The conversation was moderated by Sean Salvas, Senior Market Strategy Lead, EHS, of Origami Risk. Specific topics discussed were:
- Technology as a Communication Tool presented by Jeff Brown, Fenix Marine Services
- Automated Workflows, Driving Incident Investigations and Action presented by Alex Zastrow, King County Metro
- How Mobile App Reporting Brings Visibility, Openness, and Financial Savings presented by Mary Gibson, Legends Hospitality
Setting the Stage
Sean kicked off the conversation by recapping Origami’s February 2021 webinar How to Build an Engaging Safety Culture with EHS Technologies and spoke about the benefits of digitizing health and safety in the workplace at a high level. Benefits include:
- Increased Brand Reputation
- Proactive and Predictive Tools
- Better Transparency and Visibility
- Integrated Systems
- Process Efficiencies
- Enhanced Safety Culture
To illustrate these benefits in action, each guest presenter shared a real-world example from their safety function — a challenge they faced, the technology they implemented, and the resulting impact on their organization.
Technology as a Communication Tool
One of the major challenges facing Fenix Marine — a marine cargo handling operation — before implementing EHS technology was slow reporting and inefficient paper forms. Implementing a user friendly safety management system (SMS) with mobile functionality was not only an opportunity to speed up the efficiency of their organization, but also to continue to stress safety as a core value through employee training and engagement.
Jeff Brown, Senior Manager HSSE at Fenix Marine used his partnership with Origami to prepare the organization to more effectively:
- Conduct audits, inspections and incident investigations
- Report near misses, observations and safety audits
- Leverage dashboards and trending on incidents and audits
When asked what, precisely, was transformative about the technology, Jeff didn’t point to a specific feature or function. Rather, he stated, “The system is a tool that helps surface trends and a story that can be easily communicated to the team and to management in an easy-to-digest format with hard data.” The system provides the flexibility to enhance reporting to address emerging issues and hazards as they are discovered. The result of the implementation of this technology is better internal alignment on safety initiatives, increased visibility with real time detail (more audits conducted and more incidents reported), increased engagement and report quality resulting in a decrease in lost-time injuries and reductions in incident severity.
Automated Workflows: Driving Incident Investigation & Action
Alex Zastrow, Safety Data Analyst at King County Metro, began her presentation by providing background on her organization. King County Metro is one of the 10th largest transit agencies in the country with over 128 million rides in 2019 and 5500 employees. The safety team of 12 is tasked with investigating collisions, customer injuries, and hazards.
Before implementing a safety system, the safety team had a multitude of legacy systems — from paper that had to be transported in person, to documents requiring manual entry. The federal mandate for an SMS was a catalyst for the team to make a rapid change.
Now, with Origami in place, they have a single system to submit, track, and report incidents (accident reports, safety suggestions, or security incidents) by any employee at any location. Furthermore, they have an automated investigation system in place: investigations can be automatically triggered from incidents, which means they are more likely to be completed in a timely manner.
As a result of the new system, incidents and investigations can now be tracked in real time. Additionally, 12 legacy systems and 90 paper forms were replaced by Origami. Alex commented, “Having all of our safety information in one location — instead of manually entered by multiple systems — is revolutionary. We now have instant visibility into incidents and the ability to follow up with operators. People at our organization know that when they submit items, action will be taken.”
How Mobile App Reporting Brings Visibility, Openness, and Financial Savings
Finally, Mary Gibson, Director of Risk Management at Legends Hospitality, spoke about the safety challenges facing her organization, which works with sporting and entertainment clients to execute food and hospitality activities, among other services. She noted that the primary challenges centered around lack of reporting, which resulted in limited visibility into safety incidents and costs.
Mary’s team partnered with Origami to build out a variety of solutions, including:
- Mobile app incident reporting for employees and contractors
- Food safety, COVID-19, and personal safety audits
- Monthly safety meetings
But it wasn’t just building out the solution that was important. Mary invested the time to travel around the country to promote the new tool, drive awareness of the importance of health and safety in the workplace, and create a more approachable culture. Mary noted, “It’s important to move away from punishment and towards a culture of openness to encourage employees to complete audits accurately and on time.”
Due to the increased investment in safety culture and technology, Legends was able to demonstrate impressive results. Incident reporting lag was reduced from 11.92 days to less than 2 days. “Because more people are reporting and calling, we are able to figure out the ‘why’ behind safety issues and take targeted action,” Mary said. Once reporting was in place, the Legend’s team was able to drive visibility through dashboards and reporting.
In 2017-2018, after the system was implemented, Legends Hospitality reported $200,000 savings in workers’ compensation claims. Once Mary’s team had the tools to drive visibility, they identified the #1 cause of injury in 2019 as slips and falls, leading to the recommendation of implementing new types of absorbent mats and slip resistant shoes.