How to take your Incident Management System from paper to online

With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics making us aware just how many workplace accidents are happening out there, every organization needs to have solid, commonsense procedures, combined with modern accessibility systems to manage incidents correctly.

Not only are paper based management systems cumbersome and a truly outdated way of record keeping, they cost more in dollar terms than you may want to know.

It’s easier than you might think to move from paper to online, and you’ll be relieved at the time, not to mention the aggravation for your people you save. 

So how do I manage this?

Start by reviewing what you currently have, then make the conscious decision, to take steps and move to an accessible, flexible system that not only understands the needs of business but the reporting and collation of information requirements.

Keep in mind that processes are often disparate, especially in this area of concern. If you can, finding one solution is always best. There is no longer any need to have this kind of management spread between different areas of the business. From Human Resource to Occupational Health & Safety information, all data really needs to be in the one place for continuity and minimization of errors and omissions. The entire organization will benefit from a simple flow of information and documentation that covers first notification, incident / case management, the obligatory recordkeeping, and after event follow-up.

And the results? Let’s look at just a few.

Recordable Visibility

To have your incident management in one place has to be seen as valuable. All stakeholders will have appropriate access to review any incident with access to all the completed (or not) documentation with ease. Follow-up would be so much easier if there was no longer the need to locate a file, address other departments and individuals if any documents are yet to be placed in the file, or even seek advice or further comment from anyone involved. Outcomes can be clear with appropriate corrective actions also at a glance.

Sounds like less headaches to me.

Awareness Is Everything

Not all incidents turn into a claim or involve loss of work time, but it important that your staff realize there is a process, and that the identification, recording and investigation into possible dangers is taken seriously. This goes for staff as well. Hazard identification, whether at a workstation or in a warehouse is everyone’s business. For employers it is all a part of being a good corporate citizen, and may even go toward being an employer of choice. We all like to know our employer considers our wellbeing is of importance.

How important is it to you?

At the pointy end of things, when a claim or serious incident has occurred, the people involved need to provide all kinds of personal information. An individual’s personal privacy and security of information is having printouts of personal particulars lying around the printer, for all to see, is no longer acceptable. A secure, protected back-up system will assist in lessening any of these types of sensitive issues.

Compliance

There’s that word again. While I don’t mean to taunt you, it is, in fact, a reality.

Incorrect record keeping can get your organization into deep water if you are not careful. Ignorance is generally not tolerated, when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your people and the correct recording of their incidents.

Show me the money

Now, there’s a better word.

Paper based filing systems are still around but they are quite expensive and a burden. Someone needs to be responsible for ordering all the folders, pre-printed documents and covers, binders and color-coding garbage (sorry, but it is) that goes hand in hand. I’m pretty sure someone got rich selling all this stuff at some point in the 1990’s, but your organization’s bottom line can be substantially increased without it. Savings are not just in monetary terms. The amount of time it takes to have someone manage a paper based system at times is simply not worth it. Frustration sets in when documents go astray or are simply not created and stored correctly for the incident.

Workplace incidents are stressful enough without dealing with antiquated methods of handling them and the volumes of paperwork they have the potential to generate.

So ditch the binders, folder, files and endless paper streams, for something more user-friendly and workable, for everyone involved.