Digital incident reporting in construction can save lives

Digital construction

Digital advances in the construction industry

Digital construction is becoming far more ingrained in the built environment. For instance, the use of digital incident reports are becoming popular. In fact, business process automation is at the forefront of streamlined processes.

Many departments in organisations use QHSE workflows and approvals. For example, procurement teams issuing purchase orders or design teams automating steps to approve drawings. Also, quality control teams managing inspections and tests.

Health and safety lends itself well to automated business processes. Good catch practice forms can significantly improve through automation. For example, digital forms can record incidents and near misses more accurately.

Safety and the construction industry

Certainly, construction is a high-risk industry. Furthermore, busy sites are full of potential hazards.

Over the past two decades, there has been many safety improvements for construction companies.  For instance, legislation and better construction methods are key factors. In addition, health and safety management systems have increased.

Implementing digital QHSE workflows

Today, more and more companies are going digital.  Automated systems and workflow software is on the rise. Therefore, adoption will allow you to keep up with competitors. As well, it displays current safety practices in your company.

Incident reporting guidelines and procedure

Traditionally, incident reporting was reactive and tended to use only past incidents as review basis. A phone call, meeting and note in the accident book might have been the only way to record incidents. Clearly, this isn’t a secure method for health and safety quality control.

In organisations, there are industry standard reporting guidelines to manage health and safety. One of the common features of industry guidance is to ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’. An automated process can complete this for construction incident reporting.

Construction incident reporting tools

Standard incident reporting procedures normally involve specific incident reporting tools such as a form to fill in. Also including, a process to follow to escalate the incident to management, depending on the severity.

Digital workflow and process automation result in reduced process failure. For instance, there is less reliance on employees to take positive action. For example, making phone calls and sending emails.

Legislation and incident reporting

Legislation can vary from country to country, but generally places a duty of care upon those working in construction. That is to say, it manages the health and safety for themselves and for those around them, so far as it is reasonable.

More information on this can be found on the relevant government website for your region.

There are numerous regulations that you must be aware of. For example, lifting operations, control of hazardous substances or incident reporting guidelines. With online forms and QHSE workflows, legislation compliance can be automated.

Companies thinking ahead use business process automation for effective audits of construction sites. For example, compliance with laws, regulations and good industry practice. As a result, strengths and opportunities emerge, identifying room for improvement. Changes can then be made for better health, safety and quality on construction sites. Also, it can highlight areas that raise concern, to urge corrective action.

Why is your safety incident reporting procedure important?

Incident reporting workflow and procedure is incredibly important to any construction business. That is, from an ethical, statutory and profit point of view. Accidents are bad for business. Almost all clients will ask for accident history when tendering for any work.

Without an incident reporting system, it is harder to learn from past mistakes. More importantly, to make changes that avoid recurrence. This would be viewed as a negative in any accident investigations.

incident reporting system
Incident reporting system

Identifying Trends

The ‘Check’ stage is recommended when managing health and safety. This involves performance measurement, investigating accidents, incidents and near misses. Therefore, an incident reporting workflow needs to be in place. Simply put, to capture details for escalation to appropriate managers, incidents need to be reported.

The procedure must also be able to identify trends. For example, minor hand injuries may not require serious escalation. However, larger numbers of minor hand injuries could signal a worrying trend and is investigated to spot a pattern.

What could happen if your safety incident reporting procedure isn’t working?

Many countries have strict rules on the reporting of incidents. For example, the U.K. has Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. Ireland has Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations 2016. Further, the U.S. has the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 where reporting is detailed in Section 8.

Regulations set out minimum reporting timelines for specified injuries, dangerous occurrences and occupational diseases. Therefore, a safety reporting process is critical. Reason being, it ensures that these issues are captured and reported in the statutory timescales.

Kianda software is easily tailored to meet specific laws and regulations. As well as that, it is prepared to adapt to any changes in legislation, as they occur.

An example of an incident report required by these regulations would be if a scaffolding collapsed in Ireland. It must be reported to the Health and Safety Authority in ten days, or risk prosecution. On the other hand, in the U.K., an incident such as this would need to be reported immediately.

Inefficiencies and inaccuracy in safety reporting can be fatal.

According to the Health and Safety Authority, in 2019 a total of 46 deaths occurred within the workplace with 12 people on constructions sites alone.

“Construction workers engage in many activities that may expose them to hazards, such as falling from a height, unguarded machinery or being struck by construction equipment”

Incident reporting should be prioritized and consistent with every incident. Accordingly, this will reduce the number of accidents in the work-place.

Fatalities must be reported and even near-misses so that workers can implement different and new methods. In doing so, the likelihood of an accident in the future will decrease.

Penalties

Reporting a reportable occurrence is a legal obligation. And penalties are given to those who choose to ignore this. Consequently, there can be custodial prison sentences for the responsible person or persons and a large fine for the business.

Learning from incidents reduces the risk of recurrence (and the severity if they do reoccur). Also, it is key to keeping workers safe and incident free. This in turn contributes to keeping a business profitable and successful.

incident reporting software
Incident reporting software

Why use digital workflows to manage incident reporting?

