The benefits of cloud technology for manufacturing safety
Manufacturing is a priority sector for safety management, according to the new Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy.
Workers in this sector are often exposed to major health and safety risks, with statistics from Safe Work Australia showing that 11% of all workplace fatalities recorded in 2021 occurred in the manufacturing sector.
“Manufacturers are generally aware that they must comply with the applicable workplace safety legislation, to ensure their employees are safe at work. However, not having adequate safety management systems in place can impact a business,” said Mary Nizamis, Chief Relations and Governance Officer at Skytrust, a cloud-based safety and compliance software system providing users with a holistic approach to safety compliance.
“Cloud-based health and safety software resolves these issues fast, putting the employer and employees firmly in control of workplace safety.”
Unpacking the benefits of a cloud-based software solution
- Quick and easy implementation: Unlike traditional software packages, cloud-based software solutions don’t rely on the download or installation of IT infrastructure.
- Cost-effective, flexible packages: A monthly subscription can enable a cost-effective package that also provides ongoing enhancements to the platform at no cost to the client.
- Easy access: Employees can easily access the software, at any time, through smartphones, laptops and other devices. An app also offers the ability to report incidents and hazards, and to conduct inspections even when offline.
- Software enhancements: Continual enhancements ensure the business is always utilising the latest version of the software, without the time (and additional IT costs) associated with purchasing updates.
- Collaboration and data sharing: Cloud-based software enables employees to edit and share data collaboratively, in real time. It also ensures data consistency, resulting in fewer errors.
- Data and reporting: Cloud-based software can collect and collate business data, which in turn can be used to enhance business operations and performance.
Security: Cloud-based software requires dedicated strict security protocols to be put in place by the provider, to reduce the risk of data being compromised. Similarly, the data recovery and backup functionality of the cloud prevents data losses and downtime.
“Cloud-based workplace safety software allows risk controls to be implemented company-wide, and these controls to be constantly reviewed and monitored as required. The safety manager can evaluate whether current safety management systems are effective in mitigating risks,” Nizamis said.
According to Nizamis, when considering safety management software, it is important to choose a solution that’s easy to use, offers easy-to-understand dashboards with real-time data, and has the functionality to manage everything from training to machinery licences and employee information in one place.
“The implementation of new technology solutions can be daunting, but, with careful planning, it’s easier to get the whole team on board,” she said.
Laying the foundations for technology adoption
A company’s technology adoption plan shouldn’t be any different to other strategic business plans. Follow the standard principles of strategic planning:
- Set the vision: Collaborate with key personnel to outline shared long-term goals. This helps get all stakeholders on board and can avoid potential barriers.
- Build the plan: Everyone in the business needs to be aware that digital transformation will initially have various implications for different personnel when moving from existing systems. Good communication is essential in managing expectations.
- Involve the IT department: Moving to cloud-based technologies sometimes relies on the input of your IT team to efficiently manage the transition. To reduce any challenges or barriers with the process, get your IT team involved from the start for a smoother transition.
- Develop a business case: Evaluating your return on investment will help create a clear business case and rally stakeholder support. Businesses that have whole team support and customer understanding, experience positive outcomes from their digital transformations.
Get into the cloud: Online software services are the next logical step for any business. This is because they not only enable remote use, but also provide many benefits around efficiencies, productivity and reduced IT operating costs through the company not having to manage its own servers or maintain systems.
To aid Australian business owners in better understanding how cloud-based safety solutions can empower them, Skytrust will be participating in the upcoming Workplace Health and Safety Show, taking place at Sydney Showground from 20–21 September 2023.
Nizamis will be part of a free interactive forum (‘Transforming to Cloud-based Safety Technology — Your Safety Journey’) on 20 September, to explore the transition to digital safety management and the positive impact this can have on compliance.
On 21 September, Skytrust MD Corey Burford will present a session (‘Is Your Head in the Cloud When It Comes to Cyber Security?’), providing an overview of things to consider and questions to ask when considering a cloud-based safety system.
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