Emergencies can arise at any time in the workplace, and having robust solutions in place during urgent situations is essential to ensure business continuity (Thebci.org, n.d.). In times of a global pandemic such as COVID-19, the health and safety of workers are crucial (Osha.gov, n.d.).

 

Health & Safety (H&S) managers need tools that help them track and alert their workforce during emergencies, prevent accidents and injuries, and ensure quick incident response and business continuity with minimal disruptions (OSHCR, n.d.).

In today’s digital world, rapid communication and modern tools that support efficiency and accuracy are essential. H&S managers desire quick and efficient information, reliable check-in systems, automatic backup and information retrieval, tracking, and quick incidence response.

This White Paper focuses on SaaS tools in health and safety management and how proactive leaders can benefit from using SaaS tools in their daily business operations. It describes how to select SaaS tools for your business.

What You’ll Learn

  • The meaning of SaaS
  • How SaaS helps in health and safety
  • How to choose SaaS tools for health and safety management

Emergencies can arise at any time in the workplace…

… and having robust solutions in place during urgent situations is essential to ensure business continuity (Thebci.org, n.d.). In times of a global pandemic such as COVID-19, the health and safety of workers are crucial (Osha.gov, n.d.).

Health & Safety (H&S) managers need tools that help them track and alert their workforce during emergencies, prevent accidents and injuries, and ensure quick incident response and business continuity with minimal disruptions (OSHCR, n.d.).

In today’s digital world, rapid communication and modern tools that support efficiency and accuracy are essential. H&S managers desire quick and efficient information, reliable check-in systems, automatic backup and information retrieval, tracking, and quick incidence response.

This White Paper focuses on SaaS tools in health and safety management and how proactive leaders can benefit from using SaaS tools in their daily business operations. It describes how to select SaaS tools for your business.

What Is a SaaS Solution?

What Are The Advantages Of SaaS Tools?

How SaaS can Support the Role of Health and Safety

How to Compare SaaS Providers

  • Defining the Problem

  • Multiple Language Support

  • Robust Admin Features

  • Business Compliance and Financial Health

  • Standard Services

  • Cybersecurity

  • Technical Features

  • Questions You Should Ask Before Signing Up

  • Red Flags to Look Out For Before You Commit

Summary

 

What is a SaaS Solution?

 

Software as a Service (SaaS) is software that you access over the internet,instead of downloading it into your desktop PC or mobile phone. Usually, the software is accessible on a website or an application that the provider hosts on the cloud (Turner, 2019).

What Are The Advantages Of SaaS Tools?
Using cloud-based SaaS tools has several advantages for H&S managers (Sylos, 2013):

Centralised updates for minimal disruptions:

Traditional software requires downloading and maintenance on-device. Using SaaS tools free you from updating responsibilities because the provider rolls out patches on the cloud.

Collaboration and accessibility:

SaaS supports collaboration between you and your employees because all workers can access the platform over the internet. As a result of collaboration, you can ensure quick and updated communication on a shared database.

Automatic backup:

SaaS tools ensure automatic data backup to the cloud, supporting fast document storage and retrieval, and information verification. The software also saves you from buying or paying for server and storage facilities. You can also easily switch work devices and access all your data.

Cost savings:

SaaS tools enable initial cost savings because they only require you to pay a subscription fee or pay for what you use. You incur zero set-up costs because your provider provides a comprehensive package which includes the software, maintenance, and data storage and security.

Optimal use of resources:

There is little to no resource wastage because you can pay only for what you need and use.

Contractual obligations:

You are also free from long contracts that may loop you into costly payments with poor services.

Data analysis and visualization:

Most SaaS tools include intelligent analytics, reporting, and visualization tools you can use to draw valuable insights from your business data and improve decision-making. You can identify trends and hazards that require immediate action.

How SaaS can Support the Role of Health and Safety

 

SaaS tools provide solutions for several challenges you may face when enforcing and monitoring health and safety standards.

Employee Engagement
An employee’s commitment and desire to fulfil organizational goals is essential for business. However, employees may or may not feel engaged depending on the nature of the workplace. Disengaged employees are more likely to evade monitoring, give false reports, and also disregard safety policies.

SaaS tools provide forums where employees can communicate their needs and challenges without the fear of contacting managers directly (Scace, 2019). As the manager, you can then use this information to address problems and improve employee engagement ( SHRM, n.d.).

