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Online Health & Safety Systems: Curse Or Cure?

9th November 2018

Each year more and more businesses are making the switch from a paper or computer programme based risk management system to comprehensive cloud-based software favouring a more user friendly and accessible system. But what are the pitfalls and benefits in using online health and safety systems?

Mike Jamfrey, Managing Director of Healthy Buildings International (HBI), with over 21 years of building compliance knowledge and experience, has regularly assisted organisations in managing their health and safety matters and has been instrumental in developing and advising on online compliance systems for the last 15 years.

During his breakout session at Asbestos The Truth 2018, Jamfrey advised delegates in attendance on why so many online compliance systems currently exist in the market and how best to procure the right system advising on the pros and cons of using different online systems.

Take A Step Into The Future

Jamfrey outlined the basic offerings and benefits of online, cloud-based software systems can offer:

  • Paperless solutions
  • Combined storage of records
  • Management of portfolio records
  • Remote access to records
  • Management of users – audit trails and accountability
  • Allows access to external parties including auditors
  • Coherent method of communication between teams

Along with the above benefits, Jamfrey detailed the most relevant benefits of online health and safety systems that would save facilities and asset managers and health and safety teams time and money.

Instant Access

Unlike traditional systems used to manage risks, online, cloud-based safety systems allow the client and their choice of relevant stakeholders (other managers, internal teams, external contractors auditors etc) to access the portfolio’s data at any time, anywhere. Protecting individuals from possibly being exposed to harmful substances is paramount. Through online health and safety systems clients can ensure their teams are safeguarded and have access to the most up to date relevant data relating to a client’s property.

Real-time

Coordinating teams and contractors to arrive on site at a certain time so that they can be given the correct relevant information before accessing a building can mean costly time delays in works starting and can be a pain hook for those looking for a more efficient way to manage their teams remotely.

With online health and safety/compliance systems, clients and all relevant stakeholders have access 24/7 with real-time live updates meaning, Jamfrey stated, teams are continuously protected and informed about potential hazards and dangers, minimising liability.

Action Management

With online compliance systems, clients are able to manage their teams and contractors, actions can be updated by contractors along with uploading compliance certificates and expiry/renewal dates through Action Management dashboards. This allows clients to have continuous oversight over the status each of their assets within their portfolio and their level of compliance.

Through the Action Management feature, tracking documents and audit trails becomes a simple, straightforward exercise. Online compliance systems protect clients as auditors can:

  • See who has viewed records
  • See who has reviewed and completed actions
  • See if external parties have accessed records
  • See up to date records and compliance certificates

Room For Improvement

With all risk management and compliance systems whether they are online, computer-aided or paper-based, there are drawbacks to all systems. Jamfrey outlines the potential hindrances in using online compliance systems:

  • Some systems can be more rigid than others, lacking flexibility. It is important to assess the pros and cons of multiple systems when procuring a new compliance system
  • Certain online systems may be subject to technological drawbacks. Relying on internet connections and may be subject to intermittent downtown for software updates

Clients need to ensure they know what they need/want and expect from their compliance system, keeping in mind future technological developments which may remove some current limitations. Conducting research and desktop studies on service providers is a key step when procuring the correct system for the project.

Other Considerations

It is important to consider many aspects when deciding whether to take the next step into using paperless systems:

  • What are your requirements?
  • Are costs fixed?
  • Who owns the data?
  • Is the system future proof?
  • Is the system supported?
  • Is the provider reliable?

Discover more about online cloud-based systems and take the next step with Lucion Services NexGen BIM integrated risk management technology: Lucion Services NexGen Risk Management Software.

More Information

Healthy Buildings International (HBI): https://www.hbi.co.uk/

Lucion Services NexGen Pioneering Cloud-Based Software: https://www.lucionservices.com/services/nexgen/

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