Incident investigation and reporting

What are the benefits to gaining real-time access to enterprise incident data?

Responding is Angelica Lauriano, senior account manager, Applications International Corp., San Diego, CA.

In today’s growing global economy, more organizations are expanding their global footprint, which can make it difficult for corporate and regional health and safety professionals to gain access to what is happening within their organization. Once these health and safety professionals have finally been made aware of an incident on the other side of the country, or even on the other side of the globe, weeks – if not months – may have passed. This delay in receiving information can lead to such incidents reoccurring, as the hazard or behavior that caused the incident in the first place was not remedied in a timely manner.

A solution to this information lag is real-time, web-based, multilingual incident reporting platforms. These platforms have revolutionized the methods in which global incident data is gathered and communicated within a global organization, and very quickly and easily allow an employee to capture incident data in their native language immediately after the incident occurs. Because these platforms are web-based, data is stored centrally in what today is known as the cloud, which makes it possible to access this information from anywhere in the world. As soon as the employee saves the record, health and safety professionals are made aware of the incident through real-time, automated email notifications. These incidents can be viewed in real-time in English, even though they may have been captured in another language.

The old adage “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” rings true for all health and safety professionals. It is difficult to prevent other employees from becoming injured in the same manner as a previous employee if the health and safety professionals responsible for employee well-being do not know, in real time, what happened, how it happened or why it happened. Thus, the benefits in gaining access to global incidents in real time are many, the most obvious being quicker decision-making, reducing risk, and providing health and safety professionals with access to the information needed to prevent the same type of incident from reoccurring.

The lessons learned from an incident can now be shared much sooner with the rest of the global organization. The reduction in the time it takes to communicate this information will help prevent a similar incident elsewhere within the organization. As a result, more employees will return home injury- and illness-free, which is the goal all health and safety professionals share.

On the financial side, the result of the reduction of incidents is cost savings on medical care and lost productivity for the organization.

To recap, an organization that has real-time access to global incident data benefits not only the employee, but also the employer – a classic win-win situation.

Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.

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