Digital workflow software can be used to implement incident reporting forms. Simply, an online form is used to ease the reporting of incidents, providing visibility to management. Along with that, key metrics related to the number of near misses and incidents are obtained.

It should also collect information about why incidents may have happened. Then suggestions on how to prevent recurrence.

Effective use of an incident reporting form can reduce the time it takes for people to report incidents. Additionally it will reduce additional paperwork. As well, track actions that have been identified to prevent incidents recurring.

It also allows for a high standard of quality control by setting mandatory fields for data input.

Management information and monitoring

Management can view weekly, monthly and yearly overviews of performance via dashboards. Meaning, decisions can be targeted at reducing the risk of future incidents.

A track record of the steps that have been taken is provided. This demonstrates a company’s efforts to improve their health and safety record.

By reviewing health and safety performance, lessons can be learned and shared through several mediums. For example, additional training, purchase of new equipment or a review of approved sub-contractors.

Implementing effective construction incident systems

The end users of the system must be considered when implementing the systems, as well as those in the management chain. Barriers to reporting should be minimised. Further, employees should be trained and able to submit forms online or offline along with easily capturing incident data.

Software for construction processes
Software for construction processes

Good practices

Effective incident reporting systems have a focus on near miss reporting and good practices. Near misses are useful for looking at close calls where someone has been lucky. With that said, essentially putting steps in place will ensure that luck does not play a part in people’s future safety.

An example of an incident report that involves pro-active management is good practices. This is looking at what goes well and providing feedback to the teams to improve morale and belief in health and safety. Also, allowing for these good practices to be distributed to other teams.

Kianda is a software platform that allows companies like yours to automate and streamline business processes. For example, incident reporting via easily built online forms and workflows.

Start your free trial today at www.kianda.com

About Author:
Osvaldo Sousa – Digital process automation expert with almost two decades of experience in information technologies. He is the CEO/Co-founder of Kianda Technologies.

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https://www.kianda.com/blog/2018/11/06/benefits-of-digital-process-automation-in-construction/

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Why you should embrace Digital employee onboarding and induction in construction

Digital Construction Onboarding Induction
Digital Employee Onboarding and Induction for Construction

Employers spend a lot of resources on recruiting the right talent but not enough on employee onboarding and induction. Over 20% of staffing turnover that companies suffer occurs in the first 45 days. Imagine the cost of recruiting, training and breaking in a new worker only to have to hire another one two months later. It means that when you don’t invest in an employee retention strategy your company can incur significant monetary losses by year-end.

HR employee onboarding process should be integrated into the recruitment plan.

Onboarding and induction are designed to minimise this risk by improving the competency, productivity and satisfaction of workers. This process is an opportunity to sell your organisation to an employee. It is why HR employee onboarding process should be integrated into the recruitment plan.

Construction sector is no different than any other sector. Companies in construction deal with people from professional employees to workers in the skilled labour trades. Onboarding of employees serves as a starting point to introduce a culture of the organisation. Trying to keep key employees has always been vital to the long-term success . Especially for construction sector not only onboarding but also properly managed and monitored induction is vital.

Employees without proper health and safety inductions tend to have a higher tendency for negligence to regulations.

Moreover, these workers are also prone to injuries and fatalities because of misinformation to properly deal with hazards in the workplace. Onboarding and induction processes ensure workers are fully informed about the organization and are aware of their responsibilities.

Technology and Employee Onboarding

Over the years, technology changed how construction companies conduct their employee onboarding. The availability of the internet, for example, has changed how people communicate. People also have easy access to information.

Relationships are easy to manage now, and that is part of a great induction process. Digital construction onboarding relies on software and other tools to assist in the different elements.

The digitalisation of the employee onboarding process comes with certain benefits like cost-efficiency, reliability and speed.

Companies in the construction sector that lag on their employee induction process should understand the various benefits that it offers so that they can capitalise.

Concrete Foundations

Construction BPM Software

Initial experience that an employee has about your company is vital. It shapes how workers perceive their stay in the organisation. How you handle employees during the induction process will determine if they stick with you or not. A construction or engineering company can use onboarding to set up the foundation on which employees will develop their careers.

A rewarding onboarding and employee induction process should strive to mentor, educate and support individuals. Employees should see that their employer is interested in them as individuals, not only as resources to help achieve the bottom line.

Workers should have the fundamental basics of the duties that they are supposed to carry out. They must also know the company culture to make it easy to them to acclimate. All these elements contribute to a strong foundation that will give an employer confidence.

Enhance Safety

The construction sector has many health and safety requirements that employees have to meet. When bringing in new people for a project, a supervisor or project leader must ensure that each member is up to date on the latest safety standards.

The building industry has some of the biggest numbers of workplace injuries. Some of the accidents can be fatal. Failure to observe safety standards can cost a company millions in injuries and lawsuits. A good way to prevent that is to provide proper training and information for every work. Employee induction is one of the HR processes that offer this.

