An effective Risk Assessment process that is respected at every level, will play an important role in the safety of all the staff throughout your organisation.
Intelligent writing and recording of risk assessments plays an essential part in the success of an organisation. Not just because of the improvement in safety figures but also because of a marked improvement in culture. We explored how the methods used in industries currently are terribly outdated and ultimately have a negative impact on the overall culture of an organisation.
Paper Risk Assessments vs Excel Risk Assessments
Paper systems – It’s fair to say that it’s unlikely that many people will go 100% paperless any time soon. However whilst this is a traditional way of recording and storing information it has inherent problems. How many of you have filing cabinets jammed full of paperwork. That is going more yellow and dog-eared as time goes on?
How easy is it in this type of environment to turn up a relevant document at short notice?
When a document is stored digitally and safely backed up, it remains in top condition at all times. It can be edited anytime, it can be searched and found in minutes, if not seconds. Other than a technical disaster will remain in existence as long as you need it to.
Excel spreadsheets – Excel spreadsheets are no doubt one of the best ways of documenting data in an organised and meaningful way. Searchable, functional and highly versatile, they represent a very logical way of recording data from important activities such as risk assessments.
However, there is one fundamental flaw with even this system, and that is that things like review dates. Whilst the cells can be formatted to do all sorts of things, they will not update in real time and can be easily overlooked. In some scenarios, they can be lost in the midst of all the other data.
Not to mention the endless typing up of relevant data into the system in the first place, which if entered incorrectly can be very difficult to change.
Hard copy text – This is pretty much the same problem we touched on further up the page, with the inherent problem that over time these will become faded and lost in the system and difficult to retrieve and interpret.
There is no doubt something assuring about a tangible document that you can touch and feel and write on, which is great at the time but can prove to be very costly as time goes on and this information becomes difficult to use.
Manual process – Let’s face it, we all want an easier or more efficient way of doing things, and when someting becomes too labour intensive it will soon lose it’s purpose and die off.
Currently risk assessments are an inately manual task. Someone has to locate the form, print this off, pass it on to the person responsible for carrying out the assessment/audit. Thereafter have that form returned back within a given period. Then the form has to be deciphered and typed up on to the main spreadsheet on the system with the relevant tasks then issued out as best as possible.
If a task is overlooked for any reason, it is unlikely that will be picked up on until next time or until someone is injured as a result of the oversight.
Work duplication – With the current way of doing risk assessments (and many other tasks, no doubt) there is always the hassle of having to duplicate work. With this comes not only the physical time taken to do this extra work, but also the risk of information getting lost or mis-interpreted along the way.
In today’s “smart world” data can be collected and saved in real time. Eliminating any need to re-write or duplicate any previous work. This suddenly makes a task infinitely more efficient and accurate, and with the drastically reduced time and hassle, people are going to be more inclined to stick to the process.
Human error – Sad but true that where mankind is involved in a process there is a likelihood of error… This can be significantly increased if too many people are involved in the process.
Not that we can do without people, but combine the right people with smart technology and suddenly you have a system where error is reduced, if not eliminated.
Our role in business is to take difficult problems and create smart solutions that increase efficiency and reduce time.
Smart software solutions dramatically save time. They systematically reduces the labour input required to do a task, and when focusing specifically on Risk Assessment, it will enable everybody to take responsibility for safety. Most importantly reducing the risk of people getting hurt at work.
Not only that, I think it is very hard to measure the improvement in culture when a company is seen to be taking care of its employees. By not just making them safe, important though that is, but also introducing and implementing the best systems.
Culture is a funny thing, get it right and it has the ability to help a company grow way above and beyond its competitors. Even despite these companies who may possibly even have the best strategies in place.
Likewise, get it wrong and there are few things that will drive an organisation into the ground quicker than a bad culture.