National Day of Mourning – April 28

As Canada’s National Day of Mourning approaches on April 28, it is undoubtedly a somber day. The loss of life while working is shocking and maddening and leaves us all wondering, "Was that worth it?" 

For anyone who has been affected by a loved one or friend being taken too soon, there is genuinely a sense of loss that can be very hard to reconcile. 

It seems unimaginable that somebody could lose their life at work in today's day and age. Yet here we are, where there are multiple lives lost every day due to workplace incidents. The reality is, this number hasn't moved since the early '90s.

While safety is paramount to an organization's productivity, it is surprising to see the number of companies that still think safety is a burden on their ability to perform work. This mindset trickles down to the workers where they no longer feel psychologically safe to refuse unsafe work. They have been led to believe that they don't have the power to say no if they don't feel safe, or worse, they feel as though they would be viewed as weak if they worry about safety over getting the job done. 

The mentality that normalizes risk is the battle we need to take on from the front lines. If you are a worker, you should know your rights when it comes to refuse unsafe work. A company can't let you go if you don't know how or can't complete a task safely with the equipment provided.

The fact that there needs to be a day of mourning should be very unsettling. Loss of life at work is not normal, and we as a society should not accept it. 

While the loss of life at work is viewed as the worst-case scenario, we often gloss over crippling incidents that occur regularly. While they don't end in a fatality, these incidents have life-long damaging effects on the individuals and the community where they live. Back injuries, broken bones, torn ligaments, severed limbs are all examples of injuries that last longer than the days away from work. They can stay with a person for the rest of their lives, placing an added layer of complexity onto every decision they make from the time of the injury into the future.

While we mourn the loss of so many who have been taken from us too early, let's also question our workplace practices to make sure they do all they can to provide a safe work environment, not just safe from fatality but also unneeded injuries.

Using Technology for Safety 

Technology has the power to transform how companies approach safety in the workplace. Gone are the days of excessive paperwork and searching through file cabinets for forms. Safety management software solutions provide an effective way to collect and track safety data that help increase the safety of your workplace. 

But what does “going digital” really mean for workplace safety? It’s a lot more than using a computer to help you with your filing system. Going digital means implementing a safety management software system that not only provides a storage place for your data but also gives you powerful and effective safety insights.

Ask any safety professional and they will tell you the main problem is usually overwhelming frustration with paperwork and time management. Many safety managers struggle to make a real impact because their days are spent putting out fires that could have been avoided in the first place. This problem is impossible to solve using traditional paperwork unless you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars to send a team to each active job site in your organization. 

Along with this, the second most common problem is improving safety culture. Safety managers want their workers to actively participate in safety. Many organizations struggle to make this happen because field-level workers tend to view safety paperwork as just a liability waiver instead of a method to protect themselves and their co-workers. 

The correct software solution fulfills both of these problems - It would get rid of the mounds of paperwork and encourage safety engagement among field workers. You can discover precisely how safety gets performed within your workforce and create a plan to correct non-compliant behavior promptly. 

Imagine having the ability to confidently plan out your safety initiatives that ensure your workers go home the same way they came in! At SafetyTek, our priority is to help you do exactly that. 

So while we remember those who have lost their lives, or suffered an injury on the job, let us also look to the future and establish safety processes and practices in the workplace that prevent further injuries and deaths. 

Introducing QR Code Signatures to Quickly and Easily eSign Safety Forms

QR Codes (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) were first used in the automobile industry for tracking purposes. They quickly took off in other industries for a wide range of uses.  Apart from tracking, the two-dimensional barcode constructed of small squares arranged in a square grid on a white background can contain data that points to a website or application, emails, phone numbers, and other identifiers. The codes are read by smartphone cameras or specialized devices dedicated to QR reading, such as hand-held scanners, handy terminals, and fixed scanners embedded in other devices and apps. Because of this relative ease of use, their application scope extends to general marketing and item identification to document management.

In safety management, QR Codes have been used to educate workers on how to use equipment; construction workers can watch a video or read instructions on how to use a tool or complex machinery by quickly scanning a QR Code that links to it. It is also used to provide medical details during emergencies. QR Code stickers placed on a workers’ helmet are scanned to reveal the worker’s name, contact details, training history, and medical history. 

How are we using QR Codes for safety?

It is considered best practice to ensure all team members that have participated in a safety meeting to document their involvement. On paper, this would come in the form of a signature or some other type of acknowledgment (check your name off, etc.) 

