No two construction sites are the same. Hazards and risks must be identified and mitigated, with safe working practices understood and implemented by all site personnel.
It’s vital that sites keep up to date with changes to health and safety legislation and best practice. It’s a massive undertaking: health and safety must be rigorously planned, organised, controlled, monitored and reviewed throughout the construction project life cycle.
With so much information needing to be meticulously recorded and stored, switching from paper to digitised H&S forms is a no-brainer. But how exactly does the inclusion of health and safety within a construction company’s digitalisation strategy improve safety on site?
What are the dangers of traditional health and safety processes?
Traditional health and safety processes rely on a paper trail and good faith. This may be effective on smaller sites, where administration work can be done on the go. But for larger sites and more complex projects, it simply isn’t practical.
Without a clear digital process, it’s all too easy for first-aid training records, latest updates and site-wide communications to be missed altogether, mislaid, misfiled or lost for good.
How Digitalisation Can Help to Improve Site Safety
1. Robust Audit Trail
As the Building Safety Act comes into play, there is an increasing onus on construction companies, especially those working on high-rise buildings, to maintain a clear audit trail of decisions made.
Health and safety decisions range from training requirements and preventative measures to addressing issues raised during construction. By digitising these decisions, you prepare yourself for one of the core areas of the Building Safety Act: information access.
Think about it. If you needed to investigate a health and safety incident quickly, which method would you prefer? The old-fashioned approach: wading through piles of paper forms, some of which may be incomplete or incorrect? Or the modern alternative: accessing a user-friendly digital dashboard that enables you to drill down to the details of any health and safety decision made?
Digitalisation also enables you to demonstrate compliance and due care with ease because all checks carried out and decisions made will have been safely recorded and stored, ready for swift retrieval if and when needed.
2. Company-Wide Engagement
Health and safety are everybody’s responsibility. You need to be sure that all personnel understand their responsibilities and comply with the relevant legislation.
Without digitalisation, that can be a tough ask. If you send out a health and safety update in paper form or via email, how can you be certain that everyone has read it, understands it and is compliant? The simple answer is: you can’t. The same principle applies to in-person meetings.
Having a digital compliance process in place will help to ensure that all workers, no matter where they are based, can access your update instantly (or at the earliest convenient moment). By clicking a button, they can quickly confirm that they have read it, understand it and are compliant.
Digitised health and safety processes can be particularly helpful to field workers because they can instantly submit reports and compliance checks online, or as soon as a web connection becomes available.
RedSky’s Forms module enables construction companies to engage personnel with health and safety best practices, wherever they are working.
3. Better Reporting and Resolution of Issues
Access to clear, accurate data enables companies to respond more swiftly and effectively to issues.
Let’s say that a worker completes a report identifying a potential defect in a piece of machinery. There’s a very real risk that the mention of this defect will be overlooked and remain buried within the report, meaning that nobody takes action to address it.
Conversely, with a digitalised process nothing is left to chance: once the defect has been flagged on the system, the issue will be identified correctly and an operative assigned to remedy it as soon as possible. The real beauty of digitalisation is that these actions are logged, visible, reportable and safely stored.
4. Improved Legislative Compliance
The Building Safety Act requires construction organisations to comply with information access and digital standards. While the required digital standard is not yet ratified, there can be no doubt that having a single, logically ordered and easily accessible repository for all your company’s health and safety information will help you comply with current legislation.
The world is becoming increasingly digitised. It’s inevitable that health and safety processes will be required to follow suit. ISO 45001 is a prime example of where digital processes can be used to help meet international standards and help demonstrate compliance with health and safety law.
5. Improved mental well-being
Construction workers need to feel safe at work. Health and safety representation, regular health and safety training sessions and equipment user manuals will all contribute to their peace of mind while on site.
Your workers need to know that you’ve pulled out all the stops to keep them safe. By going above and beyond in terms of your health and safety provision, you can greatly improve the mental well-being of your team.
RedSky can digitalise your approach to health and safety
RedSky’s award-winning ERP system enables you to digitise your health and safety forms, ready to be completed and submitted by your teams, at any time and from anywhere with a WiFi connection. It provides a seamless document management and storage solution that also increases visibility across your organisation.
More than 1,000 construction businesses are already using our system. Get in touch to see how we can help your company too!