Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
May 11, 2023

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Sponsored content

The Role of Data in Reducing Employee Risk and Enhancing Workplace Safety

Data is a vital component to understanding the risks facing workers and how to manage them. It’s also critical to engage board members to act, providing tangible evidence that can get their attention and buy-in.

Proactive risk management is also driven by data and gives health and safety teams the information they need to decide on where to focus and what to do in order to reduce incidents and improve the adoption of new technology or procedures.

How data can help to identify and mitigate risks

To effectively manage risks, employers must first have visibility of the incidents within their organisation. Data is a powerful tool that can help companies to identify potential risks in the workplace and take proactive steps to mitigate them, taking the guesswork out of risk management.

By collecting and analysing data related to workplace safety, companies can gain valuable insights into the factors that contribute to accidents, injuries and other incidents. Tracking patterns, such as the location of incidents, can assist organisations to identify areas where additional safety measures are required. This information can then be used to develop preventative measures that reduce the risk of harm.

Companies can also capture information relating to the type of incident, whether it’s slips, trips and falls, verbal abuse from members of the public, or theft. This data can be used to identify patterns and trends where the current policies and processes are not sufficiently protecting staff. For example, if a service user normally receives home visits but is consistently aggressive and abusive towards staff, the organisation will need to make alternative arrangements for that person to receive the service, such as no longer conducting home visits.

Actively using data enables companies to manage risks and improve workplace conditions by taking proactive steps to address proven hazards, creating a safer and more productive workforce.

How to collect safety data

Without timely and reliable data it’s impossible to effectively manage the risks facing your employees and organisation as a whole. However, collecting safety data can be a challenge for organisations without a reliable system in place. That’s where having a solution, such as Peoplesafe, comes in.

The Peoplesafe Nexus online management portal incorporates a useful visual dashboard providing management information and useful statistical data at a glance. To investigate usage and incidents in more detail, administrators can view and download a full suite of activity reports that are fully customisable by date range, account, user and alarm type. Over time, this data will collect and become a repository of valuable statistical data that can help managers to improve performance and rethink key processes.

Using satellite and street maps as well as GPS technology to track locations, dates and times of alarms, administrators can gain visual representations of user activity and where incidents frequently occur. This allows for easy identification of areas where additional measures are needed.

Using data to make informed decisions

While health and safety should be a priority for all businesses, securing funding for additional measures can be a challenge within some organisations. In this instance, using data to provide support and gain buy-in for increased safety measures can be invaluable.

During her time as Group Risk Head of Safety at the Co-op, Sue Parker-Tantush used data regarding incidents to get buy-in for implementing further safety measures at the Co-op. She comments, “I knew that providing intelligent data to our Board and Exec was important to ensure that decision making and challenge were based on an accurate picture of what was happening in our sites. Therefore implementing a new group-wide incident management system became a priority for me when I joined the Co-op: The data gathered, in particular on crime related incidents, became key to drive more targeted operational decision making by senior leaders, and also led directly to new research on the prevalence of retail crime and legislative solutions.”

Identifying trends and patterns within safety data can demonstrate the irrefutable need for more safety measures. For example, if incident reports show higher levels of anti-social behaviour between certain times, or on specific days that make staff feel unsafe, this data is able to justify the need for personal safety solutions, staff resources, or training in conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques. Additionally, data can be used to highlight the cost savings and productivity benefits of investing in safety measures compared to allowing incidents to take place.

David Pardoe, Head of Profit Protection at The Works, quickly made colleague safety and crime risk a high priority on his agenda after a number of retail stores were reporting events of crime risks and general disorder on a weekly and, occasionally, daily basis. To combat this, The Works invested in a Peoplesafe personal safety solution. On this, David comments,

“Every executive door was open to this approach because they all recognised the greater colleague benefits in an industry that is impacted by high levels of staff churn. Our colleagues have always said to us that their work conditions are as important as their core pay – having a safe and secure environment was a no-brainer.”

As well as implementing new safety practices, it’s important to analyse the effectiveness of existing measures. For example, by monitoring the usage of safety equipment and services, businesses can identify whether the measures in place are effective. Low usage can indicate that certain practices are not working as intended, highlighting the need for improvement. On the other hand, high usage can demonstrate that particular safety measures and procedures are effective and should be reinforced throughout the organisation.

Data analysis provides the necessary information to mitigate as much risk as is reasonably practical. By collecting and analysing health and safety data, organisations can identify areas for improvement and take targeted action to reduce the risk of harm to employees.

Contact PeopleSafe to learn more

Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments