Post-Pandemic Planning: Streamline Your Operation with Safety Management System Software

New Normal ARC

The success of preventative health measures, and a feeling of restlessness around the world, is signaling the beginning of the end for complete lockdowns. With the promise of a return to a semi-normal life on the horizon, now is truly the time to streamline your operations by finally making the switch to a digital Safety Management System (SMS).

In the first two parts of this series, we recommended using this time to update your Emergency Response Plans, and refreshing or creating manuals you might not have yet. Our third recommendation is to not just move your manuals to a digital platform, but to start taking full advantage of all the benefits of a full digital SMS.

Organize Your Documents in the Cloud

If you have been struggling to get a handle on organizing your files, or making sure that everyone on your team has the latest versions, now is a great time to collect all your documentation and upload it to a cloud based system that offers some sort of read and initial tracking and even version control. This way your whole team can easily find all files in one central location, regardless of whether they are working from their home office or are in transit at 41,000 feet. This way you are provided some confidence everyone actually has the latest iterations.

Systems that offer additional document management functionalities can further help to reduce your workload by automating certain notification functions and reducing clutter in your inbox. Useful tools include the ability to notify users a new document is available and the ability to automatically record acknowledgements from your team that they have received the latest version of a file.

Review SMS Data

Like so many others, you’ve likely been collecting data on your operation for months, if not years. But are you able to effectively process and review that wealth of information?

If your data is collected in a digital system, the platform should provide you with metrics allowing you to identify trends in your data. You can then in turn review your data and compare it to your safety goals to see if you are headed in the right direction.

For example, fatigue is a common area to address. An operator’s goal may be to reduce instances of extensions to duty below a certain number in a given time period. Digital forms allow you to easily see how often instances have occurred together with details collected at the time of the incident. Using this data, you can adjust upcoming schedules and modify existing procedures to avoid extended duty days. This is much more time consuming without a digital collection and analysis system.

If you haven’t set your safety goals yet, it’s even more important to review your safety data. In this case, you will want to review all the data you have available to try and get a solid picture of where your risks and negative trends are. Once you have identified areas where you would like to see improvements you can work on setting your goals. Digital oversight would again make this much more effective.

If you haven’t moved your SMS to a digital platform, now is a great time to make that transition before operations get back into full swing.

Complete a Safety Risk Profile

COVID-19 has changed the world we operate in. The virus is likely to be with us for some time and at the very least the idea that a pandemic is actually possible has been solidified. Every operator should be reevaluating risk.

A good place to start is to review, or create, your Safety Risk Profile to identify new potential risks because of the pandemic, for instance. Once you have identified new potential risks you can develop mitigations to help reduce the occurrence of the risk happening and responses in the event it does happen. This may include updates, or adding procedures to your operations manuals, equipment, and ERP.

Conduct a Safety Culture Survey

The best way to maintain a safe operation is to create an environment that encourages active participation in maintaining and improving your SMS at every level. Safety culture should be ingrained in your company culture. Since many operators haven’t yet fully ramped up again, it’s a perfect time to find out how your team feels about your operation’s current safety culture, including health safety.

A digital method of conducting a survey can make execution and management much easier. A good survey tool should include the following capabilities:

  • Ability to send notifications to your team that a survey is available
  • Allow users to complete the survey anonymously
  • Automatically track the responses and provide a deidentified report showing total responses to each survey question

Once you have the results, make sure your system can store them. Safety culture surveys should be done periodically, generally at least once a year. As each one is completed you can track how the responses change over time to better measure progress.

Make Learning Second Nature

Finally, let’s see how well your team knows the way you operate and what’s defined in your manuals. Especially with social distancing and reduced operations, now is a great time to engage your team members digitally. Whether you have recently updated your manuals or they haven’t changed in over a year, a review of your procedures will ensure your team has digested new content and remembers the old.

Quizzes are a fun, interactive way to manage your team’s knowledge. Making the quizzes open book will prevent the quiz from becoming a game of “stump the user,” while also giving your team the chance to work with your documents to find answers they don’t know. A few key functions to look for when selecting a quiz system are:

  • The ability to generate a quiz from a bank of questions. This way you can generate a different quiz each time without having to author each quiz individually.
  • Notifying your team a new quiz is available and tracking who has completed the quiz
  • Tracking and storing of quiz scores

Feel free to contact us with any questions –we’re always ready to help.