Blaine J. Hoffmann, MS OSHM first realized there had to be a better way to manage safety when working in the construction industry in 1998.
At the time, Blaine created a digital checklist—on his Pocket PC—to help him stay organized as he would go around to different project sites (we did say it was 1998, right?).
“I’d go around, do my checklist, take notes, get back to the office and sync it up and print those out and email them if I had to,” he shared with Nick Lamparelli, host of the Profiles in Risk Podcast.
Blaine recently appeared on the #insurtech podcast, talking about everything from general liability and risk management to managed workflows for incident investigations. (You can also find the interview posted on The SafetyPro Podcast here.)
Blaine continued telling the story about how—even many years ago—he was looking to simplify safety: “I was always looking toward technology to help me be more efficient, but also keep everything organized, tidy, neat, and in one place,” he said during the interview.
Fast forward to today and Blaine is VP – Simplifying Safety for iReportSource, a role where he is helping companies remove the complexity of building and managing a safety-first culture.
Blaine shared this story and many more insights during the must-listen Profiles in Risk podcast interview. Here are four takeaways from the episode, including key insights on how you can reduce risk in your organization:
1. Safety-first organizations use notifications to improve safety
Blaine pointed out that a tool like iReportSource helps you shorten the timeframe from being aware of a condition, getting it reported the right way, and being able to act on and respond to that issue or incident.
There’s much value in being instantly notified any time any user enters a risk, issue, or incident. Just think of how you can drastically reduce the lag time that can happen within the claims process with a system that involves simple, timely notifications.
Here’s another example of how notifications and alerts can help you reduce risk: in iReportSource, you can choose when and how often you want to conduct workplace assessments.
Once you set up the timing, you’ll be alerted and reminded to meet those requirements. Then, all that information is documented, right within iReportSource. You can even get as specific as assigning tasks to individual workers and job sites.
Thinking longer-term, that means you’ll have an ongoing, centralized place where you can show every safety activity and risk assessment you’ve completed. That’s powerful when it comes to showing all you’ve done in terms of safety, explained Blaine.
2. Work to reduce the “friction” when it comes to reporting hazards and incidents
Imagine a worker—nearing the end of his shift—identifies a hazard. In a paper-based system, or a disconnected system, that machine operator will have to make a decision: do I interrupt my work to take the time to report this potential hazard manually? Do I go and try to find my supervisor to report the issue? Or, do I continue with my day? After all, the day is almost over.
If it’s not a simple, frictionless way to report the hazard, human behavior tells us it may not get reported as it should!
Also, as Blaine explained, the longer that hazard persists in a workplace, the higher the likelihood it can cause a problem, incident, or injury. All in all, work to remove barriers or obstacles, no matter how small they may seem so that reporting incidents is as simple as possible.
3. Recognize how timing is everything
Time is our enemy when it comes to gathering essential facts, data, or information about any incident or near-miss. It’s no secret that as time goes on, the data can become inaccurate or biased. Alternatively, in other scenarios, an incident or situation may not even be reported if it doesn’t happen quickly after the event or near-miss!
One clear takeaway from the podcast is this: In an ideal scenario, someone has the tools to be able to report that hazard or red flag quickly and easily.
4. Strive for consistent and predictable processes
Blaine explained how, as many safety pros know, OSHA enforces many rules and practices so that organizations uphold specific safety standards. The recordkeeping rules specify what needs to be captured, but doesn’t state how. So with an absence of “how,” that can lend itself to a great deal of variability from organization to organization.
In turn, that also tends to add risk and complexity to an organization’s way of reducing risk and dealing with incidents and claims.
That’s part of why one of the most frequent OSHA citations, year after year, is recordkeeping violations—where safety pros haven’t kept the right records and documents, with the correct information gathered, preserved accurately, for the right amount of time.
You can drastically reduce these risks by using a system like iReportSource, explained Blaine. In iReportSource, if an incident is logged, every single associated document, picture, note, etc. is captured in one centralized and organized location.
You’re also doing the following:
- Capturing more accurate data…and promptly
- Leveraging the information and data for root cause analysis and corrective action
- Guiding any worker(s) involved through the process, ensuring what needs to be done, is done, every time!
- Making sure you have alignment between workers’ comp recordkeeping and OSHA recordkeeping
- Protecting yourself against any data loss because of natural disaster or theft
Keep Workers Safe with iReportSource
With iReportSource, knowledge is power. Every user you choose in the organization can have visibility into how each incident is progressing towards closure. Not only can you drill down, track, and monitor specific activities in iReportSource, you have a real-time view of all your “big picture” metrics that matter, too.