How Can Construction Risk Assessments Boost Productivity?

The old saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. This is true for many things in life but when it comes to safety risks in construction; this old saying is just plain wrong.Traditionally construction workers had to complete piles of risk assessment forms to conduct work in a legally compliant way. This risk assessment process is required under laws not only in Australia but in most other developed economies as well. So this brings us back to the old saying: if the risk assessment process ain’t broke, then why fix it?Because it will save you time and therefore money. Here’s how.If you’re a manager of a construction business then you’ll know that OHS paperwork takes up a fair amount of your workforce’s time. This is a necessary loss of productivity as any short cuts in the process could result in serious injury or worse.Moreover, backend administration takes a hefty hit when it comes to storing the completed documents. Usually managers have to organise the risk assessments for every job and store them for up to five years in case regulators request proof of compliance or for legal proceedings should an accident occur. Again this is a costly and inefficient method of complying with health and safety regulations.Technology however, offers a solution that won’t undercut the safety of workers.It’s called risk assessment software and it’s a way completing all the necessary paper work involved but without the hassle of filing. Not only that, but the software alternative is quicker to complete than paperwork, meaning workers spend less time filling out forms and more time on the job. For more details on this aspect of construction safety paperwork, check out this case study on an Australian electrical contractor. The benefits they received from software are dynamic.Increased business productivity should never come at the cost employee health and safety but luckily with software, it doesn’t have to.So how does it work?The software alternative works by replacing the traditional paper-based method with a digital alternative. In other words, instead of writing it on paper you do it on your smartphone or tablet device.But not all software is created equal. Some just provide a digital copy of the paper work that is neither easy to use nor more compliant. Implementing new tools into your workflow is disruptive enough without the added pain of insufficient safety management software. So it’s worthwhile taking the time to research your options.What is a risk assessment and why is it important?This all may seem like just another bureaucratic loophole business managers have to jump through but when done properly, they prevent injury and save lives. Health and safety is just one piece of the puzzle.There’s more to safe operating practices than just knowing how to write a risk assessment – it’s also about boosting productivity.Before we get into that let’s take a look at just what a risk assessment is.It is step-by-step process that involves identifying hazards at work, observing who may be at risk, outlining what measures will be used to reduce the risk and reviewing and updating the document should conditions change. These documents aims to normalise safe work practices in all areas of the construction industry based on one consistent standard.Therein lies the reasoning as to why safe operating precautions are so very important. They keep workers safe and prevent injuries and deaths. Using risk assessment software may very well improve upon what is already a vital aspect of occupational health and safety.