanks to a built-in EHS Regulatory Library and automatic email notifications regarding regulatory changes, safety professionals remain informed of all relevant regulations, and can use the regulatory profiles to conduct site-specific audits that will confirm compliance.

Dakota's software allows safety professionals use mobile devices to document incidents, analyze data and more.

Dakota's software also makes it easier for organizations to meet OSHA training obligations. The Training Management application securely tracks courses for personnel based on roles and responsibilities, providing alerts and reports that monitor progress and ensure compliance with ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, Process Safety Management and other standards.

The technology makes it easier for organizations to track certifications and courses taken by personnel across the enterprise, with deficiency reports that show the completion status of all involved. The software also associates courses with roles, instructors, locations and dates, and includes an employee portal so that workers have easier access to training and a greater understanding of requirements.

Job hazard analysis and incident and accident management

Beyond just ensuring compliance, safety professionals also have an obligation to make sure workers are protected from risks associated with their work site.

Creating and maintaining a safety culture requires an understanding of the risks associated with both routine and non-routine jobs. Dakota's Job Hazard Analysis application makes it easier for safety professionals to develop that understanding by identifying job hazards and providing management with tools for analyzing and taking action on high-risk items.

In addition to identifying potential hazards at individual worksites and throughout the enterprise, the software also evaluates the effectiveness of existing hazard controls and creates Risk Registers that sort tasks by severity, probability and overall hazard level. The app also uses change alerts and email notifications to keep users informed and accountable. Enterprises that use this technology benefit from increased visibility, the ability to analyze overall operational risks and the centralized knowledge base of safety information stored and maintained in the app.

When things do go wrong, safety professionals are also obligated to respond quickly and appropriately. Employers are responsible for incident reporting, which means documenting all workplace injuries, near misses and accidents. An incident report should be completed immediately after an incident occurs, no matter how relatively minor the injury may appear. Any event, condition or situation that causes disruption or interference to an organization, significant risks that could potentially affect members within the enterprise or the systems and operation of the workplace could be considered an incident that needs to be documented.

With Dakota's Incident Management application, EHS professionals are able to better track and trend incidents and accidents, and use that information to ultimately improve safety performance across the organization. Through the use of configurable forms and interactive dashboards, safety managers can analyze data that will identify gaps in compliance, reveal emerging issues and reduce the likelihood of future incidents, fines and penalties.

The software lets safety managers use their mobile devices to capture all incidents, accidents and near-misses and view a real-time picture of safety programs across the enterprise. The advanced application is also capable of recognizing trends and subtle correlations between data fields that likely would have gone unnoticed if the organization relied on traditional, analog methods of analysis.

Compliance and workplace safety are so paramount to an organization's productivity, profitability and reputation that all employers should want to ensure that they are benefiting from the most advanced safety management software. Dakota provides solutions covering every aspect of occupational safety, including regulatory compliance, safety training, hazard analysis, incident reporting and more. To see how Dakota's integrated software can profoundly enhance your own enterprise's safety culture and quest for continual improvement, try a free demo today.

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