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Safety Management Insights

4 Tips for Implementing Safety Software Across Your Organization

Posted by Don Brown on Jun 2, 2015 10:00:00 AM


After months of research and internal meetings, you’ve finally chosen a safety software solution to help your company manage important documents. You might be eager to finally cross that task off your list, but the reality is, your most important responsibility has just begun. 

Ensuring a smooth implementation across the workforce is essential to the success of any new safety initiative. The moment employees log on and realize something doesn’t work properly or perceive the process is too complicated, you’ve lost them. They’re not likely to use the program regularly or utilize its full potential, and your investment will have been wasted. 

This was a major concern for Robert Hammond, a site human resource manager and safety director at Roseburg Forest Products, a timber products company that began with a mere 25 employees and has grown to more than 3,000 in its 75-year history. With 12 manufacturing facilities across the United States, it lacked a uniform approach to managing important safety and compliance documents. Each site had its own system, mostly stored among cumbersome spreadsheets. It had become difficult to keep track of lost time accidents, near misses and other key statistics across the company

Hammond assisted with the implementation of BasicSafe integrated safety software across all Roseburg’s sites in January 2015 to bring a more consistent approach to safety and make it easier to identify trends. Prior to the launch, however, Hammond and other key stakeholders spent months setting up the foundation.

Here are four tips he shared for successfully implementing safety software across a large company. 

Assemble a Rollout Team

The corporate safety director wanted to make sure he recruited everyone who needed to be involved while keeping the team as small and manageable as possible. His rollout team included an IT specialist, HR systems specialist and Hammond. 

Seeking input from key stakeholders, from corporate level executives to site level managers, will ensure you have better cooperation from the start.  

Start Small

BasicSafe offers a variety of integrated safety management tools to keep track of everything from lockout/tagout to safety data sheets. Rather than rolling out all the tools at once, the rollout team  chose to start with the incident investigation and reporting tool, the one they  felt would have the most immediate impact. The team wanted to make sure Roseburg managers mastered that before introducing them to other tools.

“We spent several months making sure it was going to be user-friendly and it was going to track the information we wanted to track,” Hammond said. “(The software) can be ‘plug and play,’ but there’s an opportunity to customize it to your job site, and we wanted to take advantage of that.”

After laying the groundwork for the system, Hammond used video conferencing and in-person training to show the supervisors how to use the tool.

Be Prepared for Questions

Hammond wanted to make sure the rollout team had good working knowledge of the software and could answer any questions with ease before introducing it to the supervisors. 

“We organized our rollout around different types of injuries, so there were different things we had to define. For example, if a load spills in a plant, is it categorized as a near-miss or a property damage? We tried to anticipate those questions and make sure we discussed them in advance.”

Determine How To Measure Success

As the old saying goes, that which gets measured gets improved. Within the safety industry, success is typically measured by what doesn’t happen: recordable incidents and injuries. Hammond and the rollout team felt it was important to gauge success by measuring statistics that were not only reactive, but proactive

The team developed a new scorecard that included the ratio of entries to recordable incidents, aiming for a goal of seven entries for every one recordable incident. This encourages employees to enter in as much information as possible, from minor scrapes and splinters to near-misses. 

The occasional splinter may not seem like a big deal, but if the company suddenly notices an uptick in splinters at a particular site, they could have a glove quality issue.

They also track the immediacy of reporting, aiming for initial reports to be filed within 24 hours of an incident and the investigation complete within 10 days.

Having easily searchable safety data for all 12 sites in one location has already made an impact at Roseburg Forest Products. 

“When you start to get that accurate information, things really start to pop out,” Hammond said. “For us, it was injuries involving fingers and hands. It was evident it was a trend, so we were able to communicate that to our sites and make employees aware of personal protective equipment (PPE) and where their hands are when they’re using equipment. That alone is a tremendous improvement over a year ago. We’re able to see what’s happening at the other sites, network with each other and ask questions, too.” 

BasicSafe’s skilled software engineers provide support and training throughout the rollout process. To learn more about implementing integrated safety software across your company or request a demo, contact us today

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