Why Time Tracking is Critical for Accurate Safety Documentation

by Guest Contributor, 4 minutes read
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This is a guest post by Karen Limardo is Senior Training Support Manager at Safesite, a free safety solution. As a self-professed learning junkie and safety nerd, Karen helps Safesite customers set up and run their ideal safety programs. Before joining Safesite in 2017, Karen spent a year traveling Southeast Asia, where she fostered her love of food and travel. Meet Karen at one of Safesite’s weekly webinars for new and existing customers.

You already know time tracking can work wonders for your business — and a real-time tracking system allows you to level up in ways that previously seemed impossible.

The benefits you get from time tracking stem from the data it creates for you. From leave management to a 360° view of your cash flow, time tracking gives you both valuable data and unique insights into your business.

But did you know you can use time tracking data to lower incident rates and heighten your response to emergencies? It can also improve your safety on site by not only reducing the frequency and severity of incidents but help you respond faster if and when an accident occurs.

Time tracking gives you valuable "people" data that isn’t reliant solely on inspections or observations. It’s hard data that contributes to the overall picture of safety at your organization.

How does it happen? These are the five ways you can use time tracking data for safety.

Improve safety compliance

Your safety compliance reports rely on data. You can use time tracking to see who is on the job, whether they clock in or out, and when or whether they complete specific tasks. Plus, you can use the software to allocate meal and rest breaks and flags any breaks missed, which helps avoid violations.

When team members can clock in and out of safety task exercises and mandatory rest breaks, you have further proof of what happened and when that doesn’t rely on guestimates.

Time tracking will also help play a role in keeping workplaces safe from the spread of COVID-19. Your HR and safety teams will find it easier to know who is where and when, which allows for simpler contact tracing and scheduling. You can even use a health check function to record employees who report symptoms before their shift.

Aid near-miss/incident investigation

When you record a near miss or incident, your ability to place it in the day’s timeline is as important as the technical details of what happened. You need information about:

  • Time of the near-miss or incident

  • Phase of the employee’s workday (during rest, meals, entering or leaving, on duty, or overtime)

  • What the employee was doing just before and when the miss occurred

  • Who the employee was working with

  • Who was supervising

All you need to do is log in to your app or software to pull all the time-related information you need in a flash. You never need to have a delayed or outstanding incident report again!

Combat logistical issues

The logistical issues associated with staffing directly impact safety, and time tracking can go a long way towards helping administrative teams manage these problems.

Data derived from time tracking can help identify safety issues at different staffing levels, which is particularly important on sites where the number of new people on the floor varies every day.

Plus, it can help both administrative teams and supervisors. Here are just a few examples.

  • Skip the paperwork associated with clocking employees in and out

  • Record the exact time on shift

  • Assign new jobs and keep crew members on the same page

  • Manage real-time coverage and shift swaps

  • Manage social distancing and keep crews in clusters in the face of COVID-19

It’s not hard to see how valuable time tracking can be when juggling the logistical issues around safety. When used this way, your organization can save on administrative costs while simultaneously improving safety with the same data and systems.

Help track training and compliance

You already have a training and certification matrix that tracks who holds what form of expertise. Recreating that matrix on the floor and meeting OSHA, union, and health department guidelines is another matter.

With time tracking, you can get the answers to the following question at a glance.

  • Is everyone on the floor trained to be there?

  • Do you have the right supervisors and trainers on the floor at any given time

  • Are any certifications due to expire?

Real-time tracking lets you know if everyone at work has the support they need and whether you need to send in reinforcements for high-risk tasks or even low-risk tasks. It’s just another way to make compliance easier and prevent as many near-misses as you can.

Account for employees in an emergency

One of the many things that live time tracking does — that spreadsheets can’t — is provide you with a live view of your worksite. With time tracking, you can account for every single employee in the event of an emergency. Features like current location and last-known location can provide lifesaving data. It can also help you alert back-up and mitigate the impact of the emergency.

Start using time tracking to strengthen your safety program

Your safety documentation is only as good as the data you contribute to it. Your safety management software allows you to identify hazards, conduct inspections, run meetings, schedule toolbox talks, and inspect equipment. At the same time, your people are at the heart of your safety program. If you don’t know where team members are and when they’re there, then preventing and responding to incidents is harder.

Web-based, real-time timekeeping eliminates the inaccuracies and inefficiencies found in spreadsheets and paper-based systems. When you have real-time, accurate data, keep your team safe and organization compliant becomes so much simpler.

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