Lateral Flow Testing facility now available on Smartlog®

With the majority of schools and colleges in the UK returning to in-person learning on 8 March – and following many requests from school leaders and safety officials; we have now added the ability to record and report on COVID-19 lateral flow testing within Smartlog.

Similar to the Track and Trace facility that we added last September, the basic breakdown is the following:

  • A unique QR code (and link) is available to all organisations.
  • When the code is scanned (or the link is followed), the user is presented with a simple form to complete.
  • If a user enters a positive test result, the Admin will be sent an email notification.
  • Users do not have to be logged in to Smartlog to view and complete this form.

For current Smartlog 5 customers, the Lateral Flow Testing facility is accessible completely free of charge, along with unlimited access to our brand new Fire Risk Assessment TemplateCOVID-19 Track and Trace facility, and many other existing features.

To book a demo of the new facility for your organisation or to request more information about Smartlog, visit our contact page or send us your query to info@safesmart.co.uk

Our Christmas Operating Hours

The Safesmart team would like to wish all our customers and their families a very Merry Christmas. After a difficult and challenging 2020, we hope that you all enjoy a happy new year.

For the Christmas holiday period, our office operating hours will be as following:

Closed from: Wednesday 23 December, 5.30 PM
Opening on: Monday 4 January, 9 AM.

During this period, our telephone number will be out-of-hours and all mailboxes will be monitored periodically.

We would once again like to thank our customers for their support during this challenging year.

Best wishes, 
The Safesmart Team

New: Fire Risk Assessment Template

After months of hard work by our Professional Services and Smartlog Development team, we are pleased and excited to announce that we are launching our new fire risk assessment template.

We have added some new features and changes, including:

  • Risk rating
  • Real-time compliance pie chart
  • Design and layout has been updated
  • Additional information to support the HSE 5-step risk assessment process
  • Fire Service access
  • Creation of actions — check & test
  • Add a site plan
  • Improved PDF layout when exporting/printing

The new template is based on the PAS 79 (Publicly Available Specification-79) methodology for undertaking a fire risk assessment to identify the risk of fire and the consequences if one was to occur.

PAS 79 was produced by the British Standards Institute and is recommended by the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Northern Ireland Fire Safety Panel.

If you have arranged a fire risk assessment to be completed by one of our fire risk assessors, they will be now be using the new fire risk assessment (unless your organisation has a bespoke template).

If you have any questions, or would like to activate the new fire risk assessment now, please contact your Account Manager, and they will be happy to assist you.

New Smartlog® Feature: ‘Track & Trace’

As more people return to workplaces amidst tightening social restrictions and the looming possibility of a second wave of infections, organisations are under pressure to maintain – or increase their safety measures in order to reduce infections and prevent a potential second lockdown.

One of these measures is the implementation of an effective ‘Track and Trace’ system in order to isolate any cases, prompt the self-isolation of any potentially infected individuals and prevent the further spreading of the virus – which is especially important in a medium or large organisation with many people.

To assist our customers – especially those in the education sector, we have now released a Track and Trace facility on Smartlog. Visitors to your organisation can quickly scan in to a selected location and submit their contact details, with no login needed.

In the event that any individuals need to be contacted, records are available for a GDPR-compliant 21 days before they are automatically removed from the system.

In order to learn more about this new feature or request a phone or web demo from a member of our team, contact our customer services team on:

customerservices@safesmart.co.uk or call us on 01908 320152.

Smartlog® App for Android

What’s New?

We have now released a Smartlog® application for Android devices, which opens up a new dimension for integrating the compliance management system into your organisation’s health and safety processes.

Perhaps most notably, all but one of Smartlog’s modules can now be engaged with offline – something that was only possible with the risk assessment and checks & tests modules in the iOS App. This capability allows risk assessments to be carried out and reviewed even in remote areas with no internet access, accident reports to be drafted without the interruption of a faulty connection, and access to view your asset database with no network coverage.

Upon re-connection, you can sync your device to the Smartlog sever, and everything is updated and timestamped to provide extra clarity in the event of an audit.

Media Integration

We have aimed to utilise the technological capabilities of smartphone and tablet devices in order to enhance the use of Smartlog.

Some industries are more fast-paced than others and require a system that users can interact with efficiently, and one that supports instant and precise communication – and this app does exactly that.

Barcode scanning and NFC support are just two new features of the Smartlog application (more app information here), enabling asset monitoring to become a quicker and more fluid operation.

Health and safety personnel can immediately attach videos or photos to give greater detail to their risk assessment findings, and all employees can regularly log premises hazards on the spot and to greater visual detail and send out an alert to their colleagues – and potentially prevent accidents.

Health & Safety Culture

Along with Smartlog’s desktop features, this app has been created in order to seamlessly integrate the system into the daily operations of your fire and health & safety compliance, and encourage a culture of personal safety and collective responsibility.

The Smartlog® app for Android devices can be downloaded on: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.safesmart.android.smartlog

Safesmart releases Asset Management System

Asset Management, smartlog
Asset Management features barcode tagging & scanning, media attachments, bulk asset uploading and one-button reporting.

At the tail-end of July, Safesmart released an Asset Management system – the biggest update to Smartlog since the current version of Accident Reporting was introduced within the release of Smartlog 5 in September 2016.

Utilising an in-depth and interactive asset registering system and centralising compliance management are both desirable objectives for an organisation; especially in the education and healthcare sectors where regular government body inspections are carried out, and equipment, certificates and licenses have to be valid and up-to-date.

For no added cost to Smartlog customers, our Asset Management system achieves both the aforementioned objectives, providing vast monitoring capabilities in relation to overall compliance as well as asset value tracking – such as depreciation, damage, repair and item condemnation/write-off.

However because the management of assets/inventory does not consistently intersect with health & safety compliance, deficiencies within Asset Management will not be included in the ‘Checks & Tests’ facility on Smartlog – displayed separately instead within the Asset Management facility itself; but automated email alerts and hierarchical escalation remain.

Also featuring barcode scanning & tagging, media attachments, bulk asset uploading and one-button reporting; the facility has the capabilities and versatility to be utilised as a high-gear inventory control system or as a simple digital asset register.

You can read more about Asset Management here.

Health & Safety Compliance in the Digital Environment

‘Convergence Culture’

“Ready or not, we are already living in a convergence culture” declared Jenkins (Convergence Culture, 2006) during another period of booming technological advancement – notably the dawn of the smartphone age. In broader culture the term ‘convergence’ had already been borrowed from Biology, adopted in Economics, Mathematics and Computing; generally alluding to a theory that basically describes a phenomenon where some creatures living in the same environment – although unrelated to each other, will eventually morph into a similar structure independently or develop identical traits.

In Telecommunications Policy (1998) several authors describe technological convergence along the aforementioned biological lines: multiple functions/technologies predicted to eventually share the same platform either for necessity or to increase efficiency. Fast-forward more than 20 years and the digital landscape has not failed to live up to lofty predictions, with the modern internet certainly boosting the speed in which progress has occurred.

Currently it has become expected that almost every electronic device serves multiple functions. For example the wristwatch can now receive and make phone calls alongside serving as a digital running and exercise companion – surprisingly the (then lauded) Fitbit was only launched in 2010. However for Q3 of 2018, Apple’s Smartwatch leapfrogged Fitbit for second place in global shipments and market share, achieving a year-over-year growth of 54% compared to Fitbit’s 3.1% shrinkage; an impressive feat for a company merely incorporating a related activity into their ‘smartwatch’ platform – convergence reaping benefits.

Convergence Meets Compliance

Health & safety compliance has also experienced convergence, albeit at a slower pace than larger culture. Any potential advancements in the industry are of course expected to be subject to – and limited by health & safety legislation and regulations; and this is important because legislation (primarily the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974) created the government agency Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and gave them (to be more specific, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) broad powers in forming prosecutable health & safety regulations.