You can implement a digital onboarding and induction application in your business that helps workers learn different aspects such as project processes, equipment handling and safety protocols. Digital onboarding makes it easy for a company to track what employees are learning and prevent some things from falling through the cracks.

Reduce Costs

The expenses that come with the onboarding process is one reason a number of building companies don’t bother investing in it. Establishing training programs for different new hires and offering them the right resources can be expensive, especially for small enterprises. However, business process automation comes with enticing cost savings that make the investment worth it.

Unlike physical onboarding, you don’t have to rent training space, hire trainers or travel to remote locations to get the required information. Recruits can get when what they need from anywhere they are. Another way you reduce costs is by improving employee retention rate. A well thought-out employee onboarding process will help keep your workers loyal, which means you don’t lose money on recruiting new hires every few months.

Save Time and Boost Production

Business process automation means reduced paperwork for your staff. Admin tasks that several different departments are required to take action before a new hire can start can all be digitalised. This aims to transform paper forms, questionnaires to digital forms with automated notifications. This will enable better management for the entire process from pre-employment, onboarding to induction stages.

Construction Workflow Software.png
Construction Workflow Software

Onboarding alone requires employees to fill different forms that can take time when doing it the old-fashioned way. Digitally managed process saves time by making these available to employees anytime and anywhere.

Besides the paperless forms, the staff doesn’t have to travel for the induction procedure, and that saves time. The less time that workers spend on the onboarding process, the more time they have to dedicate to other duties. Time savings lead to enhanced productivity, particularly for a workforce that knows how to capitalise on every available opportunity.

Companies with poor retention rate lose a lot of time. Calculate the time it takes to recruit the right candidates for certain positions then train them. Imagine losing even a single employee after investing that time. The HR employee onboarding process, when done right, saves you this time wastage.

Reaching Workers Anywhere

Digital Construction Process
Digital Construction Process

Technological advances have allowed building companies to have projects across different regions. With digital onboarding, an enterprise can easily get to employees who are far away. Just because you have remote workers a thousand miles away doesn’t mean that they have to travel to the headquarters for induction or you have to incur extras costs to train them from where they are.

All workers will have access to the same quality of training.

Onboarding software allows regional and global enterprises to give their employees the training and support that they require. You only need the necessary devices for remote workers and employees in different parts of the globe to access the same material. Digital process automation ensures that you can give your company flexibility without letting some elements suffer. All workers will have access to the same quality of training.

Customisation of Induction Procedures

Enterprises have an easy time customising onboarding programs when using specialised software. Workers at a building company have wildly varying roles, which means that the induction processes are not always the same. Workplace-specific induction is a mandatory requirement in the building sector.

Software for construction processes
Software for construction processes

A company can go further and offer task-specific onboarding. For instance, employees at a site who have to work at heights might receive training on the use of fall arrest equipment. The engineering department can have different onboarding from the contractors. The advantage of this is that project leaders, managers and supervisors don’t have to spend time onboarding staff members for roles that don’t apply to them.

Digital Employee Onboarding promotes Continuous Learning

Employees should be able to keep up with the dynamic times in which they work. Various elements in the building sector change with time. One day a worker is using this machine, and next month a different type comes around. Digital employee onboarding makes it possible for an organisation to provide continuous learning to its people.

Onboarding is not a clear cut process and, therefore, some aspects will evolve with time. With technology, you can ensure that your company doesn’t miss any steps as it grows. You can reduce the risk of your employees getting left behind as other building businesses leverage evolving technologies. Besides making your company safe, you get to build its reputation. A company that is always updated in its business operations is attractive to employees and clients.

Onboarding is one of the HR processes that can shape or break your company. The induction procedure lets an enterprise show its support to employees through training, mentorship and education. Digital employee onboarding allows you to do this excellently.

If you would like to find out about how we help companies in construction sector to enhance their employee onboarding and induction procedures please get in touch with us: discover@kianda.com

Digital Construction Software
Digital Construction Process Automation

AUTHOR: Derya Sousa COO of Kianda Technologies 
Helping companies to build custom business applications rapidly with no-code digital process automation platform Kianda.

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Digital Construction Process Automation

Digital Construction
Digital Construction Process Automation

CIF Digital Construction Summit 2019

We look forward to sponsoring in CIF Ireland, Digital Construction Summit 2019 in Dublin, 13th June. Come and talk to us to discover how Kianda can help you. Accelerate your digital construction journey with process automation.

DIGITAL… THE END OF CONSTRUCTION AS WE KNOW IT?

CIF Digicon 2019 will bring together developers, planners, architects, engineers, contractors,  and other key stakeholders. That is, in the construction industry. To sum up, it will explore best strategies and solutions to embrace digital transformation. With focus on the road to Construction 4.0.

Digital Process Automation can help you manage construction processes efficiently

Kianda is a digital process automation platform helping companies to undergo digital transformation. Through digital forms and workflows, companies can easily automate and manage their business processes.

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https://www.kianda.com/blog/2018/11/06/benefits-of-digital-process-automation-in-construction/

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