A long-forgotten, esoteric topic like Safety management software is a difficult thing to understand by the uninitiated. It’s abstract. It’s inherently complicated. And because of this, many organizations try and fail in their attempts to implement it. This essay will present the key differences between “traditional” safety management software and “real-time” safety management software, explain how to use them more effectively in the workplace by outlining both their strengths and weaknesses, and finally introduce you to some of the most expensive (and potentially best) real-time safety management software on the market!
For anyone who’s ever worked in a manufacturing plant or engineering company, the words “safety” and “management” usually elicit feelings of trepidation. Safety is usually a low priority – safety procedures are drawn up with little forethought given to the ramifications of said procedures. Management, on the other hand, is something that many employees view as an intrusion into their daily activities, designed to make them sit through endless meetings and ‘fly through’ tedious training programs that only provide them with more paperwork to fill out…
It’s safe to say that in most cases, the above description is probably most accurate. Safety procedures are often designed by engineers out of touch with manufacturing personnel. They’re not always helpful, and sometimes they don’t make a lot of sense. And management… Well, let’s just say that it isn’t always viewed positively (see the Dilbert cartoons for more information).
However, safety management software is different. It’s designed to automate and simplify the process of safety management in the workplace – and accomplish this much more satisfactorily than paper-based systems have been able to do thus far.
So how does it do this? How is safety management software different from traditional safety management systems? To answer these questions, let’s take a deeper look into the concept of “traditional” and “real-time” safety management systems, and why real-time safety management software needs to be used in order to really improve workplace safety.
Traditional Safety Management Software: What it is
One way of describing traditional safety management software would be to say that it is software designed to specifically track workplace accidents and injuries – and also provide solutions for reducing the occurrence of said accidents and injuries. However, the accuracy of this statement would be extremely limited at best. While this software does indeed provide solutions for reducing accidents and injuries, these solutions are often not very effective – or in some cases, even possible to implement. As a result, the employees who use it often end up feeling that their efforts are wasted – and any progress that they make towards preventing accidents is rarely recognized by management.
This discrepancy between the effectiveness of traditional safety management systems and the effectiveness of real-time safety management software is no accident. It’s due to several key differences between traditional (often referred to as “paper-based”) safety management systems and real-time safety management software (which can usually be described as “systems” or “hardware/software combinations”).
The first and most important of these differences is that traditional safety management software is designed to automate the process of tracking workplace accidents and injuries. This means that it often attempts to look at this behavior from a very quantitative, statistical point of view. Traditional software works in much the same way as any other accounting software: numbers are entered manually, and then the numbers are analyzed to determine whether or not they’re “acceptable”, “unsafe”, or “unsatisfactory”. What is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable is generally determined by the software itself – or by the managers who set up the system, with some basic input from employees along the way.
Another important difference between traditional safety management systems and real-time safety management software is that real-time safety management software generally attempts to provide more effective solutions for reducing accidents and injuries. These solutions are based on techniques like “cause and effect analysis”, which requires you to visualize the steps that led up to a particular accident in order to predict its cause(s). This allows you to create an effective plan for correcting these causes – and in theory, reducing future occurrences of this type of accident. This plan can be provided in a very simple, easily understood format…