Performing regular detailed inspections is the core of any safety and compliance program. How safety professionals carry out those inspections can make all the difference in terms of the efficiency, quality, and overall success of that program. The ‘old school’ methods of inspection may have focused on pen & paper forms, or perhaps word processing and spreadsheet software, but modern technology now offers some immensely powerful solutions that can take inspection efforts to the next level. Outlined below are some of the top advantages to using advanced cloud-based safety inspection software.
Scheduling & Organization
The first step to any inspection program is scheduling. Modern safety inspection software can automate this process based on the user’s needs. Inspectors can utilize features to set certain inspection checklists at a repeating frequency of their choice, and seamlessly organize all pending inspections. Inspections can then start with the tap of a button.
A quality inspection software will typically include a user-friendly mobile application interface. These apps are optimized for a smartphone or tablet screen. Inspectors can take them into the field to enter findings and capture photos using the device’s camera hardware. Mobile applications offer flexibility and ease to the process of recording and uploading pertinent information for inspections.
Flagging Repeat Issues
An important part of any safety inspection is noticing where an issue has been previously identified regarding that same location, asset, and/or user. Cloud-based programs can enable users to access historic inspection data and flag repeat violations in real time. Inspectors can then add commentary as they detail their current findings. This aspect of inspection software deters repeat incidents and adds context for future inspections.
Inspection Review Workflows
Some institutions may require or benefit from being able to set up a review process for completed inspections. Safety inspection software supports this process. Inspectors perform and submit the audit and designated administrators can review and comment on the findings before finalization. This allows for the issuing and assigning of corrective actions for a more efficient workflow.
Live Corrective Action Tracking
Once corrective actions have been identified and assigned, the most cumbersome task that administrators face is tracking each of these actions to completion. With a cloud-based safety inspection program, inspectors can easily view the status of all assigned actions within the system, and sort them by due date, severity, location, or other attributes.
Automated Action Reminders
To expedite the corrective process, administrators can utilize safety inspection software to send automated email reminders addressing overdue actions. Reminders can be configured to include timing, frequency, and audience. These specifications allow for transparency in the event of an issue requiring elevation to additional parties (area supervisors, department heads, etc.). Safety inspection software does the utmost to combat the element of human error and increase accountability.
Action Extensions & Reassignments
Occasionally users may have the need to request extensions on the due dates of assigned corrective actions, or they may have discovered that the wrong person was assigned to address the issue. In either case, those end users can submit extension or reassignment requests through the safety inspection software, thereby enhancing the overall action management capabilities of administrators.
Inspection Report Recordkeeping
As administrators use a safety inspection software suite, they will naturally begin accumulating significant amounts of data, including the inspection reports themselves. Ease in accessing historic inspection reports is of utmost importance. Cloud-based inspection software excels in this regard, as data and reports are not only stored on secure servers, but are also instantly available for viewing, exporting, or printing.
Dashboards & Analytics
Performing inspections and addressing corrective actions is only part of the overall goal of a safety program. Where a fully-featured safety inspection program truly shines is the ability to present all this information in dashboards and data summaries. Administrators can efficiently analyze the data to identify trends or potential problem areas within their safety program. Data-driven decisions can be made, and resources allocated to promote a safer environment.
A bonus to many top-end safety inspection programs is seamless integration with other safety-related modules from the software provider. These modules may cover permit authorizations, incident investigations, and radiation safety. The result is a fully integrated safety software universe that can bundle information and support decision making to meet the demands of an ever-adapting industry.
Joe comes to the SafetyStratus team with over 15 years of experience in the biological sciences and laboratory management and safety. At the University of Connecticut, and later at the University of the Sciences, Joe managed multiple high-volume biology teaching laboratories. He also worked as an Aquatic Biologist for the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds. Most recently Joe held the position of Laboratory Safety Manager in the University of the Sciences’ Environmental Health & Safety Department, overseeing all aspects of safety inspections and compliance in over 150 campus teaching and research spaces.
Originally from Connecticut, Joe has lived in the Philadelphia suburbs for the last 10 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Maine at Fort Kent. In his free time, Joe enjoys working out, taking in good football game or movie, and traveling with his wife to sunny Caribbean destinations whenever possible.