Employees Ignoring Rules

Enforcing health and safety policies requires effort from H&S managers and employees. Unfortunately, some employees may disregard rules willingly, and other workers may fail to report on these situations. The lack of reporting or provision of false reports may be due to fear of punishment from supervisors, social pressure, and ingrained biases (Scace, 2017).
With the right communication tools, you can train your employees on the need for accurate reporting, honest communication, and a platform where employees can reach out anonymously and directly. You can then educate or punish accordingly.

Efficient Communication

Communicating emergencies, changes in timetables and shifts, policies, and management, can help your workers adjust to changes quickly. SaaS tools can help you send instant messages to every employee and also request immediate feedback for swift decisions (Deloitte Ukraine, 2020).

Training During COVID-19

Due to current social distancing measures, utilizing collaboration tools can help you ensure remote training for workers and set up physical training on different dates for all workers (Tolli, 2020).

Managing Remote Workers

As you continue to enforce social distancing at the workplace, it may be challenging to track every employee and ensure safety. However, with the right SaaS tool, you can track your worker’s location, primarily when they work in dangerous conditions, monitor progress via video, and receive emergency alarms in case of an injury. With a comprehensive alert system, the employee can also send alerts to their emergency contacts who can help out.

Authentic Information

When accidents happen, it may be challenging to get a real account of events, especially if you only have employee testimonies. With a modern SaaS tool, you can make automatic video and audio recordings of the events. Accurate records can help you compensate an employee accordingly, settle disputes, eliminate hazards, and establish a culture of honesty and accountability.

How to Compare SaaS Providers

 

The SaaS provider you choose could either solve your problems or create new problems. Here are several steps you should take when comparing SaaS providers and selecting software.

Defining the Problem

SaaS tools are solutions to a problem you currently face. Start by defining the issues you are facing and what your desired tool should solve. For example,if you have trouble receiving immediate alerts when accidents happen, find software with panic and alert systems that help employees send instant alerts.

Multiple Language Support

In a diverse workplace, speaking different languages may prevent effective communication, which may affect the health and safety of some workers. To ensure that all your employees have access to health and safety information, online training, and updates, find a SaaS tool that supports multiple languages.

Robust Admin Features

Find a tool that supports customization and gives you full control over the app. You can manage users by grouping them, set up automated communication, improve branding, and import and export files.

Business Compliance and Financial Health
Before downloading software and providing access to private data, check on the provider’s business health. What are their client reviews and financial standing? Do they have the requisite compliance and experts to guide you through compliance? (Microsoft Azure, n.d.)

Standard Services
Your provider should be able to provide a standard level of services that you are comfortable with. The billing and pricing details should be open without any hidden information. The company should also have 24/7 customer support in case of emergencies.

Cybersecurity

The provider should have sufficient security infrastructure and policies to ensure the safety and privacy of your data. It’s essential to check for relevant data compliance. The software should also have inbuilt identify verification features to prevent unauthorized logins.

Technical Features

Pick a tool that integrates well with your computer and smartphones regardless of operating systems. It’s also vital to choose software that has easy to use interfaces and is easily integrates with other apps (Zielinski, 2015).

Questions You Should Ask Before Signing

 

  1. What are the customization features?
  2. What are the pricing details? Are there exclusive features for different packages?
  3. What are the limits on newly launched features? Will you enjoy new features if you’re an older subscriber?
  4. Are there user limits? How many people can access the software?
  5. What is the company data security policy? What happens in case of a security breach?
  6. Do you provide 24/7 customer support?
  7. Is your company compliant?
  8. How can your software improve my business(Archibald, 2009)?
  9. Is your software available on the web and mobile?
  10. Do you offer free demos or a free trial period?
  11. Can you scale the software to fit business operations?

Red Flags to Look Out For Before You Commit

When finding the right vendor, there are several red flags you should look out for.

Any company with a poor internet presence and website design is an unlikely source of tech solutions. A software vendor should be available on their web page and also on different social media handles.

Unresponsive customer care

Once you call the vendor without any responses or go through rude customer service, the habit may carry on after payment.

Hidden charges

Watch out for vendors with hidden charges. Ask your vendor to explain their pricing before committing (Forbes Technology Council, 2019).

Promises

Look out for any company that over-promises to urge you to make a purchase.

