Managing risks and accidents more effectively is the purpose of a safety management system (SMS). Safe workplaces can be maintained with an SMS that helps identify and report workplace hazards. These systems can also help businesses meet regulatory requirements. It can be challenging to manage safety when laws change depending on the jurisdiction, the industry sector, and the occupation. A well-designed SMS must address the specific needs of each company, including internal safety policies and legally-required paperwork such as hazard assessments. It’s possible for companies to face legal action even if no workers are injured in an accident if they ignore safety. Statistics on workplace accidents are provided by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada each year. There were 264,438 lost time claims due to occupational injuries or diseases in 2018 – the last year for which data are available as of February 2021.
While helping the company avoid major expenses, a Safety tracking system online protects workers. Many studies have shown that investments in workplace safety return up to three times their cost in avoided accidents.
The government has strict regulations for companies that are involved in occupational health and safety, given its importance. For large companies, compliance can be a challenge since regulations vary based on location. In order to operate in Canada and the USA, a company must comply with each province’s, territory’s, and state’s regulations. Depending on where you work, you may be required to conduct daily hazard assessments or hold a license to operate specific types of equipment. If a company fails to comply with local regulations, it can face lawsuits and fines even if no accidents have occurred. An online safety management system can be used to track requirements across many workplaces. The SMS can, for example, manage all safety audits and document renewals for each worker and each work site.
Automating repetitive and time-consuming aspects of occupational health and safety is possible with a safety management system. In a digital format, SMS can handle documents such as safety audits and inspection reports. With just a few clicks, important files can be accessed, and the number of printed documents is drastically reduced. A company with many sites can use a safety management system to ensure that all OHS reports are completed and sent on time.
Automated notifications are sent to the employee responsible for each report, and the document is filled in using a mobile device. It saves time by eliminating the need to print, scan, and send e-mails with attachments.
By preventing accidents, safety management systems reduce costs directly. A dollar invested in safety can save up to $3 in accident costs. But there are also savings that are not related to accidents. As a result of an SMS, the time spent managing safety, document handling, and paperwork is reduced, resulting in a more efficient process. Safety procedures are completed in a shorter amount of time, allowing employees to use this time for other tasks and be more productive.
Safer workplaces are more productive workplaces. When there is a system for detecting and managing risks, employees know what they need to do when they encounter a hazard. A single hazard, however, can disrupt many activities when there is no clear guidance. Regulators are often viewed as unavoidable interruptions since their requirements increase the amount of time needed to complete certain tasks. Safety management systems, on the other hand, handle compliance, so staff need not pay as much attention to it. Despite the fact that workers are spared many repetitive tasks, this does not mean that they can be careless.