Whether you are a Fortune 500 multinational or a small, family-owned business, safety management is a complex, data driven activity involving teams of people working together from all corners of a business. Thinking you can run a successful business – large or small – without a safety management software solution is like trying to successfully manage that same business without a functional financial or HR management software system – implausible.
For safety management to be truly effective it must be based on the tenets of continuous improvement and include the collection, management, comparison and reporting of performance indicators regularly and across your entire business.
With safety management, these indicators are typically leading, lagging or both and are the metrics used to measure safety performance in your workplace. As recently outlined by the Campbell Institute, choosing the right safety indicators is a considered process and depends on your own circumstances. For indicators to be effective they should meet certain criteria – see also Elevating EHS Leading Indicators: From Defining to Designing.
Whether you choose use lagging indicators (post facto, better than none) or leading indicators (forward looking, preventative and preferable) to manage performance, one thing is certain – to truly manage safety performance well, you will need to manage a lot of safety data. Remember, knowledge is power (Francis Bacon. 1581).
Unless you have the software tools to facilitate the collection, management and reporting of a lot of safety data, you will not have the metrics needed to easily and effectively communicate performance, define priorities and benchmark success.
So, just as the use of performance indicators is a key component of a functional safety management system, so too is a software solution that enables you and your team to easily and effectively collect, compare, report and manage safety data to provide meaningful feedback, trend analysis and comparisons for continuous improvement.
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