Key functionalities of workplace safety management systems for industrial companies
For industrial companies, especially high-risk industries such as chemicals, oil & gas and manufacturing, workplace safety is not just another buzzword – it’s a top priority and an ongoing company-wide concern. And bottom line, when it comes to employee health and safety – there can be no shortcuts. That’s why companies turn to workplace safety management systems as an integral component of core health and safety programs and business operations.
Under the wide umbrella of safety concerns and compliance, safety management solutions provide critical tools that focus on identifying hazards, minimizing risks, and preventing accidents before they occur. And at the very foundation is the need for cross-organizational communication and cooperation.
The nuts and bolts of worker safety
Health and safety management systems identify, evaluate, analyze, and control workplace safety and health hazards. These comprehensive systems are critical to increase awareness across the organization and ensure compliance with safety regulations. From management commitment and accountability to employee responsibility, from hazard detection and control to incident analysis, from education and training to process evaluation, here’s a closer look at the multi-level functionalities of effective workplace health and safety management systems.
1. Facilitate strategic organizational safety plans
A comprehensive safety data management and risk assessment system provides important information on company processes and enables formulating a company safety structure that ensures responsibility and accountability. A company safety structure is essentially a safety roadmap that outlines protocols, responsibilities, and obligations at all levels of company hierarchy.
Management commitment to achieving and maintaining safety is at the foundation, choosing the most effective tools to define methods and processes, implement systemic policies and actions, and establish measurable goals and performance indicators.
2. Assess workplace hazards: Policies and procedures
Safety management systems focus on hazards from every aspect. They are a valuable tool that can oversee process safety management and workers, continuously assessing and evaluating operations to correct and prevent potentially dangerous situations.
Effective systems enable standardizing company policies, enhance efficiency, and provide insights (insight 4.0) and risk management capabilities to support operational processes and workplace safety for people and critical assets across the entire organization.
Risk control, another key element of safety management, relies on diagnosis, review, and evaluation of safety risks to prevent incidents and update and revise safety procedures. Critical and timely information on processes and workers enables informed decision-making and issue resolution.
And finally, management systems provide the infrastructure for taking action to establish effective and reliable prevention and mitigation measures, determine the effectiveness of current safety measures, and implement relevant procedures.
3. Monitor and track performance and operations
Systemic cross-organizational monitoring and work supervision is a critical element of an organization’s safety infrastructure, not only to identify hazards and apply controls, but also to enforce safety policies and procedures, and monitor performance. Dynamic, process-related controls and monitoring facilitate preventive and corrective actions and help to achieve safety goals.
High-risk industries require a coordinated and ongoing process to safeguard the health and safety of workers, as well as to prevent environmental incidents. The ability to recognize risks in time, deliver critical updates and report potential issues is a key preventive measure and helps to ensure that all systems are keeping up to standards.
Monitoring capabilities must be constantly updated through the management system to include new risk assessments, new assets and processes, and must be able to support today’s connected work environment.
4. Increase efficiency and productivity
Worker health and safety management software enables gathering and evaluating critical information to enable better decisions and prevent accidents. Protection of critical assets is a key driver, especially for high-risk industries. But as an added value, organizations also benefit from increased efficiency and productivity, as well as reduced costs related to safety incidents.
5. Enterprise-wide reporting and incident analysis
An important layer of safety management is generating continuous improvement. A centralized, integrated system that supports reporting, tracking and follow-up of worker or asset-related safety incidents is crucial for incident analysis and is an efficient way to review the effectiveness of safety measures across the organization. A single source for reporting ensures management is always up-to-date and prepared for any incident or crisis management situation and enables finding and eliminating the root cause of accidents and near-miss incidents.
Policy control and consistency can only be measured if all the safety information is accessible and organized in a single system that also delivers insights that enable an effective learning process. Reviewing strengths and weaknesses is possible when you have all the information readily available, with relevant analysis.
6. Safety training
Prioritizing safety isn’t just a matter of monitoring operations and implementing procedures. Establishing clear safety objectives and personal commitment is a key component of safety training and education, and the basis of an organization’s safety culture. Employees need to know what workplace hazards they may be exposed to, and what to do in emergencies. Effective safety management ensures that workers, including supervisors and managers, receive the appropriate instruction and training, and helps to improve the necessary competencies needed for working safely. Active involvement and full understanding of individual safety obligations, site rules, and company safety policies are an important element of implementation, and one of the many critical functions of workplace safety software.
Employees benefit from feedback. Familiarity with correct actions, risk levels, and control measures at every level of the organization enables comprehensive safety updates and instructions for all employees, no matter the division or operational site.
Workplace safety – proactive, preventive, and prioritized
Effective integration of health and safety management to ensure industrial and personal safety centers on the design and functionalities of the safety management system, the level of data integration, and data analytics capabilities. Company-wide connectivity, ongoing communication, focused safety policies, and systemic reporting improve safety management systems while reinforcing correct behaviors.
A systematic approach to controlling workplace safety and health hazards ultimately relies on full transparency and on interconnected processes that deliver comprehensive, real-time information at all levels of an organization. The ability to identify high-risk situations is top of the list for safety management, gaining insights and a complete picture of workplace activity to ensure overall safety and enable preventive action.
Enhancing industrial safety with GOARC
To address workplace safety issues and for a comprehensive solution to streamline and optimize your safety program, GOARC offers end-to-end, data-driven integrated solutions for health and safety management, enabling real-time protection of people and critical assets on a centralized, fully connected, visualized platform. Contact us to learn more about GOARC Safety 4.0.