What to Look for When Choosing Incident Reporting Software

While the reporting of an incident is a necessary requirement, it should also be seen as a chance to reflect on what went wrong. By properly analyzing and understanding the event, you can prevent a repeat in the future.  

This is where safety incident reporting software comes in. 

The most effective software should be there to support the EHS professional, collating the information and providing the kind of insights that can quickly lead to action. This not only helps the EHS professionals do their jobs more efficiently but also improves overall business operations.

What is incident reporting and why does it matter?

Incident reporting is a portion of “incident management,” which implies a more holistic approach, extending beyond the actual reporting of the incident to its analysis, the resulting preventative measures to be taken, and even the prediction of where future incidents might occur.  

It is important to appreciate the significance of accurate recordkeeping. The incident must be carefully recorded for a whole host of reasons including:  

  • Compliance – In the U.S., OSHA demands that businesses with more than 10 employees keep accurate records of workplace incidents. Fatalities must be reported within eight hours and serious injuries within 24 hours. 
  • Insight – The routine reporting of incidents gives a clear picture of the business operations and any potential weaknesses. It also encourages a collective understanding among staff of the diversity of risks in their area. 
  • Prevention – Accurate reporting leads to a clearer understanding of the circumstances surrounding the incident. This, in turn, allows companies to proactively put measures in place to mitigate further incidents. 
  • Cost – The higher the incident rate, the higher the cost for businesses – both in insurance payouts, compensation, and lost productivity time. By improving their risk management approach, a company can reduce its liability premiums by up to 30%. 
  • Employee engagement – By actively encouraging incident reporting, employees are more invested in the process, more engaged in health and safety matters, and more aware of potential risks in their workplace.

How can incident reporting software help?

Embedding safety within company culture ultimately depends on people. But the right software can really help. Tasks that would be time-consuming and laborious if done manually, or convoluted if run through different programs, can be automated and streamlined with the help of purpose-built incident reporting software. Enhancing understanding of the incident, the software helps demonstrate how similar incidents can be prevented in the future.  

The software is built to support the three major stages of any incident – capturing the information, analyzing it, and drawing insights to prevent future repeats. Here’s how: 

Capturing the data

Easy-to-use software accessed via a mobile app makes it easier to capture data in the field. You can then follow the event through, tracking all subsequent action easily and quickly. The incident can be reported, tracked, and analyzed in real-time. 

Automated compliance forms make it easier to comply with national and international regulations and requirements. Customized reporting forms make it easier for employees to report an incident quickly, efficiently, and with the data needed by your organization. All information is logged on a centralized database, giving greater visibility across all areas of the business and helping inform decisions. 

Analyzing the incident

Identify the root causes by looking at the series of failings that led to the incident using specialist analysis methods such as the Bowtie.

A centralized system offers maintenance oversight to help identify issues and develop the right response to address and correct them. Collated data allows you to view and manage the full life cycle of an incident in one place, enabling a better understanding of what went wrong and what changes need to be made. 

Preventing a repeat

By successfully identifying the root cause of the incident, you can mitigate future incidents by putting preventative measures in place. Safety incident software can help you better manage your workflow by scheduling tasks by their due dates, setting up automatic alerts and managing case and claims applications.

Incident reporting software will also help keep key metrics such as your DART and LTIR up to date using real-time data. This helps you identify risk patterns and trends in the data, so you anticipate future incidents and take action to mitigate them. A detailed analysis of every incident helps with continuous learning and improvement of safety processes.

What does incident reporting software actually do?

EHS software is specifically designed to: 

  • Facilitate on-the-spot recording of any incident. 
  • Collate all relevant data around an incident so it can be easily accessed. 
  • Allow a full view of the incident history. 
  • Provide the necessary tools for reporting. 
  • Generate standard forms to capture information and allow images to be attached. 
  • Generate automated alerts to contact the right people at the right time. 
  • Centralize data in one place, allowing overall visibility of the company’s safety and highlighting trends or patterns. 

An effective incident reporting software should have the following features and capabilities:

  • Mobile app – enabling immediate reporting of every incident. 
  • Pre-built incident forms and processes – allowing customization by your organization. 
  • Management of all incident types – including injury and SIFs, environmental equipment, property, and vehicle incidents. 
  • Root Cause Analysis (RCA) – allowing comprehensive investigation of every incident. 
  • Corrective and Preventative Actions (CAPAs)  
  • Regulatory Reporting – collecting all information required for national and international regulatory bodies.

How will it help the company?

The right incident-reporting software can deliver a whole range of benefits to any organization. Making it easier to collect on-the-spot data on an incident and then collating this in one place allows fast, easy extraction of the relevant information, ultimately improving the accuracy of a company’s reporting. 

By streamlining all the strands of incident management and communication in one place, the organization can keep up with compliance demands. 

Giving oversight of the full lifecycle of the incident, the software allows companies to quickly identify failings and recognize trends over time. This helps them to quickly implement improvements – protecting the workforce and the organization in the time of inspection or insurance claim, while also saving the company money, time, and resources. Most importantly, however, it helps bring down the incident rate for the future – something that every organization should be interested in. 

For more information on how Evotix can help you lower your incident rate, check out the Evotix Incident Management brochure.

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Source: Evotix

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