The goal to continually improve safety culture involves understanding the mindsets, attitudes, and behaviours of workers, supervisors and business owners toward safety in the workplace. This is a challenging goal that all of us in the industry know requires much more than putting up signage or holding safety training discussions. These are two common tactics that are important for supporting your efforts, but if you dive into your management information, you'll find a wealth of data that can help make an even bigger impact on safety culture.

Working at the frontline of PPE, it’s not unusual for us to encounter frustrated Health & Safety Directors who do not have the level of control they want over usage and spend. In many cases, people recognise discrepancies and potential issues with their PPE supply or costs but are unable to uncover the root cause.

At worst, all of these discrepancies go beyond cost to have a real impact on the safety of your people. Failing to tackle issues at the source leads to a cycle of increased risk and injury, constantly fighting to minimise risk but never truly eliminating it.

Read on to find out 8 ways that high-quality management information and reporting can be used to drive your compliance, improve visibility, reduce costs and dramatically improve safety culture.

 1. Access to industry-wide best practice

At the most wide-reaching level, the right PPE provider can give you access to management information that exceeds the boundaries of your business. Working with your Health & Safety and Compliance teams, a supplier can become a trusted advisor for safety, leveraging all the management information they have access to.

At Anchor Safety, the longevity and diversity of our experience means we see trends that occur across a whole range of clients. While we are sensitive about data confidentiality, we can use this knowledge to advise you on potential changes, how they could impact your business, what other customers are doing to improve safety, and what we have learnt from our hands-on experience working with and advising customers.

2. Detailed visibility of PPE usage

On one level, procurement teams and managers can use basic order information to see what is being used and on what scale. However, in scenarios where one shift uses considerably more PPE than another or order quantities seem unnaturally high, this baseline data fails to provide true understanding.

When businesses have clear, detailed visibility over PPE procurement, they can identify their biggest costs, establish what is working well and monitor usage. This should include access to granular filtering and sorting, including:

  • Usage by product
  • Usage by department
  • Usage by location
  • Usage by employee

In terms of safety, inconsistencies in your spend may be indicators of a fragmented, inconsistent attitude towards PPE. If one team or shift uses significantly less PPE than another, perhaps they aren’t working to the safety standards you’d expect. A central platform full of management information gives you confidence your objectives are being addressed.

3. Easier and more accurate product comparisons

The most proactive businesses are always looking for ways to take safety to the next level, which often involves transitioning to new PPE products. However, in the absence of clear data, making a decision to change PPE is little more than guesswork.

If you are considering changing a product, accurate management information makes it possible to conduct a controlled trial, where you can see usage levels compared to the items you are currently using. This provides valuable insight into procurement and health and safety teams alike.

Through a product comparison, you can see there is real value in doing something different - whether your safety will be really be impacted - and assists with your forward-planning.

4. Increased accuracy product rationalisation

The right management information gives you an overview of the products on your procurement list and, more importantly, how those products are being used. This helps you conduct product rationalisation and spot the unnecessary, outdated items that may remain part of your procurement process.

Rationalising your procurement allows you to eliminate unnecessary equipment. This means you can consolidate your orders around higher quantities of fewer items. This increases your buying power whilst keeping your people safe and your business compliant.

Product rationalisation has an impact far beyond procurement. Working closely with organisations of all sizes, we’ve seen how rationalisation creates more streamlined, optimised stores with fewer items and less clutter. As a result, it’s possible to reduce the risk of wearers selecting the wrong PPE for the job, ensuring they always have the appropriate protection they need to work safely.

5. Improved efficiency and consistent safety standards

One of our clients recently told us that, despite doing the same job, one shift used around double the number of safety gloves as another. Even a top-level overview of your PPE can show you that this discrepancy exists – but not why, or how to eliminate it.

There are several potential causes that we see time-after-time, including:

  • Waste and misuse
  • Wearers selecting the wrong PPE for the job – for example, gloves that cannot withstand the demands of a particular task for an entire shift
  • Lack of education – for example, no guidance on donning gloves, resulting in damage and waste
  • Occasionally, manufacturing problems like defective batches

More comprehensive management information can help you uncover more detail about what is being used, how it is being used, who is using it, and why these discrepancies may exist.

Eliminating these discrepancies allows you to improve efficiency business-wide – not just correcting a problem with one shift or item, but taking your learnings to every area of your organisation. In short, you can identify what is working well, then replicate this so that your safety standards are being met by every single wearer, in every single shift.

6. Faster onboarding of new management

When new managers or procurement personnel enter your business, it can be time-consuming to get up-to-speed with everything associated with your safety and PPE. In some cases, familiarising yourself with inventories and procurement shifts focus from critical tasks such as developing your safety culture and finding improvements that reduce the risk your wearers are exposed to.

Effective reporting and management information provides a consolidated and comprehensive view of the business – ideal for new managers to start with. Your new buyer or Health and Safety Manager can start making more informed decisions – and bringing value and increased safety to the business – quickly.

7. Protection against fraudulent injury claims

In today’s litigious climate, fraudulent injury claims are a constant risk for any organisation. In addition to increasing safety levels, accurate management information can help reduce the level of exposure for your department or your company.

When you understand who is using PPE, how it is being used, and when, your audit trail becomes valuable evidence that you are meeting your health and safety obligations. In the event of a claim, you have the traceability needed to know that the risk was assessed, the right process was implemented and the right PPE was provided.

8. Reduced costs with consolidated invoicing

Even when the right data gives you a crystal-clear overview with complete control over your PPE procurement and usage, inefficient administrative costs can be a significant drain on resources that are better spent elsewhere.

While every business is different, the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply estimates the average cost of processing a purchase order as £50. If you process just five to ten POs a week, this could a processing cost in excess of £40,000.

Consolidated invoicing brings multiple orders together in a single invoice without diluting management information. You still see the full details of what you ordered and when with the advantage of a single administrative and processing task. By saving you time and money, consolidated invoicing ensures that more of your resources go to the tasks that really matter - embedding a culture of safety and reducing the risk your wearers are exposed to.

See how we can improve your management information, protect your workers and improve safety culture across your organisation. Talk to one of our Trusted Advisors.  Request a Callback.