However the enhanced accessibility of up-to-date and indexed legislation online through the HSE’s information portals has meant that external consultation of health & safety law is in essence no longer needed. Realistically a medium to small company can compose its health & safety policy internally with minimal prior expertise. Along similar lines, the subject of data protection law which was passed as the GDPR in 2018 and the Data Protection Act of 1998 before that (addressed by Whenmouth previously here) has in practice converged with health & safety under the broad umbrella of compliance.

Compliance – or in this context: ‘regulatory compliance’, is simply about an organisation adhering to internal and/or external regulations for which incurred penalties range from a small fine to full-blown prosecution. So for example, a fire risk assessment and GDPR training for the organisation’s Data Protection Officer/s (both which are mandatory under current law) and tangible proof that these activities have been completed (eg. certificates) means that a singular system that logs, stores, and makes this proof immediately accessible trumps alternatively having multiple separate systems for this, especially for convenience and time-efficiency.

Increasing efficiency normally results in the reduction of business operating costs; and the emergence of software that has the capacity to incorporate various related activities under the compliance umbrella has been inevitable. Another example: Human Resources programs and Learning Management Systems (LMS) operate at different points along the compliance scale, but the desire to integrate related functions into a singular platform has seen the emergence and growth of software like Smartlog, which both manages compliance-relevant employee data and allocates mandatory e-learning courses to selected members of staff.

The Importance of a Core Competency

In order to successfully sell units, a highly capable product still needs credibility, especially one that has converged. Much like Apple’s branding retaining its credibility in the fitness and health watch market (as mentioned previously) or Samsung’s vast electronics experience massively contributing in their overtaking of Nokia as the market leader for mobile phone unit sales in 2012: a core competency is needed in order to retain any market credibility and successful integrate.

Amidst the integration of health & safety e-learning, risk assessment templates, site management alerts, logs, task allocation & monitoring, and (soon to be) asset management into Smartlog; Safesmart’s core competency lies in a history of fire safety engineering and consultations as well as an active fire risk assessment service that is up and down the country every week. It is a brand that puts fire safety at the top of the compliance pile, with the experience and expertise to back this up.

This is mainly because fire safety remains the heart of workplace health & safety, with 11,141 accidental non-residential fires attended by the Fire and Rescue services in England during 2017/18. These incidents resulted in 12 fatalities and 653 casualties with notably 2,245 (20%) of the fires occurred in offices/call centres, retail and hospitals/medical care; reinforcing both the ethical and legal need for all types of businesses to conduct a thorough fire risk assessment regularly.

Overall fire accident deaths only accounted for 8.3% of the 144 total workplace fatalities in 2017/18, however alongside the devastating personal injuries and losses of life, fire incidents by nature also more often result in copious amounts of property and asset damage of which very few businesses would be able to recover from financially.

Summary

According to HSE (2018) there has been a long-term downward trend in the rate of fatal injury per 100,000 workers since 1989, with the 2017/18 rate around a fifth (1/5) of the 1988/89 figures. So evidently workplace safety has improved over the years; and alongside the technological leaps and bounds in communications during the last couple of decades, improvements are also occurring in the delivery of health & safety compliance management and training, especially in regards to efficiency.

Convergence continues to drive innovations in the digital sphere and larger society, but with seemingly endless possibilities in the amount of different business management functions that can be potentially converged into a single platform, any limit will simply depend on the business and their compliance needs. But objectively some functions are more important than others, especially in relation to the law; which essentially means that across the board there is a one size fits all option.

