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The Journey to Safety: Moving the Needle from Cost Centre to Value Centre

What drives the investment for safety? It is still clear that a large percentage of companies out there see health and safety software as a cost-centre, spending the minimum amount to maintain satisfactory, sometimes less than satisfactory compliance. This removes the ability to really strive for excellence.






Striving for operational excellence in the workplace is becoming harder and harder to attain without an effective health and safety management system in place. Effective Software's CEO, Darragh Geoghegan hosted a podcast recently with three clients in industry leading companies to discuss the drivers for investing in safety software and how their mindset changed from cost centre to value centre.


The reality is that some functions of organisations struggle to get heard like others do and miss out on being included in IT budgets. The problem with these areas of organisations, such as innovation or health & safety, is that they are not structured and organised in the same way that other functions are. Most companies wouldn't dream of running Finance, HR, Sales and Marketing without a software so why is health and safety overlooked?

Yes, investing in software for business functions that have a clear connection to revenue will always be pushed forward but the realisation that a company will not survive on manual health and safety now and in the future has yet to come to full fruition. With heavy regulation on health and safety in place, companies are beginning to seek a compliance solution.

In the UK, we are heavily regulated from a safety point of view and the compliance is a main driver for us to look for the right tool to manage safety. The second thing and the most important thing is looking after people, both inside and out of the company.

- Simon Kirwin, UK HSE Manager at World Duty Free Group.

Compliance is an important driving force to seek an up to date health and safety management system but it is certainly not the only reason. The people inside and outside a company need to be given the same treatment as enforced laws do. Without an efficient health and safety system in place that makes it easier to manage and share compliance data, tasks and actions throughout an entire organisation, people can get hurt.

As we looked at our safety systems, we thought they were pretty strong but I think anybody who has some leadership responsibility in safety has heard of an employee who's been hurt and that takes it from the system and process world right into the human element. The challenge was how do we make our safety behaviours and safety activities connect better with the people and the human side of it.

- TJ Kinsella, Director of Production at Boston Scientific.

I remember having a conversation with my CEO, and he was not interested in how much it was going to cost or how much it was going to save us or anything like that. All he was interested in was, is this going to make us better? Is it going to make us more efficient? Is it going to allow us to really drill down and find out what is hurting us? The answer was yes to all of course.

- Simon Kirwin, UK HSE Manager at World Duty Free Group.

Increasing overall engagement with health and safety in the workplace is another big driver for businesses. Encouraging a positive approach to dealing with health and safety is difficult for most companies. This is where health and safety software gives senior staff the opportunity to show safety leadership in enabling and empowering employees to be an integral part of the safety system. By increasing engagement in health and safety, a safer workplace and positive culture around safety will follow. The investment in safety software begins as a cost for businesses but eventually evolves into an valuable experience. It’s not just throwing money at safety. Safety must play with productivity hand in hand

It gave us the head space to work on safety leadership which is all about engaging every individual on the site and in the business to see what they can do to make this a more safe place to work and I think that has been so effective.

- TJ Kinsella, Director of Production at Boston Scientific.

The other big driver for investing in safety software is just how centralised and easy-to-use it is compared to some of the manual systems in place. The system allows you to quickly create and assign tasks, easily share updates and reports, and monitor the status of all compliance activities at a glance.

We had a clear realisation that we could not continue to survive on manual processes, we had a lack of reporting to help us understand where we were regards to safety. Manual entry systems and not being able to report on them was pretty frustrating.

- Alistair Dunlop, General Manager Procurement & Compliance at Alpha Flight Group.

There was a need for a centralised compliance system for us to move forward. That was the catalyst in us moving forward in search of safety software. Effective Software was clearly ahead of many others in the game because it was ready built that had everything we were asking for. It was very satisfactory.

- Alistair Dunlop, General Manager Procurement & Compliance at Alpha Flight Group.

As a highly regulated industry, Health and Safety is an integral duty of all businesses. Once implemented, safety software creates an environment to feel safe and improve the overall approach to health and safety. This is what quickly pushes the needle from a cost centre to a value centre.

For more related articles and infographics, please check out our Ultimate Guide To Health and Safety Software.

At Effective Software, our software system encompasses a wide range of modules to suit your business, including:

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