Software can make all the difference when attempting to implement more effective and efficient occupational health and safety (OHS) processes

More companies are investing in OHS programmes for several reasons. “One is the need for stricter record keeping,” says Scott Bredin, Adapt IT manufacturing executive. “Another is increased stakeholder pressure to ensure that companies fulfil their social responsibility towards communities and the environment.

“A third factor is the increased adoption of safety management standards such as ISO 45001.” Along with more investment in OHS comes the need for more efficient and accurate systems. This is where software is key.

“Good OHS software can reduce operational risk by improving management and control of safety-related activities at industrial sites,” Bredin explains. “Software is able to achieve a high level of monitoring and control that is not possible when using a manual system.

“For example, access to a dangerous working area can be automatically controlled at the turnstile by first performing a number of safety inspections such as checking for a valid permit to work and the necessary certificate of competency to work on site.”

Software can also assist in improving the quality and speed at which safety reports are conducted. Bredin says: “OHS software, when correctly set up, allows management to focus on making continued improvements while managing exceptions.

“Well-designed OHS software will also allow changes and improvements to safety procedures to be implemented quickly across the entire operation.”

The IntelliPERMIT software offered by Adapt IT, for example, reduces waiting time and congestion in the permit office as multiple work crews prepare to start their shifts. This software forms part of a bigger software package: OpSUITE.

“OpSUITE comprises of several interrelated safety solutions. These include IntelliPERMIT, SmartSURE for managing incident reporting and investigation, and OptiRUN for planned maintenance of assets. FlexiLOG, which is also an important part of the OpSUITE family, is designed for managing typical operations processes found in a plant,” Bredin explains.

“For example, FlexiLOG can manage safety meetings, plant shift logs, site diaries, job risk assessments, contractor site compliance and many more.”

OpSUITE is designed for industrial environments and works best in mining, energy, oil and gas, manufacturing and bulk material-handling industries, for example.

For OHS officers still debating the implementation of software, Bredin advises: “A safety project will impact the entire organisation. Obtain early commitment from all the stakeholders. We also suggest contacting Adapt IT early to learn from other clients. It is very useful to learn from other companies in a similar industry that use the system. We can facilitate this.”

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