Like every public body, The London Borough of Richmond is committed to managing costs without compromising on its services, including health and safety. With just under 5,000 employees and 120 sites, including 49 schools, managing health and safety accident reporting is a significant task. Its old, paper-based system involved staff completing a form and returning it to Richmond’s health and safety team for reporting to the relevant authorities and manual entry onto a single-user database.
By law, all paperwork then had to be archived and securely stored to produce required reports on the type, location and frequency of accidents or in case of personal injury claims.
Dealing with accident reports was a resource-intensive process and information had to be inputted twice, once by the person reporting the incident and then when it was recorded centrally. As a result, more time was spent on recording accident reporting than needed to be, and there were clear opportunities for savings to be made.
Jon Robinson, London Borough of Richmond’s Corporate Health & Safety Manager, investigated options for gathering and managing incident information more efficiently, ruling out telephone-based reporting and other software options that were costly and more time-consuming to implement. Instead, he decided on Info Exchange’s web-based information management software tool.
Info Exchange worked with Jon and his team to understand the processes and terminology they used for accident and incident reporting to deliver a tailored solution. The rapid Info Exchange implementation process – which typically takes days or weeks, rather than months – meant that in June 2006, the system was rolled out to all Richmond schools as a pilot, followed three months later by remaining corporate sites.
A secure, fully hosted, web-based solution, Info Exchange allows unlimited users at different locations to record accidents and incidents, quickly and easily. Key managers and the health and safety team receive email alerts when a new record is entered, ensuring rapid review and investigation.
Without the overheads and administration of form-filling or telephone reporting, Info Exchange has brought cost and time savings and delivered a user-friendly system that provides accurate, up-to-date information and reports. Once in place, reporting of incidents noticeably rose because staff found the system so quick and easy to use, giving Jon and his team a very accurate health and safety picture and enabling them to take steps to manage particular issues.
A comprehensive reporting tool and powerful search engine delivers instant statistics and trends and allows the team to respond quickly and efficiently to requests for information from regulatory bodies or solicitors relating to personal injury claims or deliver other required reporting.
Jon explains: “Without the Info Exchange system, we would still be collating and recording paper-based reports, securing warehouse space to store all our records and then spending time retrieving and sorting them when we need to produce reports or legal evidence. My team now spends more time analysing data and delivering best practice systems to manage health and safety across all the sites in the borough, which will lead to a safer working environment for everyone”.
Info Exchange is currently working with Jon to add two risk assessment processes for the borough – Safer People and Safer Places – to replace paper and spreadsheet systems. Info Exchange will allow managers to complete risk assessments online and manage the whole process, providing easy access to historical data, identifying where action is required and further reducing administration and storage.