Everything at work is usually digitised. Except… The Safety Department.
We often have to resort to Excel spreadsheet which can be bad for most of us who aren’t spreadsheet gurus. Not to mention the tiny but powerful mistakes we make because everything is so manual.
As safety professionals, we need to have knowledge and skills beyond the typical safety ones. One of this is digital skills.
Why do we need to have digital skills as safety professionals?
My experience over the last 12 years has been in various sectors and sizes of organisations. I once worked for one of the largest hospitality groups who was also a tech company. They had everything digitised except the safety department.
Infact, the safety department never existed. I was the very first safety manager they had and everything had to be started from scratch. We relied heavily on spreadsheets. It was frustratingly time consuming. Besides, I am no spreadsheet guru. But one doesn’t have to be one to do a great job as a safety professional.
But having the right digital skills for work, would make a lack of expertise with spreadsheets less of a problem if you knew what tools and platforms to use. It would also means, you can put aside analog ways of working.
But many safety software leaves safety professionals a little frustrated and needing more.
The truth is, as safety professionals, we should be part of the product management team when attempting to digitise the safety department. We know what we need and are best suited to advise how you want the solution to work. It’s not the job for IT alone.
What digital skills do safety professionals need to have?
I carried out a survey to understand the tech experiences of safety professionals.
Aside their experiences, it was also important to understand where they felt they were lacking with regards to digital skills for work and business.
I made a list of the skills I presently have and have found useful in my work and business.
I was surprised at the responses I got from the few who completed the survey. see image below.
The survey is still receiving responses, I would love for you to partake.
Top 4 and most desired digital skill are:
1. Tech for business.
Obviously! If they didn’t choose this, I would have been so surprised. Health and safety is an important part of any business and as safety professionals, we should be well rounded in not just safety but other areas including managing certain business processes and operations. Gaining the right digital skills for work will prove helpful especially to employers.
2. Automations and workflows.
One thing I love most as creating workflows and automating certain aspects of it to save time, improve productivity, reduce manual tasks and keep this really simple and streamlined. Knowing how to create workflows and what tools can help you automate, is a key digital skill to have.
3. Data collection and analysis
We all know the importance of collecting and analysing data but doing it via pen and paper is a huge waste of time and can lead to poor analysis and errors. Knowing how to digital collect data and analysis them is a very important skill every safety professional must have.
4. Digitising work processes
Digitising work processes becomes super easy once you have the right digital skills for work. Most of which have been listed in the image above. This can be likened to having digital project management skills. Knowing how to strategise, create process maps, identify and use the right tools from start to finish of a project or workflow are very important. You don’t even need to know how to code.
To be successful, you need to explore and learn the various tools and platforms at your disposal and sometimes, be ready to spend some money on these tools. Curiosity will help a great deal.
If you will like to gain all or some of the skills mentioned and described above, you may be interested in signing up to my Digital Dose newsletter where I share tools I use and often go behind the scenes to show you how they can be used.
Even better, I provide 1-2-1 support and training on digitising safety and work processes. You can contact me to learn more about how I can help you.