By | May 5, 2017

Waiting too long to file an incident report can, itself, be a risk—as is not being able to harness the Power of Data to mitigate the risk.

Suppose you’re driving on a frontage road in a small town during a bad storm, and the car behind yours skids out on the ice and slams into your vehicle.

Thankfully nobody got hurt, but there is damage to the car.

You call the police but they say there are too many accidents caused by the slippery roads that they can’t send a squad car to the scene. Since both vehicles are drivable and no one is hurt, the officer advises you to come in to the station to fill out a report. Thinking a warm bed sounds better than weathering the storm and having to traverse slick roads longer than you have to, you exchange information with the other driver and head home and wait to file the report next day.

After work, you finally make it to the station to fill out a report. The question is: How reliable is the information you’re providing? After all, the longer people wait to write things down, the more likely they are to forget or hyperbolize facts—the same way that fish keeps getting bigger each year your grandfather tells the story of the whopper that got away—and the other driver might have a completely different perspective on what happened or might not recall certain facts as well.

This is a common problem with operational risk management, too. When workers aren’t motivated or can’t write incident reports quickly on the spot for whatever reason, it could throw a huge monkey wrench into the quality or level of risk associated with your workforce and the organization.

The Power of Data

The adage: “Report it; don’t ignore it” rings true within incident risk reporting, so ease of use is key to quality information. When companies overcomplicate incident reporting forms with seemingly endless questions, it gives busy workers motivation not to fill out reports. Simplicity is felicity in risk reporting. But ease of access to reporting tools is just as important.

Giving employees access to smartphones or tablets containing Environmental, Health and Safety, or EHS software, allows workers to have convenient documenting tools on hand. No need to lug a laptop or take a detour to the nearest desktop.

Yet, according to a recent LNS Research report, only 5 percent of companies have a mobile reporting strategy in place while just 25 percent plan to implement one. The more near-misses, high-potential and genuine incidents that get reported, the more robust the data becomes, and with more information, the employer is empowered to make good strategic decisions based on real trends and organizational behavior.

A zero incident workforce will always be the goal but a near-impossibility due to negligence and human error, but research has shown that advanced predictive analytics can help reduce injury rates by 90 percent and, more importantly, change behavior in the workforce. This shift in human behavior and thought process can transform operational costs, claims and expenditures resulting in a more efficient, motivated and happier workforce.

That’s the Power of Data.

To learn more about what the Power of Data can do for your company, please contact us.