Health, Safety, & Environment (HS&E) divisions have been looking for ways to handle incident reports in real time for a while. Instead of addressing HS&E concerns immediately, modern solutions hinder field workers from logging incidents in an accurate and timely manner.
A comprehensive HS&E program is crucial for preventing injuries, illness, and environmental hazards. A slow, piecemeal incident reporting process can have grave consequences, including disability or even death.
A technician mishandles a piece of machinery and is injured. An engineer is exposed to chemicals that can cause lung damage. A plant leak exposes a community to a hazardous substance. A fall leads to hospitalization and a long recovery. Liability is high whether you’re dealing with a personal injury or government intervention from an environmental perspective. It’s just not worth the risk.
Where Incident Reporting Backfires
Incident reports are often hastily written. In the moment, witnesses are busy dealing with the incident and don’t have time to stop and write a detailed report. It’s not until the end of the day that the witness has time to document the issue, and by 5pm, they’re ready to get home so they fill out the report quickly. Their mind, rattled by the event, can easily reframe the incident depending on the level of trauma and severity. How accurate and thorough is the report really? It’ll probably take a few days for the HS&E team to review it. Follow-up questions are met with increasingly fuzzy accounts of what really happened, because witnesses have moved on.
HS&E teams should be able to quickly identify problems and generate a corrective action. This means addressing concerns as they arise to make sure past issues aren’t repeated and potential issues are prevented. There are numerous tools available for people to report violations or log issues. But there are a few big gaps in the existing solutions:
- Language barriers. Maybe the language spoken in your company’s country of operation is not a field engineer’s first language. There’s potential for miscommunication when writing out reports.
- Poor writing skills. Some people write reports hastily, jotting down what they can remember but leaving out relevant details.
- Delayed incident resolution. Most incident reporting tools don’t offer immediate resolution. Some HS&E solutions are even tied to an ERP or HR system, which don’t work in real time. HS&E incidents should be resolved as quickly and effectively as possible to maintain a safe environment and protect employees.
What’s the Fix?
Field workers need a tool that allows them to immediately reach out to the right person when there’s an incident or safety concern. If you can contact someone the moment an issue occurs, they can ask clarifying questions and thoroughly document the issue in a timely manner. It seems like the obvious solution—instant communication. Still, too many companies are putting their employees at risk by using the wrong tools that delay reporting.
EVAN360 gives you the ability to communicate in a way you never could when filling out a report hours later. You still need documented policies and procedures—that will never go away. But instead of sifting through manuals, EVAN360 allows field workers to connect to a live expert who can help in just a few minutes. Whether it’s a question like, “How do I properly handle the antifreeze?” or a report about an injury, EVAN360 empowers organizations to uphold the highest HS&E standards.
Now, you can communicate via live video instead of photos or written reports. Problems are solved right then and there rather than lingering overhead for days after the incident. It’s a huge win for HS&E.