Prevent workplace SHE Issues and continuously improve workfloor safety

Luc Raeskin

Luc Raeskin

Managing director
17-04-2019

When it comes to safety on the workfloor we all strive to have as little incidents as possible. But we also know having zero incidents is not realistic, especially if heavy equipment, hazardous materials or high temperatures are involved.

Prevent workplace SHE Issues and continuously improve workfloor safety

Even though all procedures are followed and (mandatory) precautionary measures have been put in place, accidents and safety issues still happen. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn from such issues. When a safety issue happens, it’s essential to evaluate what went wrong, and how to optimize procedures that are both aimed at preventing future issues and enhance communication.

We believe the principles of Continuous Improvement are just as applicable to Safety, Health and Environment Management as they are to process optimization or manufacturing. This may seem obvious, but applying these principles in a useful way when something as important as health and safety is at stake, requires careful execution. With the 4Industry suite, based on the ServiceNow platform, Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) issues can be managed and prevented more effectively harnessing the power of digital technology.

ServiceNow allows us to integrate Knowledge, SHE and Root Cause Analysis management in a range of custom developed apps that together comprise the 4Industry suite. We’ve chosen to approach SHE issues in a circular way, thereby continuously increasing the knowledge on how to act if an issue of such type happens, and with that reducing the probability of a SHE issue to occur.
To achieve this, each SHE issue should be registered in a standardized way using an intuitive offline mobile application, immediately suggesting applicable knowledge on how to act first-line. Afterwards, a Root Cause Analysis including witness interviews should be conducted, systematically eliminating possible causes of the issue until the cause has been found. Based on the findings of this analysis, knowledge and procedures are updated and actions aimed at preventing these types of issues should be initiated.

Preventing SHE issues on the workfloor is achieved in 4Industry by using Safe Work Permit management. Permits should be obtained for both internal and external operators performing hazardous work in a specified date range, to ensure all safety precautions have been taken. By identifying and dealing with potential hazards in any applicable work area, safe working conditions can be assured. Via multiple approval loops, including daily condition sign-offs when the work is being performed, the conditions are continuously checked to ensure an operator can perform the required work in a safe manner.

Whatever the use case: the 4Industry suite offers a wide range of options and possibilities and is highly customizable to accommodate specific requirements. We are convinced that digital technology will be instrumental to further improve workfloor safety in the 21st century. With the release of 4Industry, we hope to contribute to that goal.