When we start to move into the world of digital paperless safety, the lines begin to blur. Technology today allows us to have digital signatures that replicate our physical signatures just fine; they can even place those signatures on any digital paperless safety form. 

The caveat of this is that you sacrifice one of the main advantages of a digital paperless safety solution. When you use an image capture box to sign in, you lose all reporting concerning viewing an individual's activity within the safety program. For example If you want to know what an employee or contractor has been participating in, you still need to open and read all of the safety forms that you think they have been a part of. This becomes tiresome as the information is not made readily available, just like on paper.

Enter QR Codes! Using a QR scanner built into the app, we can replace this antiquated signature method with a quick QR Code scan from the participants' smartphone or printed out QR Code. 

 

Not only does this solve the hidden information locked on a pdf from a digital paperless solution, but it also creates a much more secure and faster method to account for workers on site. Whether it's at the end of a safety meeting or checking-in, the QR Code is unique to every individual and can be used in many diverse ways. 

QR Code Sign-offs are now available in the SafetyTek mobile app. Users can sign-off on any safety document with a quick scan of a QR Code found in their profile, in addition to the username and pincode method as an option. 

For more details on how you can take advantage of this feature, book a call with one of our safety experts.

Case Study: Maine COVID-19 Superspreader Event

It started out as a picture-perfect wedding on a summer day in Maine: first the ceremony in a quaint chapel followed by a reception in a Victorian-style inn. But, the date was August 7, 2020, and by mid-September, the event had led to 177 cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths. None of the people who died had attended the wedding or reception.

It’s easy enough to focus on the errors of the wedding party and the inn—there were no cases linked to the church. However, failures in prevention at four separate businesses fanned the coronavirus spread. Collectively, they provide a case study on lapses that companies need to actively avoid in 2021 as new viral strains demand more vigilance than ever.

The Inn

At the heart of the super spreading event was the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket, Maine, site of the reception. Employees wore masks and took guests’ temperatures before letting them enter. However, they allowed the reception to exceed the state’s 50-person limit by five people, and the tables set up for four to six people made it difficult for guests from different households to maintain six-foot social distancing. Making matters worse, employees did not enforce the mask rule with guests, many of whom also came close together on the dance floor. No one at the inn collected information for contract tracing.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) reported that the reception led directly to 30 coronavirus cases: half of the reception attendees, one employee, one vendor, and another guest of the inn. These infections led to another 27 secondary and tertiary cases in the community. One person, who was indirectly infected, died as a result.

The Long-Term Facility

One wedding reception guest spent time with their parent in the days that immediately followed. The parent worked 100 miles away from Millinocket at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison, Maine. By August 11, the parent experienced several coronavirus symptoms. On August 13, their test for COVID-19 came back positive.

Despite the employee’s symptoms, the rehabilitation center allowed this person to work onsite August 11 and 12. Additionally, there were no documented attempts of the facility attempting to isolate the worker from patients and colleagues. Ultimately, 38 people—14 staff members and 24 residents—caught COVID-19. Six of the residents died.

The Jail

Another wedding reception guest is a staff member at the York County Jail in Alfred, Maine, some 200 miles away from Millinocket. By August 15, the employee was experiencing coronavirus symptoms but proceeded to work at the jail August 15 through August 19 when the person’s COVID-19 test came back positive.

MeCDC in conjunction with the Maine Department of Corrections assessed the jail’s mitigation efforts and determined that the facility had not conducted daily symptom screening on staff members, nor had it enforced the regular use of masks even after the first case was confirmed. Only on August 27, more than a week after the initial coronavirus case, did the jail implement the CDC’s COVID-19 mitigation guidelines for correctional facilities.

By mid-September, a total of 82 COVID-19 cases associated with the jail had been confirmed: 18 staff members, 48 inmates, and 16 household contacts of the jail workers. Fortunately, no one was hospitalized, and no one died.

The School

Part of the community spread discussed earlier directly impacted schools in Millinocket, East Millinocket and nearby Medway. Notably, a staff member of the East Millinocket School who was a musician at the wedding reception, came down with COVID-19 symptoms and tested positive. Five additional employees and two students of the school also tested positive for the coronavirus.

The school acted quickly to halt the spread. Employees who were identified as having come into contact with infected co-workers went into self-quarantine, and schools in the three districts delayed the start of classes by two weeks. No known hospitalizations or deaths were tied to the school. 

Lessons Learned

The quick action by the East Millinocket School helped to contain the viral spread to eight people. This demonstrates the importance of having a mitigation plan in place so that an organization can move immediately if possible infection is detected. It also stands in sharp contrast to the York County Jail, which had a one-week lag in implementing mitigation measures recommended by the CDC and ended up with ten times as many COVID-19 cases.

