If you’re a safety manager, we both know you deal with difficult decisions every day. Deciding whether or not to USE safety management software shouldn’t be a difficult decision. However, deciding how to implement safety software into your organization is an entirely different matter.
It’s easy to get bogged down in details and minutia when researching safety management software. In fact, it’s common for experienced safety management personnel to struggle with selecting the appropriate software solutions/features for their organization’s needs – and why wouldn’t it be, with all of today’s available options? Over the years, we’ve succeeded at helping many of our customers assemble comprehensive safety management plans, and have identified the 4 largest mistakes made when upgrading to EHS Management Software. So please, do yourself and your team a favor, and give the below a read before making these CRUCIAL decisions.
1) Failing to determine your safety objectives before deciding on safety modules
You won’t be able to outline your safety needs, without first being aware of your needs and goals. What improvements do you want to achieve? How will these improvements be quantified? What’s working well? What can be improved upon? Last but not least, what are your desired outputs, and how do you want them presented in your software (think reports, dashboards, notifications, etc.)?
2) Failing to present a strong business case for investing in safety management software
Sometimes, convincing your uppers or boss of the need for safety management software is the most difficult hurdle of all. If explained incorrectly, the approval to migrate to a better safety management solution is often denied. Does this sound familiar? “Yeah, what’s that going to cost? What’s wrong with our paper records? We already have a safety program – why do we need this?” One of the largest benefits of a properly implemented safety plan is a direct reduction in your injury rate, which in turn lowers your EMR or “Experience Modification Rate“.
Not being able to outline and explain the monetary benefits of the software switch when talking to the decision maker is a huge mistake, because let’s be honest – money talks.
Who doesn’t like lower workers comp premiums? Providing a hazard-free work environment that has a positive effect on the bottom line is an easy initiative to support. And with fewer hours spent reporting on injuries and incidents, managers will have time to focus on higher value objectives such as reducing risk, safety culture improvements or safety program sustainability. In the end, the argument is simple, a reduction in the indirect costs of managing a safety program equates to fewer injuries, which in turn leads to fewer hours spent “fighting fires” and additional money saved.
3) Failing to design an implementation or “rollout” plan
Ok, so everyone is onboard. The safety management software solution has been selected. Now what? How do you roll this out across your entire team and across all locations? Failure to outline these steps beforehand makes for massive managerial headache, poor adoption, and let’s be frank – it makes you look bad. So what are your options? Do you try to roll out the software in “one fell swoop”, or do you used a phased approach and roll out segments of the program over a period of time? Several factors come into play when making this decision. They are:
- The maturity of your current safety management program
- Your organization’s history of adoption and tolerance of change
- The general sense of urgency coming from management
4) Failing to define a continuous improvement strategy
Last, but definitely not least, is forgetting to put into place a continuous improvement strategy. “Off-the-shelf” software solutions are easier to implement but don’t offer the custom modifications and features you’ll need to grow over time. On the flip side, customized solutions take more to implement, but afford your organization the room and tools needed for future growth. Knowing your software’s limitations will help you in designing and strategizing your continuous improvement plan. Our recommendation, has and will always be, to start with a custom plan and use it to help you grow – we could be biased, but then again… if every company’s safety management plan is unique to their process and documentation, why would we think any different?
If we take a step back and look at the most common mistakes made when deciding to use EHS Management Software, we’ll find one underlying theme present in each error — improper or poor planning. Your team has unique safety programs and challenges. We’re standing by to help you plan and execute moving your safety management program forward with customizable software that’s guaranteed to lower your safety risk.