01/20/2020

Why You Should Invest in Technology for Safety

Making the case for software or other technology investments can be a tough subject – especially if your work can continue without making the investment. It’s one of the big reasons why the construction industry lags behind others in adopting new technologies. Those that have sought to improve how work is done have faced an uphill battle with management & ownership. This helpful guide will give you some tips to make those conversations go more smoothly.

To land the technology you want, you’ll need a solid case that outlines why the investment is necessary. If the goal is solely to create safer jobsites, that may not be enough to convince the C-suite to move forward.

But there’s good news: Investments in technology to improve safety can actually impact departments that span far beyond safety itself. Pointing out potential company-wide improvements can help justify the cost of technology for safety to leadership.

Here are a few basic examples of how an investment in technology for safety can bring benefits to all corners of your business …

Increased Sales
The negative publicity alone from a workplace injury can be enough to negatively impact work.

Certain general contractors, industrial sites, healthcare organizations, and educational institutions simply won’t work with companies that have poor safety numbers – such as TRIR, EMR, OSHA citations, or lost-time incidents – due to the inherent risks involved. They want to hire and work with safe contractors so they don’t have to worry about delays, downtime, injuries, or potential lawsuits.

If you can demonstrate how your technology investment will make it easier for employees to get on board with safety culture, policies, and procedures, then you can also explain that the investment may also pay off in more work due to better safety numbers. Safety is a sales differentiator!

Streamlined Finance and Accounting
There are many ways that an investment in technology for safety can make life easier for your accounting team.

To demonstrate the impact your investment may have for this group, provide a few real-world examples of common jobsite injuries and their associated costs. There are plenty of illustrations to choose from (we can provide data that may help, too). Don’t forget to quantify all related expenses, from production losses and wages for work not performed to damaged equipment and increased insurance costs. Then compare those numbers to the cost of your technology investment. Everyone will quickly be able to see that the cost of technology to improve safety is much lower than the cost of an injury – which is often the result of an unsafe work environment.

Be sure to share information with the accounting team about other potential financial savings that can result from a technology investment as well, including the avoidance of OSHA penalties and a reduction in general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and medical costs.

The right technology can also eliminate the paperwork shuffle for the accounting department, allowing employees in the field to send things like timesheets, packing slips, receipts, and status reports electronically so no one has to track and file hard copies or make sure they get back to the office.

Smooth Operations
Safety isn’t a productivity bottleneck. In fact, it can have quite the opposite effect. Investing in technology that helps your organization take a holistic approach to safety actually leads to higher worker productivity. Why? Because time and money aren’t lost due to injury or work restrictions.

Workers who are afraid of getting hurt may produce less as they attempt to avoid potential hazards. Employees are more productive when they work on jobsites they trust to be safe – they don’t have to worry about avoiding certain tasks or areas.

An investment in technology for safety can help field staff be more confident about installation practices and the tools and equipment they use. Technology that puts this information in the palms of their hands means they don’t have to waste time searching for answers to questions, discussing with others, or waiting for callbacks from a safety director. This keeps projects moving forward as planned.

The right technology can also speed up the approval process for things like energized work reports or change orders. When an employee in the field can complete forms electronically, document their plan, and submit everything electronically for authorization, work continues without delays or holdups on the approval process.

Reduced Employee Turnover
Recruiting and retaining top talent are easier for organizations that care for employee well-being and provide safe workplaces. A strong focus on and investment in safety demonstrates to employees their importance and value, which can reduce employee turnover and absenteeism.

When employees know that their own protection comes first, they’ll feel more loyal and be less likely to look elsewhere for work. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for a company that makes investments to improve safety and protect employees?

Final Notes
As you move forward with your technology investments, document and measure everything. Once you see how quickly the results and ROI add up – and can demonstrate these savings to leadership – it will be easier to get the dollars you need for your next technology investment.

Posted in Safety, Tools