What are the major compliance challenges that face managers within the highways sector?
This was one of the areas tackled in the recent ‘Driving Change’ report which explores the ways that digital tools are having an influence on highways businesses.
The research, based on surveys with MDs and managers of highways companies throughout the UK, identified three key issues relating to safety compliance.
What are the biggest compliance challenges facing the highways sector?
- 45% Ensuring the safety of vehicles/equipment
- 25% Providing staff with adequate training
- 24% Ensuring safety processes are followed
These are all areas where digital technology has a role to play in transforming and improving the way that safety procedures are managed and monitored.
The report found that 33 percent of businesses within the highways sector still use traditional, manual processes - managing teams via paperwork, forms and spreadsheets.
But for those companies which have made the switch, the research highlighted some significant benefits. Companies adopting a digital approach had 26 percent fewer preventable accidents than those relying on paper-based processes.
You can find the full findings, together with expert analysis, here.
These kinds of benefits are being delivered by a variety of digital solutions which use cloud-based data and real-time monitoring to fundamentally change the way that safety compliance can be managed.
Here’s a look at the three main areas:
Ensuring vehicle/equipment checks
Whether it’s routine vehicles checks or ensuring the safety of specialist kit, digital tools are proving to be an invaluable compliance tool. Digital workforce management systems allow checks to be integrated into worker’s duties with real-time alerts and notifications.
A system such as MyMobileWorkers can make checks a prerequisite before accessing any further job information. It can also require workers to provide digital images showing the condition of a vehicle or a valid safety certificate.
The real-time nature of a cloud-based process means that managers are able to immediately identify potential safety risks or compliance breaches. It also provides a digital log of each and every check that’s carried out.
Improving safety training
Trying to schedule safety training for a mobile workforce has always been a tricky task. It has typically meant getting everyone together for a training session or presentation.
With digital communications, there are now a wide range of flexible ways to communicate safety training - from video presentations and online tests to virtual conferencing and webinars.
A digital approach also improves the way managers are able to keep track of who has done what - preventing employees from taking on tasks that they haven’t been sufficiently trained for.
Ensuring protocols are followed
Vehicle/equipment checks are just one way that digital tools can be used to enforce safety protocols. A workforce management system has the flexibility to include checks, notifications and alerts for any compliance procedures.
On-screen notifications, delivered via a smartphone or handheld device, provide a worker with real-time safety information and policy reminders that relate to the specific job or tasks they are allocated.
Real-time checks can also be used to confirm that a highways worker has completed a particular process or to record the readings of a safety gauge or monitor. If a reading breaches a set threshold, it can automatically trigger a warning.
These kinds of compliance benefits are a byproduct of having smarter and more effective ways to communicate within a business. By removing any reliance on paper-based processes, it allows management to be streamlined and improved.
So far, we have only seen a glimpse of the multitude of ways that digital technology can help to create safer and more efficient ways of managing mobile teams of highways workers.
As technology improves and innovative solutions continue to emerge, the industry has the tools required to significantly raise the bar - boosting compliance stands and creating the safest possible working processes for highway workers.
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