Still, schools in three districts remained closed for two weeks. For many businesses, having to shut down for that length of time could translate into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Clearly, mitigation is too little, too late. The focus needs to be on prevention.

Onsite, that means adhering to coronavirus prevention guidelines provided by the CDC and other health organizations. Both the Big Moose Inn and York County Jail failed to enforce mask mandates, among other lapses. It’s likely that by August, employees at these organizations were experiencing coronavirus fatigue. 

The complacency at both the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center and York County Jail, which allowed staff members with coronavirus symptoms to continue working onsite, points to another issue. We need to stop potentially exposed employees from coming into contact with co-workers, customers, patients, students, and others in the first place.

Solutions like SafetyTek COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis can help with prevention and mitigate risks.

You may be struggling with COVID-19 employee self-assessments or questionnaires as required for compliance in most states. It's difficult to determine a proper best practice between local, municipal, state, and federal guidelines!

If you're collecting information manually or without immediate symptom notifications, there's a much better way.

We've helped thousands of companies; let us help you. Click here - We can help you today!

Press Release: “Behind the Scenes” with Laurence Fishburne Examines the Move to Data-Driven Workplace Safety with Experts at SafetyTek Software

The segment of “Behind the Scenes” with Laurence Fishburne details how HR and safety managers can use data and behavioral insights to collaborate with employees in protecting their health and safety 

 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada – December 10, 2020 – In North America alone, work stoppages due to onsite injuries account for hundreds of billions of dollars in business costs every year. Meanwhile, rapidly rising COVID-19 infections are driving business closures across the continent. Yet, too often human resources (HR) and safety managers still rely on manual processes that make it nearly impossible to proactively protect workers. SafetyTek Software examines these challenges and the need for data-driven safety practices in a new segment of “Behind the Scenes” with Laurence Fishburne. 

 The episode on workplace safety is part of the award-winning educational television series, which highlights the evolution of education, medicine, science, technology and industry through inspiring stories. It looks at how data and automation are helping safety and HR managers to move from playing catch-up with safety regulations and reporting to proactively implementing programs for preventing injuries and health risks, such as exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, the segment examines how companies are fostering safety collaboration between workers and management through stronger accountability, communications and knowledge-sharing. The segment is being broadcast by some 200-plus public television stations across the United States.

 “Safety needs data,” said SafetyTek Software Co-founder and CEO Ryan Quiring, who appeared in the segment. “Once managers can analyze data, they get behavioral insights into which workers are following safety best practices and which ones aren’t. From there, they can identify their safety champions, as well as ID the gaps in best practices they need to close. We’ve seen businesses cut their incident rates by up to 85%—and add six figures back to their bottom line—when safety habits become ingrained in employees’ behavior.”

 “Access is equally critical in uniting managers and workers on safety,” said SafetyTek Software Co-founder and CXO Craig Fraser, who was also featured in the episode. “When businesses leverage mobile technology to push information to workers, it enables them to automate safety practices and makes them more accountable. Perhaps the most powerful example is when employees use their mobile phones to self-report their potential COVID-19 exposure—before they come to work. Such access and reporting can literally save lives.”

 About Behind The Scenes

“Behind the Scenes” with Laurence Fishburne is an award-winning program that highlights new stories and innovative concepts through groundbreaking short-form and long-form documentary presentation. The program, which is anchored by a veteran production team with decades of industry experience, is able to effectively communicate the most critical stories to a wide and diverse audience. Additional information can be found at https://behindthesceneslf.com

About SafetyTek

SafetyTek Software is a leading environment, health and safety (EHS) platform provider. The company was founded in 2014 with a mission of supporting workplace safety by simplifying mandatory processes, enabling positive safety cultures, and reducing the carbon footprint using state-of-the art technology. Today, organizations across North America rely on the data-driven SafetyTek Workplace Safety Engagement Platform to create a safety culture of excellence that keeps the workforce protected and productive at the same time. Using the cloud-based platform, safety, HR and other managers can view the performance and engagement of safety programs throughout any workforce, engage and empower employees, and gain the real-time data insights needed for better decision making. SafetyTek is headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. To learn more, visit https://safetyteksoftware.com

 

All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 

 

SafetyTek Automatically Reports Each Worker’s Coronavirus Risk Level via New COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis Solution Instant Results Feature

Now with the free SafetyTek solution, workers can instantly confirm on their mobile phones whether they are cleared of COVID-19 risk, and managers receive automatic alerts on employees at potential risk—before they come to work.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada – October 29, 2020 – From masks and temperature checks to reconfigured facilities, organizations have implemented a range of practices to protect employees from COVID-19 exposure. However, the recent global rise in coronavirus cases makes it clear that, if businesses wait to analyze every cold or allergy symptom, they may be too late. Instead, they need to rapidly establish a minimum threshold that stops potentially exposed employees from entering a work site. Now SafetyTek Software, a leading environment health and safety (EHS) platform provider, makes it easier than ever to identify employees at risk and stop them from coming to work with the SafetyTek COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis solution’s new Instant Results feature.

