“My construction company recently underwent an audit by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Among the most important findings is that our safety and insurance documentation is inadequately organized. While researching the matter, I learned that there’s software available to help businesses with this problem. But is it a worthy investment, or would I be better off reworking my existing approach?”
It’s true. Software commonly known as risk management information systems (RMIS) offers companies the ability to gather, organize, store, access and share data related to the areas you’re struggling with. Whether it’s a worthy investment is a good question that depends on your comfort with technology as well as your budget.
How it works
An RMIS stores risk and insurance data in one place — from insurance policies and statements to safety program documents and incident reports to OSHA guidance and audit results.
The system links employees, subcontractors, developers and vendors to site locations so you (or anyone handling risk management) can filter and track the data in various ways: by date, project, location, vendor, and insurance policy or coverage type.
You can use this information to allocate costs across projects or locations. Plus, the system enables you to generate risk-management and safety-related reports. Some systems also can connect with third-party systems to digitally share information.
How it helps
Here are some examples of how an RMIS might help a contractor:
Easier subcontractor insurance approvals. General contractors can create risk profiles outlining subcontractors’ insurance requirements. Then, the subcontractors themselves may use the RMIS Web portal to enter their insurance information and upload documents. The system can then notify a subcontractor via email or text whether the submission was accepted.
Instant incident reports. Project managers and other workers with system access can report safety incidents from anywhere with GPS coordinates.
They can take pictures and videos with their mobile devices and attach those as well. The system maintains a log of such reports for easy access, report generation and sharing.
More thorough inspections and investigations. Many RMIS include an audit tool that automates documenting site inspections and accident investigations. Safety personnel use electronic forms to enter information, which are uploaded directly from the jobsite. When inspections, audits or investigations are completed, the system can even automatically generate corrective actions and assign them to various individuals.
To determine whether you should spend the money, you’ll need to perform thorough due diligence. Specifically, assess whether you and your staff can get the proper training to learn the system and ensure that you’re motivated to use it long term. Naturally, your budget must have room for the purchase as well.
We welcome the opportunity to put our construction industry expertise to work for you. To learn more about how our firm can help advance your success, please contact Dave Wolfenden at (302) 254-8240.