CoatingsPro Magazine

NOV 2015

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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30 NOVEMBER 2015 COATINGSPROMAG.COM During the decision-making moment of whether or not to file a report, these are the factors that need to be front of mind, not just the instant gratifica- tion that can come from getting a task completed faster w ithout follow ing the proper practices. In the example mentioned earlier, after the fall on the scafolding, the coworkers who witnessed the accident may decide that no one needs to fle a report. After all, that would mean a trip back to the ofce when everyone really just wants to drive home directly from the jobsite. Not only will it take time to make the trip, more time will have to be spent giving accounts of the fall and flling out paperwork. At that moment in time, the idea of extending an already long day by a few hours is much less appealing than going home and putting up tired feet. In these ty pes of circumstances, it can be hard for companies to motivate employees to make the decision to report an incident. T here were no immediate negative repercussions, and, on the surface, all safety proto- cols were followed. Fortunately, tr y ing to adjust thinking is not the only means for improving workplace safety. Adopting new technolog y solutions that eliminate some of the barriers for reporting can help employers address safety concerns sooner and more effectively. What the Systems Offer Even if an incident report is only a one-page document that could take less than 10 minutes to fill out, coating industr y professionals are ty pically working in the field, not at the company office. T his creates two barriers that must be overcome. One is the need to return to the office and take the time to make that trip. T he second is that in some situations, a super visor at a jobsite may have reports on hand that can be filled out, but then that report still needs to make it back to the office w ithout being lost or forgotten. In both issues, time and distance can be barriers. A digital reporting method simplifies the report process by allow ing employ- ees to document an incident from the field w ithout a delay in the message being received by human resources, a safety director, or other responsible level of management. Companies can issue an Internet- enabled smartphone or tablet to super visors on jobsites to easily create a digital reporting method. Incident reports can be uploaded to a portal on the company website that super- visors can access as an editable PDF. Or a safety section of the website can be created where someone reporting an incident answers prompts one at a time, which results in a full report being generated at the end of the questionnaire. T his ends up being a small investment in IT that w ill update a website to make it more convenient to report incidents and can lead to more reports being filed. A secondar y benefit is that incidents can be reported as soon as they occur, which eliminates the potential for forgotten details. If creating a digital reporting method from scratch is not realistic for a company, there are several solutions available in the marketplace. Tere are apps available for mobile devices that can be downloaded to employee phones. Or a company could invest in a report- ing solution that allows employees to text message incident reports to a manager in charge of safety. Not only does a digital incident reporting system make sense for employees, it also simplifes the documentation process for safety managers and human resources. Paper forms no longer have to be entered into a computer database, and, with photos of where an incident occurred, safety managers will not have to try to imagine the scene from written accounts — they' ll see it. Tese photographs can also be shared with and analyzed by a third party to fully understand the situation after it has already occurred. A written account of a safety issue can be tainted by opinion, personal experiences, and other factors. A photograph provides unbiased evidence of the environment, the incident, coworker reactions, and other elements that can be equally as important to analyze. Details that may have gone unnoticed in the heat of the moment by the person fling the report will not be lost. Safety managers will be able to accurately dissect what occurred as if they were present themselves and, as a result, make better recommenda- tions to remedy the situation if any corrective action needs to be taken. Again, back to the earlier example, during the fall on the scaffolding, an environmental factor could have gone unnoticed. If no one else climbed dow n the scaffolding that day, a leaking drain pipe could drip all night and a small slip due to a wet grip could turn into a big ger problem the next morning. If the job is taking place during cold w inter months, ice could form, and the first person up could end up injured. By making it simple for photographs of the scene to be turned in via email, an additional opportu- nity to notice the leak and correct the situation is created. A n add itiona l benef it of d ig itiz- ing the incident repor ting process is the abi lit y for employees to ma ke repor ts anony mously. W hi le an anony mous repor t eliminates the potentia l to inter v iew the person f i ling it, it may be the d if fer- ence bet ween a repor t being f i led and an incident going unnoticed. Add itiona l ly, if an anony mous repor t is f i led w ith photog raphs, a long w ith detai ls on where the incident occur red and who was involved, management w i l l sti l l be able to k now who was work ing at that job on that day and conduct inter v iews to gather more detai ls if needed. W hen incident reports are fled using a cell phone or tablet, where the report is fled from can also be sent to the safety manager. Instead of waiting Safety Watch

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