Compliance

The absence of relevant compliance, which may open your business to cybersecurity threats, is a significant red flag.

Look out for businesses that enforce data collection and monetization without your express authorization. Some businesses use policies that are too complex for you to understand to loop you into data monetization schemes(Brown, 2020)

Summary

 

Hopefully you feel confident now in the SaaS selection process. The right partner should make your life easier, and support you throughout the setup and onboarding process.

Finding the right software provider will help you protect your workforce and business operations.
Our software helps you respond to any incident at the workplace thanks to inbuilt alert and panic systems, video and audio recording during emergencies, location tracking, and in app communication.

Protect your employees with the Zecure personal safety app, customised and deployed in less than 24 hours. Start a free trial.

 

 

References and useful links

SHRM, (n.d.). Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement. [Online]

Available at: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/
sustainingemployeeengagement.aspx [Accessed 01 July 2020].
Archibald, B., (2009). Expect More from Your SaaS Vendor. [Online] OHS.

Available at: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2009/10/02/Expect-More-from-Your-SaaS-Vendor.aspx?Page=1 [Accessed 01 July 2020].
Brown, S., (2020). 3 red flags you should look for before downloading an app. [Online] CNET.
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/3-red-flags-you-should-look-out-for-before-downloading-anapp/

[Accessed 01 July 2020].
Deloitte Ukraine, (2020). How to reduce the pandemic impact on employees: A guide for company leaders. [Online]

Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/ua/en/pages/humancapital/articles/impact-of-covid-19.html

[Accessed 01 July 2020].
Forbes Technology Council, (2019). How To Choose The Right Tech Vendor: 13 Strategies
For Small Businesses. [Online] Forbes.

Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/08/20/how-to-choose-the-right-tech-vendor-13-strategies-for-smallbusinesses

[Accessed 01 July 2020].
Microsoft Azure, (n.d.). How do I choose a cloud service provider?. [Online] Azure.microsoft.
com.

Available at: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/choosing-a-cloud-serviceprovider/

[Accessed 01 July 2020].
gov, (n.d.). Emergency Preparedness and Response | Getting Started – General Business Preparedness for General, Construction and Maritime Industries | Occupational Safety and Health Administration. [Online]

Available at: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/gettingstarted.html

[Accessed 01 July 2020].
OSHCR, (n.d.). What does a health and safety manager do?. [Online]

Available at: https://www.oshcr.org/what-does-a-health-and-safety-manager do/#:~:text=Monitoring%20health%20and%20safety%20risks%20and%20hazards%20in%20the%20workplace&text=Assisting%20with%20the%20creation%20and,fire%20marshals%20and%20first%20aiders

[Accessed 01 July 2020].

Scace, J., (2017). Why Don’t Workers Say Something When They See Something Unsafe?.
[Online] EHS Daily Advisor.

Available at: https://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2017/07/dont-workerssay-something-see-something-unsafe/ [Accessed 01 July 2020].
Scace, J., (2019). The Top 3 Safety Challenges of 2019. [Online] EHS Daily Advisor.

Available at:
https://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2019/04/the-top-3-safety-challenges-of-2019/

[Accessed 01 July 2020].
Sylos, M., (2013). Top five advantages of software as a service (SaaS) [Online] Cloud computing
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Available at: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/cloud-computing/2013/09/18/top-fiveadvantages-of-software-as-a-service-saas/

[Accessed 01 July 2020].
org, (n.d.). Introduction to Business Continuity. [Online] The Business Continuity Institute
(BCI).

Available at: https://www.thebci.org/knowledge/introduction-to-business-continuity.html
[Accessed 01 July 2020].
Tolli, D., (2020). Managing Safety Training During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic. [Online]
OHS.

Available at: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2020/06/01/Managing-Safety-Training-Duringand-After-the-COVID19-Pandemic.aspx?Page=1

[Accessed 01 July 2020].
Turner, B., (2019). What is SaaS? Everything you need to know about Software as a Service.
[Online] TechRadar.

Available at: https://www.techradar.com/news/what-is-saas

[Accessed 01 July 2020].
Zielinski, D., (2015). How to Choose Cloud Systems That Won’t Rain on Your Parade. [Online]
SHRM.

Available at: https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/technology/Pages/Howto-Choose-Cloud-Systems.aspx

[Accessed 01 July 2020].