6 Reasons Why Safety Binder Automation is Mission-Critical

    January 24, 2022

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    Photo from Unsplash by @alvarordesign
    Written By
    Anne M. Acosta

    Manual, printed safety binders that aren't frequently read, understood, or followed aren’t doing the job when it’s time to follow the procedures in them. While the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) team might know them by heart, the rest of the organization typically doesn’t. When an incident occurs, reading a manual isn’t the first step that most employees think of, let alone knowing where the manual is in the building. Has the time come to lay your safety manuals to collect dust on a shelf? We think safety binder automation is key to running your business better.


    Safety Binder Automation: Why Now?

    EHS leaders sometimes have it tough. Getting budget to modernize procedures can be very difficult, because it’s often difficult to show the return on investment for safety tools unless something bad happens after the fact or you don’t have the staff or the time to learn about new solutions. All that said, what if something happens and your colleagues didn’t know what to do and you’re responsible for their safety? If someone doesn’t know the current training or has forgotten it, what’s your plan B or C?


    1. Avoid penalties

    With workplace safety rules and regulatory changes from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) at the Federal or State level, it’s hard to keep up, let alone integrate new safety measures, training and reporting. If you don’t have a system in place to support you in complying with changing OSHA standards and rules, you’re leaving your organization at greater risk of OSHA fines.


    2. Reduce reputation risk

    While OSHA fines can sometimes be minor versus revenues for large organizations to pay, they represent only the beginning of what’s to come. Reputation risk and being listed on OSHA’s website for violations, particularly those with gross negligence, also leaves those companies at risk for civil litigation and penalties, which can be dramatically higher in dollars and in company brand reputation. Partners and customers don’t like doing business with companies embroiled in lawsuits, fines and complications; doing business with an organization with a poor reputation comes up in due diligence and puts an organization at risk.


    3. Save time

    Safety binder automation sets your workflows into motion to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. In the event of an audit, you’ll be able to quickly provide proof that your company has procedures in place and follows them. Additionally, you can share required reports on demand, so the audit will be less time-consuming for your company to manage.


    4. Reduce harm to employees and save money

    Statistics show that employers are paying a lot of money for workers’ compensation due to fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the workplace. According to OSHA:


    Workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses cost the country billions of dollars every year. In its 2018 Workplace Safety Index, Liberty Mutual estimated that employers paid more than $1 billion per week for direct workers' compensation costs for disabling, non-fatal workplace injuries in 2015. The National Safety Council estimated that work-related deaths and injuries cost the nation, employers, and individuals $151 billion in 2016.


    When a company’s safety platform is purpose-built to incidents are tracked consistently and safety procedures are followed the same way every time. This also means that the reporting and analytics can provide a valuable insights on where improvements are needed to reduce risks.


    5. Keep insurance costs lower

    At a national level, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) issues an Experience Modification Factor (EMF) for a company and shares it with insurance providers prior to a company’s insurance renewal. While nuances exist, the equation is pretty simple:


    EMF = Your Company’s Actual losses / Industry-Average Expected losses


    So... if your company’s EMF is lower than 1, its safety record is better than average; on the other hand, if it’s higher than 1, your company will pay more for workers’ comp and other insurance due to the additional risks involved in insuring it.

    The more you pay out in claims vs. peers, the more you’ll pay for that insurance to keep doing so. In other words, if you can make improvements to your safety and can reduce your company’s actual safety-related losses, you’ll pay less for the insurance, too. Investing in ensuring that your safety procedures are followed properly and that the right people stay informed of what they need to do next-- from reminders about training to notification of the need to act on an incident to having mass communications go out when they need to to save lives and reduce harm-- helps your company improve its safety record by merely following the plans it set in place. This is what safety binder automation can do for your company.


    6. Compensate for labor shortages

    As older workers retire and younger workers are working in an environment of increasing COVID-19 cases, fewer workers during the "Great Resignation", both institutional knowledge isn't being passed down or transitioned as effectively as it other times. Digitizing and automating your safety manual and the procedures in it will be important while institutional knowledge is lower.


    It’s Time for Safety Binder Automation

    Digitizing or automating your safety procedures reduces risk that employees won’t know what to do in the event of an incident from a fire to workplace violence to a tornado to a slip, trip, or fall. It can also help the right team members react faster to safety incidents when they do happen and give them a menu of options to follow that best suit the circumstances based on the company’s safety procedures.

    Now’s a great time to start digitizing the procedures and putting them into action--automatically. If that seem’s daunting, learn about how Kogniz can help.

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