Running a business has two major considerations – taking care of your customers and taking care of your staff. Health and safety software packages can be key to the latter and even help with the former if your customers visit the business property. But how do you choose the right one?
Managing health and safety
The rules that manage health and safety issues in the UK come from the Health and Safety Executive or HSE. They are an independent national watchdog that looks at work-related health, safety and illness. Their aim is to reduce work-related deaths and serious injuries by offering guidelines, advice, templates and tools for businesses to meet their legal obligations.
Any company that employs 5 or more people needs to have a Health and Safety Plan in writing that staff can easily access. They should also be made aware of key procedures from the document that affect them.
There are different ways to create that plan including devising it yourself within the business and getting an independent consultant to come in and do it for you. Once the plan is created, it is important that the documentation is easy to access. The plan will include things like risk assessments, fire evacuation plans, accident management and staff training.
The modern way to handle all of this is with health and safety software packages. These allow you to keep all the information in one place, comply with regulations and easily give this information to staff as needed.
There are a number of features available on this type of software depending on the needs of the business. These might include:
- Risk assessment
- COSHH assessment
- Incident reporting and accident investigations
- Health and safety inspections
- Permit to work systems
- Asbestos control and information
- Lifting equipment
- Policies and procedures
- Training information
Choosing the right software
Getting the right software for the business starts by deciding what elements you need, and which don’t impact your business. For example, you may not need the asbestos element if there is no asbestos present in the company’s premises. Or you may not need lifting equipment sections if the work is all desk-based.
Look at the ease of use of the system. How much training will be needed so that staff can easily use it? And does the company offering the software also offer training materials to help with this? Are there prompts and guides within the software to help you as you go?
You may want to consider scalability – if things change or grow with the business, can the software adapt to the new needs easily? Can it handle multiple sites and is there a cloud storage option to avoid having to store all of the software on-site?
A final consideration might be the types of devices that can pair with it. Can staff access the software from a mobile device or a tablet? Does it come with an app as well as website version? What kind of backup and security is built into it?
By answering these questions, you can have a clear idea of what the right health and safety software package is for your business and ensure you have the right level of protection going forward.