Across all industries and sectors, there is a focus on being adaptable to change – with digital its now possible to do so; staying agile and inspecting for health and safety at work.
This can mean many things depending on the field or organisation structure, but the key points remain the same; an ability to be flexible and adjustable to changing needs and requirements. There is a wide spectrum of OHS (occupational health and safety) risks which managers and organisations need to contend with. Not only is it vital to think about immediate impacts, but also what exposure or long-term wear can do over a longer term for health and wellbeing. Substances, areas, or machinery can all be hazardous in different ways, and hence in need of being considered. Coming out of the peaks of the Covid-19 pandemic has only raised the awareness of the importance of psychological and physical health of the workforce, as well as the importance of staying agile an inspecting for health and safety purposes.
The industrial organization for standards has published numerous regulations and guidelines for the overall safety of a workplace such as ISO 45001 or ISO/TC 283. These act as good starting points for inspectors when carrying out a safety audit and can be combined with paperless checklists for a complete paperless inspection package. For many inspection personnel, having checklists on a digital device allows them to proceed in staying agile and inspecting health and safety. Checklists can be updated via OTA (over the air) updates, whereas the particular points to note such as previous reports can be added to the checklist itself. The inspector can of course also take advantage of the other benefits such as taking pictures and scanning barcodes during a safety check, as well as speech-to-text data recording or making an annotation/drawing. There is often offline reporting or standardised response checklist layouts, as well as GPS timestamps. Different features and functions of the paperless checklist application mean that the inspector or officer in question can stay agile and inspect in many different ways, depending on the needs and requirements of the job or task.
Aside from having the obvious benefits in an adaptable tool where you can send new checklists and reports to, the paperless aspect of the digital tool is greatly evident in the management side. Instead of having a large desk and filing system with countless reports to manage – everything being digital means that you can have all your data on one digital portal. This includes the reports, the analysis, the compliance aspect, and automated decision logic for corrective actions. These are pre-configured suggested actions for inspectors to take in the incident that they make a recording that is out of the expected result. When this happens, the digital solution’s decision logic will trigger a corrective action to be given to the inspection personnel that will be the best possible mitigating step that can be taken then and there. Not only does this mean that the matter can be addressed quickly, but the digital nature helps you to stay agile and inspect what really needs to be monitored.