One injury is one too many- mines need to be proactive in their prevention of incidents from occurring rather than simply being reactive.
Many governments and companies alike, the world-over have adopted the “zero harm” tolerance in order to reduce the number of fatalities and work related injuries. In South Africa, since 1994 there has been an 86 percent reduction on all mine fatalities from 615 in 1993 to 84 during 2014. Although this is a vast improvement, the number of work related injuries and fatalities is still unacceptably high when compared to other countries such as Australia which reported 14 mine fatalities in 2014, explains Sheldon Barnett, Business Development Manager at African Human Logistics.
African mine companies are yet to adopt the concept of a Safety Culture, as well as equipping their safety departments with the latest technologies available to perform their function. A safety culture is not a mere collection of policies and programs- it is an environment that has a philosophy that permeates the daily activities of the organization. Safety and health do not exist in a vacuum, and thus other aspects of the organization as well as people and financial management impact safety. Therefore, a safety culture must be a part of the overall corporate culture to be understood and accepted as a high priority, further explains Sheldon Barnett.
Safety and health programs such as Accident Prevention Program (APP), Injury Illness Prevention Programs, Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) and many other programs aid in the reduction of risk and ensuring regulatory compliance, but companies need a tool to manage these programs and stimulate involvement from all levels by means of adopting Electronic Safety Management Systems.
These systems are vital in building and sustaining a safety culture by enabling all workers to have access to and log work related incidents, track progression of the incident, assign and complete actions associated with the event, identify root causes and ultimately follow the entire process from reporting to through close out, states Sheldon Barnett.
It is imperative that the mines become more proactive in their prevention of incidents from occurring, than being reactive. A mine needs to record all incidents no matter how low the initial perceived risk or outcome, and the reason for this is that low prioritized incidents have the potential to become a lost time injury or even worse fatality. By using an electronic safety management system organizations can effectively have employees logging all types of safety related events and these can be further analysed through easy to use reports to ensure that problem areas are identified before they escalate into serious incident.
In addition, dedicated electronic safety systems help to foster a proactive safety culture by enabling easier incident logging, greater participation across departments as well as reducing administrative burden associated with older excel or paper based systems.
Benefits of electronic management systems
Electronic SHEQ management systems are enabling companies to centralize their Health and safety records into a single data repository, and thus enabling organisations to further improve safety by having access to real-time, on demand safety records.
Easy to use analysis tools built into the software enables Safety Managers to access incident information such as root causes, equipment involved, and thus enabling them to be more proactive in better identifying and preventing incidents before they occur.
In addition, a good electronic safety system provides organisations with a tool to effectively standardize workflows when it comes to incident/ event recording; ease the burden associated with audits by having centralized Health and Safety database, when audits are conducted all relevant Health and Safety information is easily accessible making audits effortless.
It should also enable organisations in real time to track progress of incidents that have been logged and automatically escalate to managers any actions that are overdue, as well as providing companies with the means to meet many of the OHSAS and similar accreditation requirements.
Important considerations when choosing an integrated safety and risk management solution
It is imperative that the electronic management system meets the organization’s current functional needs, with the capabilities to expand to meet the future requirements. It must also be intuitive and easy to use, especially in the African market as a large majority of the end users might not have been exposed to the system before.
Choose a vendor that has a strong implementation team with a proven implementation and training track record in Africa, as well as a solution with a high degree of automation, such as automatic action tracking and escalation, automatic report scheduling as it makes life easier for the end user.
Ensure that the solution has a good in-built reports and functionality to allow users to create adhoc reports. In addition, the solution should be able handle multiple workflows when it comes to incident/ event recording.
An impeccable aftersales track record is also critical in this regard.
Current trends in the market
African Human Logistics based in Centurion are the local base for all INX software sales, implementations, support and maintenance in Africa.
INX solutions are incredibly powerful, functionally rich and yet very easy to use. It is a modular web solution built on the latest SQL Server database, and Net technology which allows customers to purchase functionality needed today, adding modules as their requirements demand. Users are able to access INX through a web browser from anywhere within the company network or on the internet through a secure username and password approach, explains Sheldon Barnett.
INX Software overview
The INX modules are tightly integrated, managing the following areas of operation:
InControl Module | safety. risks. events. reports.
InControl is an event management system, recording and managing health, safety and environmental incidents and actions. Events include but are not limited to injuries, incidents, audits and inspections.
INX InControl Mobile Application add on
The INX mobile App. for InControl allows users to report “Events” such as incidents, injuries and risks, or conduct audits and inspections all from their hand-held device (such as iPhone or iPad).
InTuition Module Module | training. skills. compliance.
InTuition efficiently manages role-based compliance, competencies, procedures (documents) and training. Generate capability matrices to determine training gaps and assign employees to courses.
INX Assessor Mobile Application
INX Assessor is a field assessment tool for use with InTuition. The app makes it easy to carry out assessments in the field, using any compatible iOS device, and then upload the results of the assessments directly to InTuition.
InFlight Module| accommodation. rosters. travel.
InFlight manages the complex tasks of rostering, accommodation and flight scheduling with a high degree of automation. The daily activity status presents administrators with a view of employee activity.
InHealth Module | surveillance. fitness for work. hygiene.
InHealth has been designed to streamline the occupational management process by allowing flexible configuration of assessments and evaluations, as required for medical surveillance and industrial hygiene management.
InViron Module| monitoring. compliance. reporting.
The InViron module is a generic data capturing and monitoring tool, that manages environmental monitoring data in a fully logical model. InViron has a flexible structure, which allows for the capture of environmental performance data that includes, inter alia, monitoring and measurement data. Typically, InViron will be used to capture, view, interrogate and output environmental type data.
+Analytics Module| dashboards. corporate analysis. synopsis.
+Analytics allows dashboards to be configured to present relevant performance (KPI) data to users. The interface features powerful visualisation tools designed to help capture and communicate data trends.
Benefits of the INX solution
Each module can operate as a standalone application or as an integrated solution. All modules share the same database structure allowing additional modules to be added as they are required, thus eliminating the need for double entry.
If used together, the applications form comprehensive corporate compliance and sustainability management system that can be configured to the needs of any organisation. Individual details relating to safety, compliance, skills, rosters, travel, accommodation, training, health and performance are stored in a secure central database that is accessible and reportable from any location through web browser.
INX has been built using leading edge technologies, incorporating a powerful, SQL database engine to provide a robust scalable solution, concludes Sheldon Barnett.