Bibliography

Bohlin, E. (ed.)(1998) ‘Convergence and new regulatory frameworks: A comparative study of regulatory approaches to Internet telephony’ in ‘Telecommunications Policy Vol.22, Issue 10′. Elsevier

Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture. New York University Press

Forbes (2010) ‘Getting Fitbit’. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/2010/06/11/fitbit-tracker-pedometer-lifestyle-heatlh-lifetracking.html#124362215556 (accessed: 23/05/2019)

IDC (2018) ‘New Product Launches Drive Double-Digit Growth in the Wearables Market, Says IDC’. Available at: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS44500418 (accessed: 23/05/2019)

Deloitte (-) ‘Regulatory & ethical compliance: Navigating through choppy waters‘ . Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/audit/articles/regulatory-and-ethical-compliance.html (accessed: 30/05/2019)

GOV.UK (-) ’Fire safety in the workplace’. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-risk-assessments (accessed: 30/05/2019)

GOV.UK (2019) ‘Fire statistics data tables’(Fire 0301 sheet). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#non-dwelling-fires-attended (accessed: 28/05/2019)

HSE (2018) ‘Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain 2018’. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf (accessed: 23/05/2019)

Does my business need to be compliant?

One of the first questions a business should ask in order to both a) abide with current law, as well as b) to keep employees aware of, and equipped against the variety of hazards that are often present in a work environment. Then after this it gets really complicated.

“What does the law say regarding _?”

“What mandatory information does my staff need to know regarding health and safety?”

“What is the best procedure in the event of an accident or incident at work?”

“How do we as a business best handle personal conflict between employees at work?”

Different workplaces present different challenges

Next, different parameters also have to be considered: which industry is your business in? And how many workers do you have? (The amount of employees affects what parts of the legislation begin to apply to your business).

Workforce Issues

And most, if not all of the time, compliance is simply a step towards safeguarding your employees and keeping a hazard-free work environment. For example RIDDOR reported 14 fatal work-related injuries in 2017/18 and according to the Labour Force Survey there were also over 600,000 non-fatal injuries to workers in the same period. Estimates also count around 13,000 deaths a year linked to past exposure of toxins at work – primarily chemicals or dust.

The general well-being of employees also affects productivity. For example HSE reports that in 2017/18 25.8 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health, as well as 15.4 million working days lost due to work-related mental health issues.

With your workforce’s physical and mental health to be considered in the day-to-day running of both small and large businesses alike, an in-depth understanding of your overall work environment in relation to the complex relationships individuals in an organisation might have to both each other and their physical environment is crucial to running a business successfully.

Therefore compliance becomes more than just abiding with the law, but using the knowledge and expertise of professionals in order to create a comfortable work environment for stakeholders in your business – unsurprisingly, positivity and professionalism can be sensed by your customers, especially if employees are confident in their own well-being and safety whilst at work.


Compliance training and relating procedures can be a timely process

Making the decision

Compliance of the law is therefore just another building block to a healthy work environment, but understanding one’s own specific needs is very time consuming. For example, between 2015/16 and 2017/2018 the education industry suffered the highest rates of stress, depression or anxiety at 2100 people per 100,000 (2.1%) when compared to average all industry rate of 1.3%; and additionally the causes of these issues range from the workload amount to workplace violence/threats or bullying.

Clearly nuance and care is needed in determining what best fits and works for your company, but thankfully there are specialist and knowledgeable advisors who can help you figure out your specific needs so you can take the next steps.

Who are we?

Safesmart is primarily a provider of an online management and compliance software called Smartlog, but we also offer consultancy on health and safety for small, medium and large businesses alike. Different industries have differing concerns and needs, ranging from an extensive risk assessment for a construction firm to booking a legionnaire awareness course for a small local pool for example; and budgets differ from company to company.

However Safesmart is tailored with this in mind; enabling a growing business to manage your premises, compliance, accident/incident reporting, and many more, on one portable and versatile platform – Smartlog. We are very affordable – competitively so, and ever-improving our customer’s capabilities within our software enabling them to have a dedicated health and safety compliance database and program, giving them less to worry about.

You can find out more here: https://safesmart.co.uk/

Sources:

HSE (2018) ‘Work related stress depression or anxiety statistics in Great Britain, 2018’. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf (accessed 06/02/2019)

HSE (2018) ‘Work-related ill health and occupational disease in Great Britain’. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/ (accessed 06/02/2019)

HSE (2018) ‘LFS – Labour Force Survey – Self-reported work-related ill health and workplace injuries: Index of LFS tables’. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/index.htm#allillinj (accessed 06/02/2019)

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