How to smoothly transition to safety management software
The digital trend is not something new, but it is starting to have an influence and impact on the agricultural industry as well as workplace health and safety compliance. Either businesses are making the move to keep up with industry leaders and competitors or they recognise the benefits that come with transition to a safety management system.
Making the move to AgTech and relying on agribusiness software can appear quite daunting, the shift from possibly years’ worth of physical paper systems to the freedom, speed, and reliability of a digital safety management system.
For anyone that has ever had to move from one management system to another, they understand that the struggle is real.
Moving all of your content from one spot to another can seem like a big task so when you choose a solution, ensure you take this into account. Does your new software provider offer training and a support team you will actually have access to? Are you able to import files from your old system to the new one? Perhaps your software solution offers pre-existing templates in your subscription.
The employment of an online, software based system such as Safe Ag Systems could improve your workplace safety culture, whilst also saving you time and money when implemented in your day to day operations.
So, you need some more convincing to make the move to digital?
Think about your current activities and the impact they can have on the environment and your productivity. Does your team heavily depend on printing and physically signing those important documents? Do you know how much time you spend waiting for that file to print, or relying on the physical post (also known as snail mail) to send those important files or even worse…sending a fax (remember those?). And how can you be sure people are seeing or using the most current version of a document?
By utilising a paper-based safety management system, you are restricted by geography, it can be time consuming, costly and chaotic.
Perhaps the issue you are experiencing is better described as a silo of systems? Having multiple management systems can create disparity amongst your records, it can also create a headache to manage your administrative processes. Safe Ag Systems offers a software solution that manages your policies, checklists, records and reporting all in one location.
Yes, it is true, going digital still comes at a cost, but think about the benefits. Once you’ve transitioned to a digital, all-in-one, environment to manage your safety requirements you have dependability of online storage and file back-ups. Did we mention you can reduce the paper clutter?
Complete inductions online, store those comprehensive Safe Work Procedures in your software based safety system and say goodbye to those clunky filing cabinets.
Businesses aren’t just benefiting from the lack of paper but think of the insight and data that comes from a digital WHS management systems. Be more competitive and track your results, access real time reporting and learn from them, for example, Safe Ag Systems helps to manage all your farm safety related tasks in one dashboard.
At a glance check your scheduled machinery maintenance, see your follow ups relating to Near Miss and Incident Reports as well as using the Task Manager to manage work and check on the status of safety hazards. Since Safe Ag Systems utilises both a mobile app and desktop software, you can also choose to manage your safety remotely from the office, whilst still allowing your workers to access machinery maintenance records on farm, enjoying the flexibility and connectivity of a digital environment.
So, you’ve decided to take your agribusiness safety management system online, it's time to introduce some AgTech into your operation. You’ve identified your objectives (what you need this system to do) as well as trialled and tested your software options. Now it's time to make the transition from paper to software.
Below are 5 steps to help you transition smoothly to digital:
Step 1: Lead by example
Champion the use of the new system and take ownership of the project
Ensure you allow time to set up your new system and import your current documents. Keep in mind, for a dedicated safety person working within a medium sized business, this may take a couple of days to complete
If you or your team members aren’t onboard with the transition why should your workers?
Set a target and/or a deadline for the transition period and stick to it
Step 2: Empower your people
Communicate the benefits of your new safety management software to your team.
Address any concerns: compliance, security, legal, etc.
Provide positive feedback for the early adopters.
Struggling to get buy-in? There are a number of ways to promote system adoption, consider a launch event for your workers. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy just an hour to bring the team together and introduce the technology whilst discussing the advantages.
Step 3: Implementation and Training
Create goals and benchmarks with achievable timelines. This could be a secondary stage to achieve worker buy-in. Reward behaviour, this could be completing a number of goals (based on usage) and providing recognition.
Schedule in training sessions based on your users, don’t overwhelm workers with too much information that may not be applicable to their role.
Step 4: Make the culture shift
Create a guideline or cheat sheet for new users.
Perform quality checks as necessary and set follow up dates to review your safety system.
Keep it consistent: create a standardised naming convention and formatting for files.
Step 5: Keep moving forward
Don’t get complacent and fall back into old habits.
Communicate with workers and take feedback onboard.
Remember, when introducing a new system allow for an adjustment period. Old habits can be hard to break, but committing to a safer workplace and introducing safety as part of your daily operations will make implementation and worker adoption a lot smoother.
Disclaimer: Content on this website may be of relevance to users outside of Australia, but content links and examples are specific to Australia. Please check with your local authority for your country and industry requirements.
Originally published 04 November, 2020.