Where Does Personal Safety Tech Fit In The EHS Cycle?

Posted: 14 Nov, 2023.

In the realm of Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS), ensuring workplace safety is an unrelenting mission. EHS companies grapple with safeguarding employee health, wellbeing, and risk management within the dynamic work environment.

While no one goes to work to get injured, the shocking reality is that every year, more than 500,000 people sustain workplace injuries in the UK, with 135 fatalities recorded according to the latest figures. This is why many organisations turn to EHS software to manage incidents and improve safety culture, aiming to reduce serious injuries, fatalities, and Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) cases.

However, a critical addition to the EHS toolkit is personal safety technology, which can play a significant role in ensuring workplace safety. Personal safety tech, such as Peoplesafe, offers live incident support, real-time incident reporting, and proactive risk reduction. But where exactly does personal safety tech fit into the EHS cycle and how can it help organisations achieve their safety goals?

1. Live Incident Management

A key element of effective EHS management is the ability to respond to safety incidents and minimise harm to employees. However, personal safety tech goes a step further by providing real-time incident management. This technology allows employees to trigger alarms, which immediately notifies a dedicated Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) eliciting a response within seconds. The ARC Controller will then monitor the alarm via two-way audio and escalate as required, contacting the emergency services and predefined escalation contacts when necessary. By providing live support as incidents occur, personal safety tech adds a crucial layer of immediacy to incident management, potentially saving lives in critical situations.

2. Recording the Incident

In the event of an incident, organisations must collect precise information, including the location, who was involved, the nature of the incident, the assets impacted, injury specifics, and more. Traditional EHS software might not provide real-time data, but personal safety tech captures live data as the incident unfolds. Peoplesafe provides detailed notes of the alarm call taken by the Controller, audio recordings of the conversation between the user and the Controller, GPS location tracking, and even video footage if Body Worn Cameras or SureCam dashcams are in place. This comprehensive data not only enriches incident reporting but also adds a critical layer of information to reports.

3. Investigating the Incident

Incident investigations are crucial to understanding the sequence of events that led to an accident or injury and their underlying causes. Personal safety tech accelerates this process by providing objective and irrefutable information. When an incident occurs and an alarm is raised to the Peoplesafe ARC, the system records the audio and provides timestamps and GPS coordinates. This data provides empirical evidence, streamlining the incident investigation process and reducing the time taken to reach conclusions. Additionally, this evidence can be used to aid legislative processes, preventing false claims and saving organisations money.

4. Internal/External Reporting

Organisations have an obligation to report incidents to regulatory agencies and keep internal records. Personal safety tech streamlines this reporting process by allowing alarm reports to be pushed via API to an organisation’s ongoing incident report. This not only saves time but also enables in-depth reporting and trend analysis, supporting the identification of potential risk areas that should be addressed. Real-time dashboards can also be used to provide a dynamic overview of incident reporting, enabling the timely identification of safety concerns.

5. Analysis of the Incident

In order to proactively prevent future incidents, organisations must understand the underlying causes of previous incidents. Safety tech, like the Nexus platform, serves as a valuable resource for incident data analysis. Administrators and Managers can run and export incident reports to uncover trends and patterns that might not be readily visible when examining isolated alarms. This deepens insights, facilitates informed decision making, and promotes proactive steps to improve safety and operational efficiency.

6. Corrective & Preventative Actions (CAPA)

Following any incident, organisations need to create and assign corrective and preventative actions. Personal safety tech, integrated with EHS software, streamlines this process by allowing organisations to create and assign tasks directly within an incident workflow, ensuring prompt and organised actions to address safety issues.

7. Follow-Up

Organisations must review the CAPAs they have implemented to understand if they are working to reduce risks. Personal safety tech provides incident reports and audio recordings for comprehensive insights. For Peoplesafe’s highest tier customers, Customer Success Managers work closely alongside them to ensure they are utilising the service effectively, helping to review CAPAs and provide guidance on any further necessary actions, strengthening workplace safety measures.

8. Training

Effective training plays a crucial role in maintaining workplace safety. Personal safety technology, equipped with incident recordings, serves as a valuable resource to enhance safety training. Incident recordings provide essential data to identify individuals in need of refresher training. By using audio and video from previous real incidents, employee engagement is boosted, helping mitigate future incidents and organisations can draw attention to actual errors and lessons learned from them.

9. Near Miss Reporting

Personal safety technology addresses the challenge of reporting near misses effectively. Current systems often rely on employees recording near misses in the moment or face the risk of the incident being forgotten as they continue working. With Peoplesafe, employees can report near misses by activating an alarm and reporting the incident to an alarm controller, ensuring prompt documentation. The data generated is seamlessly integrated into a comprehensive dashboard, allowing organisations to monitor and evaluate trends, providing insight that can be used to take proactive preventative measures to ensure employee safety.

So, while EHS software has played a significant role in improving the safety culture across many organisations, the integration of personal safety technology has become a game-changer in providing live incident management and elevating investigations, reporting, analysis, corrective actions, follow-up, and training. This seamless integration allows organisations to promote a proactive safety culture, make informed safety decisions and foster a safer work environment for all.

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