Like other functions of safety management systems, tracking the consequences of preventive actions has moved from the realm of paper to software. Although technology offers significant advantages, it also poses equally daunting challenge. First and foremost, you need to ensure that your tracking software has the right technological capabilities and functions.
Safety Software and the Tracking Function
Safety management systems generate potentially significant value to an organization by using timely, accurate and meaningful information data to generate more effective safety solutions. Most safety system management models are based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle of continual improvement is the centerpiece of most safety management models. Tracking results of your actions is the Check of Plan-Do-Check-Act. And it requires significant due diligence.
The beauty of software solutions is that they enable you to cull the gems of information you need to track performance without having to comb through stacks of paper.
The Essential Functions of Result Tracking Software
When considering an action tracking technology software, there are certain key things to look for:
- The ability to track any action, stemming from any source;
- The ability to customize the system with “user defined fields.” For example, if you plan to track actions stemming from investigations, environmental spills or customer complaints, you need some way of segregating the status of these respective actions such that required resources can be directed towards where they are needed most;
- The ability to assign various level of security for creating, modifying, completing and approving actions—which may but don’t necessarily have to be done by the same individual every time;
- The ability to enable standard and custom reporting for all actions, including those that are coming due and overdue. You should also be able to sort actions by individual, department or work group, contractor, etc. In other words, the application should be able to mirror any organizational chart of corporate structure no matter how complex; and
- Accessibility. Web-based access is the standard these days. Carefully consider any option that does not offer web-based access and functionality.
This Checklist should make it easier for you to craft a workable tracking solution—whether you develop the technology internally or obtain it from a third party vendor.