The Instant Results feature lets workers instantly confirm on their mobile phones whether they are free of COVID-19 risk. Meanwhile, it alerts supervisors and managers of employees at potential risk, so they can act immediately and preemptively to protect other workers. By automatically analyzing each worker’s COVID-19 risk, the Instant Results feature frees managers from the time and effort to manually conduct the analysis—time that can make the difference between whether an infected employee comes into contact with other colleagues. The Instant Results feature is part of the newest SafetyTek COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis release, which is available today for free and has been adopted by thousands of organizations since it debuted in March 2020. 

Immediate, Automated COVID-19 Risk Analysis

SafetyTek COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis is a cloud-based solution that allows safety, human resources (HR), and other managers to share updates with workers and monitor the COVID-19 status of employees to determine who can safely work onsite with team members and who needs to work in isolation. Because managers can use either their computers or mobile devices to access SafetyTek COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis, they can readily make decisions whether at the office, at a worksite, at home, or in quarantine. Meanwhile, the solution lets workers remotely self-report any symptoms of COVID-19 or potential exposure using their mobile phones and receive their assigned COVID-19 health status.

Instant Results with the red light/green light indicator builds on the existing dashboard capabilities of SafetyTek COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis to help companies prevent potentially infected employees from coming into contact with other workers in four key ways:

  • Employees who use their mobile phones to fill out the simple COVID-19 Self-Assessment form instantly get a green light to show they can come to work or a red light, indicating that they need to wait for directions from their supervisor.
  • Managers and supervisors automatically receive an alert email or text for any worker with a red light warning. They can then contact the employee to determine whether it is safe to come to work or take another course of action.
  • The COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis Dashboard also automatically alerts managers about workers who have either received a red light signaling potential COVID-19 risk or have not yet completed the required COVID-19 Self-Assessment form.
  • Concierges or greeters at workplaces can require employees to show the green light signal—or a red light signal with a resolution—on their mobile phones before entering the building.  

 

“With COVID-19, mitigation is too little, too late. Organizations need to focus on prevention if they are to successfully protect employees while enabling the business to remain up and running. However, prevention is nearly impossible if companies rely on manual processes,” said SafetyTek Software Founder and CEO Ryan Quiring. “Built on our data-driven, cloud-based EHS platform, our standalone SafetyTek COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis solution provides the automation that enables managers and workers to join forces in preventing COVID-19 exposure. Now with immediate updates from our Instant Results feature, that collaboration in protecting employees and the business is even easier.” 

Availability

SafetyTek COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis is a standalone solution that is offered at no cost to users. Instant Results with the red light/green light indicator is a premium feature that is available today and is being provided as a free trial for all users through November 30, 2020. Notably, SafetyTek COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis is an extension of the cloud-based SafetyTek Workplace Safety Engagement Platform being used by companies across North America—ensuring the scalability, reliability, and performance needed to manage businesses’ COVID-19 prevention and mitigation efforts. To sign up for the free solution, visit https://safetyteksoftware.com/covid-19. 

About SafetyTek

SafetyTek Software is a leading environment, health and safety (EHS) platform provider. The company was founded in 2014 with a mission of supporting workplace safety by simplifying mandatory processes, enabling positive safety cultures, and reducing the carbon footprint using state-of-the-art technology. Today, organizations across North America rely on the data-driven SafetyTek Workplace Safety Engagement Platform to create a safety culture of excellence that keeps the workforce protected and productive at the same time. Using the cloud-based platform, safety, HR, and other managers can view the performance and engagement of safety programs throughout any workforce, engage and empower employees, and gain the real-time data insights needed for better decision making. SafetyTek is headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. To learn more, visit https://safetyteksoftware.com.

 All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 

 # # #

 Media Contact

Shifali Erasmus

Kinetic.PR for SafetyTek

Mobile: +1 650-544-6424

Email: [email protected]