Five reasons to ditch paper when managing OHS compliance

HSI Donesafe

By Christopher Notley-Smith, Donesafe
Thursday, 26 May, 2016

Five reasons to ditch paper when managing OHS compliance

Are you bogged down with paperwork while trying to manage your OHS compliance? Here are five reasons why you should ditch paper and move to a software solution.

It’s not at all uncommon for business owners or managers to feel that OHS compliance management has become a major part of their week. The issue with this particular part of their week is that it brings with it a massive and seemingly unnecessary financial and time drain. If you find yourself in this group, then there’s a very good chance it’s easy to guess why: you still manage your OHS compliance on paper.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Plenty of companies still use paper systems to oversee their OHS compliance management. You’d be shocked by the scale of these operations. While they’re shooting thousands of emails back and forth at lightning speed, they’re still using little carbon copy pads to manage the literal safety and wellbeing of their staff.

Here are the top five reasons why you should ditch paper altogether and move to a software solution.

1. Save money

Paper is not cheap. If you ignore the time involved in managing a complicated system on paper, even then, the actual price of managing the system in this way is staggeringly high compared to many of the software options out there. Though software platforms vary greatly in price, there have been instances where major companies, when switching from paper to software, were able to save as much as two-thirds of their OHS management costs.

2. Save time

Some business owners in the SME (small to medium-sized enterprise) space admit to spending nearly a day a week managing their OHS compliance. OHS management covers:

  • injuries and claims;
  • health, hygiene, hazards, incidents, ergonomics and environment;
  • risks, audits and compliance;
  • contractor and visitor management;
  • training, education and licence management;
  • emergency management;
  • plant, equipment and chemical registers;
  • and the list goes on.

When you consider that all of these items come with some fairly strict compliance attached to them, really, a day a week starts to sound feeble.

To put it simply, when you actually look at the list, managing this portfolio on paper seems, dare I say, insane. Some software platforms can manage every one of these areas, creating records and workflows automatically in a 10th of the time.

3. Make work easier

Picture this. A worker notices an exposed cable in a high-traffic area. He/she pulls their phone out of their pocket, opens the safety app, snaps a photo, taps a few times on the screen and puts their phone away. Done. That worker can get back to work, but their simple action launches a workflow.

Somewhere else a manager receives a notification of the hazard and can manage the hazard from wherever they are. S/he too, taps a few times on their screen and the software gets back to work and notifies those in a position to resolve the hazard quickly and easily: no paperwork, no phone calls. Using software to manage your OHS turns this otherwise arduous task into something easy and, almost, fun.

4. Make workplaces safer

In the above example, a worker noticed and took action on a potentially dangerous hazard on the spot without it affecting their daily routine. Without a quick and easy way to resolve potential issues like this, these types of hazards can go unreported indefinitely, or at least until somebody in a position to rectify the issue notices it first-hand. Using a software solution shares the responsibility of creating a safer workplace between all workers. This gives the owner or OHS manager potentially thousands of eyes on the ground rather than just their two.

5. Make workplaces smarter

Although it may be possible to manage a complex OHS system on paper (be it more expensive, slower, harder and less safe), one thing you absolutely DON’T get is safety intelligence. Safety software has the ability to compile all of your otherwise disconnected pieces of information and provide real business intelligence. If there is an increase in incidents, you’ll be able to identify and resolve it quicker (while automatically reporting it). If an employee’s licence expires, you’ll know about it weeks before it happens. Automated management like this is what keeps you protected.

Safety software not only protects your workers, but as business owners or OHS managers it protects your business. With OHS-related business fines up to $3m and personal fines up to $600K (potentially with jail time included), managing your safety smartly is more than just a moral issue; it’s a serious legal one.

So whether you’re in the position where you feel that OHS compliance is so difficult to manage that it’s hurting your business, or if you’d like to shave a significant amount off your OHS management costs, it’s time to make the switch.

6. Bonus reason

And as a bonus for not using paper — at the very least you’ll save a tree.

Donesafe is an end-to-end OHS safety software system that is cloud based, jargon-free and works seamlessly on any device with a browser. To learn more about Donesafe, visit

Image credit: © Images

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