Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

March 18, 2016

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Notify: Reducing lost time incidents through smart reporting

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SHP’s Lauren Applebey talks to the Health and Safety Director for the contract merchanting division of Travis Perkins plc, Richard Byrne and Andy Dumbell, MD and co-founder of Control F1, an award winning digital technology company about how they came together to create a health and safety reporting tool that helps improve safety, increase employee engagement and aims to make paper reporting a thing of the past.  

Notify is a smart software platform for capturing and managing health and safety incidents and events such as near misses, hazards and injuries.

The process works with colleagues first reporting health and safety issues, risks, incidents and near misses, via a mobile app or website. Reports are then verified and escalated to the relevant managers via notifications, from this it is possible to monitor KPIs in real-time, capture supporting information and notes, as well as enabling managers to create action plans. Finally, the user can generate reports, see an instant snapshot of current risks and a full audit trail, as well as measuring performance and identify trends.

 

NOTIFY_001-MacBook-Silver-2 (2)Talking to Richard Byrne of Travis Perkins’ contract merchanting division, who worked with Control F1 to make the software meet the needs of higher risk, multi-site companies, he explained how the reporting tool has made huge differences both culturally and statistically.

“When I started working at Travis Perkins the division had a really strong existing level of health and safety performance and culture. My job is to take it to the next level.” he explained.

“Typical risks within the three companies that make up the division are workplace transport safety, manual handling and driver safety.  There were two other key areas I wanted to improve as well: our (safety) leadership capabilities (in my opinion any manager of people is a leader of safety) and I wanted colleagues to become even more engaged with safety – so that it is not just ‘a tick in the box’ but something that is really part of what they do.  The Notify system is a key enabler to all of this.”

When asked about the system they had in place before Notify, Richard said: “The old system was also an IT based solution, but technology is moving on so quickly. Branch colleagues and managers want to report data but it was taking too long. We take safety seriously, so the next job was to find a way to streamline the processes.”

The Divisional Chief Executive asked Richard to solve that problem and, along with a small working group of colleagues from the safety community, IT and the HR data team, started the partnership with Control F1, turning Notify which was an existing reporting tool, into something really useful for health and safety.

“Control F1 brought knowledge of technology and Travis Perkins brought the safety knowledge; the partnership worked”.

 

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Asked how Notify has actually changed the reporting procedures and if it has made a real difference to keeping workers safe, Richard said: “In my Division we have seen a big rise in colleague engagement, near miss reporting and savings in the amount of time people spend reporting incidents. Lost time incidents have dropped by 25% and our LTI to Near Miss Ratio has increased by more than 100%. The key thing is that anyone can report an incident; it is not just left to management. A yard colleague can report it onto the system in less than a minute on their phone or internet and incidents can be routed to the most relevant person in the business.”

For Richard so much of what makes it work is the power of near miss reports, “It’s not just about what happens locally but globally.” he continues. “A branch can deal with a near miss in the here and the now, make the situation safe, and then, for example with supplier vehicle related near misses the system has the potential to route it to our commercial team who can ensure it’s discussed with the right person in the supplier organisation – making life easier for branch managers and getting the right result for safety improvement.”

“Notify also provides an at a glance dashboard with trends for the last 90 days and automatic notifications ensuring everyone knows what is going on. In the past investigations were standardised, now we have made them far more proportionate.”

When asked how this translates to support from the board, Richard added: “Within the division, once a quarter we carry out a deep dive of our data set as a Board and ask three critical ‘so what’ questions: 1) is our engagement and risk awareness improving? 2) Are the improvement actions we have in our safety plan making a difference? 3) Are there any surprises out there that we need to focus on? And I’ve been really impressed with the level of conversation about safety. So much of that comes from near misses.

“It’s about the long haul. Let’s look at what’s happening out there, let’s be objective and base safety improvement decisions on a rich data set, like near misses, rather than just someone’s subjective view alone. It strengthens the business case.”

From a software point of view, Andy Dumbell added:We wanted Notify to be engaging and help users to foster a safer working environment, making the incident capture procedure painless and efficient. The process starts with someone reporting a near miss or incident on their smart phone or tablet, the relevant department is notified and they can manage it through to resolution.

“We have had some very positive feedback. And users find the simplicity and immediacy useful as they can access data which helps them to improve decision making and to better allocate their resource and budget.

“We are now working building an extension to Notify that deals with risk management and risk assessments.”

Find out more about Notify Solutions: http://notifysolutions.com/

richard byrne

Richard Byrne is the Health & Safety Director, Contract Merchanting, Travis Perkins Plc.

 

 

 

Control F1

Andy Dumbell, MD and co-founder of Control F1.

 

 

 

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