The rise of Big Data – What does this mean for Health and Safety?
February 16, 2015
When talking about Big Data or ‘data-driven’ decision making, you may think of a way to target audiences and boost sales within marketing. This is still the case, but recently it has been transformed into a way of revolutionising the health and safety world. At Airsweb we will be running a Big Data series in 2015 to take an in-depth look at the use of Big Data and data based decisions in the real world.
What is Big Data?
Using Big Data in the world of health and safety means that organisations can collect data from a range of different sources both internally and externally. This data is then stored at the company in question, allowing for complex statistical analysis on site and easy fast access to the results. As a result, monthly reporting and the visibility of data at board level is becoming a priority with organisations switching from paper-based systems to a software solution. Using software-based intricate analysis, organisations can be directed to both expected and unexpected circumstances in order to prevent problems before they happen.
What are the benefits?
Big Data presents many benefits in health and safety. The major role it can play is one of preventing accidents before they happen, using data to point out areas of potential weakness and promote behavioural change throughout the working environment. Just look at what Severn Trent Water achieved. In the space of a year they nearly doubled their hazard reporting from 7,000 to 13,000 incidents (1). It’s not just that “software to do the job” is being deployed, it is the capability of the software to allow QHSE professionals to analyse large levels of data quickly and easily.
From an economical point of view, accidents cost companies a lot of money, therefore preventing them is not only in the interest of employees but companies on the whole. At Airsweb, we tailor our services to each individual company in order to collect the right data to then analyse, measure and direct solutions where they are needed.
We have listed just a few of the many benefits below:
- Ensuring the correct equipment is available and on-site before beginning a job. Whether this is safety equipment or the correct lighting, this knowledge enables companies to get organised and maximise their time
- Contractor Management – Understanding the volume of permits issued, completed and signed off can have a huge impact on how effective and costly managing third party contractor services can be.
- Keep ahead of any potential incidents by tracking data from the field.
- Have a secure system in place that enables organisations to respond immediately if an accident or incident does occur and find an effective solution.
- Managing/Minimising Risk – This includes hidden costs involved with accidents including insurance pay outs, disability expenses, loss of working time and time spent training replacements
- Sustainability – Monitoring and reporting on emission outputs, waste disposal and general environmental aspects of a business can have a huge impact on reducing costs but also the visibility of an organisation.(2)
Over the past few years organisations have been slowly realising what a huge impact Big Data could have on their organisation. Although it may be becoming more of a well-known topic, the daunting thought of analysing such a vast amount of data could be putting some companies off. However, the fact that the topic is being brought up and discussed in the industry of health and safety is a positive indicator.
With the potential to save organisations money, reducing risk in the workplace and enhance employees quality of working life, ‘data-driven’ decision making looks extremely worthwhile.
Here at Airsweb we offer a range of QHSE software solutions to collect and use data effectively to reduce risk in your organisation or company. We work in partnership with companies to assess the risks to find effective, personalised solutions and offer action tracking as a fully integrated feature across all our modules, enabling organisations to follow an assignment through to completion. We understand there is no way to know when and where incidents will happen, but by analysing data, a much more accurate prediction can be made.
To find out more about the services we can provide your business call us today on 0151 289 6811 and realise the huge, positive impact that airsweb® have on your health and safety reporting and your company.
1 -Airsweb/Severn Trent Water Client Case Study
2 – http://www.environmentalleader.com/2015/01/08/five-megatrends-for-2015/