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The Missing Piece of the Health and Safety Jigsaw Puzzle Part 5: Continuous Improvement

Have you heard about the Health and Safety Jigsaw Puzzle? This combination of key pieces and technology can make a big difference in organisational health and safety. In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this blog series, we have introduced all but one of the pieces. In this blog post, we’ll look at the fifth and final piece—continuous improvement.

Continuously improve your health and safety through technology

In Parts 1-4, we explained how, when people are working together to solve a jigsaw puzzle, they engage. And while they’re engaging, a jumble of jigsaw pieces flows into an ordered arrangement that will make a clearer picture. As more of the puzzle comes together, the people putting it together get better at it, and the puzzle is complete.

In the Health and Safety Jigsaw Puzzle, the continuous improvement generated by the flow of informed decisions can drive a world-class health and safety program. You have all the pieces in the right place. What makes the Health and Safety Jigsaw Puzzle different from a regular one is that you will always be continuously improving instead of breaking it up and putting it back in the box.

Health and safety program improvement: Getting better all the time

When you’re putting a puzzle together, you have to make decisions about where pieces go. You are likely to decide to how to arrange groups of images until a bigger picture forms. As that picture becomes clearer, you get faster and better at putting the rest of the pieces where they belong.

The same thing happens with health and safety decisions. A series or pattern can signal an issue. You research it, figure out what’s wrong, and make decisions to improve the situation. As you get more insights, improvement becomes natural to you. Soon, you’re doing what needs to be done to ensure the health and safety of everyone who works with you.

In the puzzle scenario, completing a puzzle gives you a great sense of accomplishment. Even if you just started putting puzzles together this year, you’ll find another one you want to do—perhaps with a few other people. The process gets easier, even if it’s a puzzle of rainbow sprinkles (yes, that’s a real puzzle!).

Something similar happens when managing health and safety, although you don’t move from puzzle box to puzzle box. Instead, it’s a cycle. You make informed decisions about new solutions and address problems, continuously improving your health and safety program. Your leadership strengthens, more people engage, data flows in—and so it goes, each time getting stronger

To get to this point, you really must ditch inadequate data sources such as disparate spreadsheets and paper documents. Health and safety workers can often spend up to 80 percent of their time collecting and preparing data and then searching for clues that might signal or solve a problem. But all the data is rarely there to generate the insights that lead to major and regular improvements.

Starting the continuous improvement cycle

What can help your organisation use informed decisions to drive continuous improvement? Here are a few examples:

  • Measure. Use analytics tools to measure performance at site or country level, tracking against KPIs.

  • Monitor. Use dashboards to quickly and easily identify key areas for improvement and opportunities to share best practice.

  • Set goals for improvement. Using dashboards, analyse leading indicators to measure the effects of your decisions and set goals for improvement.

  • Manage actions. Create, assign and track corrective and preventative actions with a structured workflow, triggered manually or automatically.
Using health and safety management technology for continuous improvement

The continuous improvement piece of the Health and Safety Jigsaw Puzzle is about using the flow of informed decisions from data to drive continuous improvement your health and safety processes, actions, and outcomes. For that you need the right health and safety technology.

The right health and safety software enables you to implement the ongoing improvement processes needed for world-class health and safety programs. It also takes you back to the beginning of the health and safety cycle, where leadership drives engagement. Information flows from the engagement to enable informed decisions, which enable more improvement. Then it starts all over again.

The right EHS software ensures that health and safety management is more than tracking and recording. It delivers the tools you need to use the information you collect to provide a safe workplace and keep your people safe.

Put the fifth and final piece in place

All the health and safety jigsaw puzzle pieces fit and build on the previous pieces to keep the cycle of improvement going. So, consider talking to us about how our health and safety management software solution provides the data, information flow, insights, and improvement needed to promote a proactive health and safety culture.  

Interested in exploring more?