Everything You Need to Know Before Changing Your Safety Software

The only constant in life — and risk — is change. And sometimes, that change requires you to switch the safety software you’ve relied on until now.

Changing your safety software isn’t complicated. In fact, you might find your existing app or program is a bottleneck in your safety program, so the change could result in saved time and money almost immediately.

But how do you start choosing between the available safety apps out there? And how do you make sure the swap goes smoothly?

Safesite’s Head of Safety Success Drew Youpel and Safety Success Specialist (and former Safesite customer) Pam Guttman share their best tips for making the switch.

Focus on the Drivers Behind Your Change

The biggest difference between a seamless safety software rollout and a long, bumpy road has nothing to do with features, customer support, or even technical know-how.

Successful change happens when you understand why you need the change. What’s driving it?

To go through the process, you need to know what it is that you need. Some of the common drivers include:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Incident reduction
  • Operational standaridzation
  • Insurance costs
  • Profit growth
  • Employee pressure

It’s not uncommon to have several drivers and even see a few of them compete against each other in the hierarchy. Drew Youpel, Safesite’s Head of Safety Success says the most important question for any safety manager to ask before changing safety software is this:

“How can we help teams do work rather than administrative tasks?”

The answer to this question will help you identify those key drivers. Are employees grating against your current software because it’s hard to use in the field? Do you need multiple solutions for regulatory compliance (e.g., your existing solution doesn’t have incident reporting)? Or do you simply need a solution that allows you to cut costs without losing features?

Identifying those drivers will make it easier to not only choose the right software without comparing an endless list of similar features.

Involve Your Foremen and Superintendents with a Field Pilot

Hopefully, you’re making safety software decisions with the help of your technology or safety committee. And you should have foremen and superintendents on that committee.

Committee or not, you need to trust the feedback you get from these groups. Field users aren’t just the primary user of your tech, but they’re also your safety and tech champions. Their buy-in will make or break your software change.

So what do you do? Give foremen or superintendents at least two weeks to try out the new solution without live data. Take the stakes away and let them compare experiences. Then, get their feedback on the experience.

Ask open-ended questions about the experience based on your key drivers. But don’t just gather feedback and let it sit. Go back to the committee and reevaluate the software based on the field pilot findings. And don’t forget to work with the solution provider to see what can be customized to deal with pain points unique to your organization.

Build-in Time to Explain the Change to Field Workers

Whether you use a paper-based system or intend to switch from a form builder to a safety management software, you are still undergoing a change. And any change can be met with resistance if you don’t build in time to walk teams through it.

Pam Guttman, one of Safesite’s Safety Success Specialists and a former Safesite customer says, “A lot of workers will tell you they’re used to the old way of doing things. That’s not a roadblock; it’s an opportunity. You have a chance to say, “Okay, explain to me how you use the old software and what you like about it.”

“Then,” Pam says, “show them what the new software does. Point out the features that match users’ needs. These conversations are the difference between workers feeling forced to make a change and wanting to make a change.”

Switching Safety Software Might Be the Change You Need

Not all safety software is built equally. And sometimes, the software that made sense for you two years ago no longer offers the same benefits. It may even be a pinch point for your safety program or even the field users.

When you decide to change your safety software, the most important thing for any organization is to have software that meets your organizational and team needs. Everything else, from set-up to roll-out, can be figured out with the help of your stakeholders.

Change happens, and changing your safety software? It could be just the change you need to meet your goals.

Team Safesite

By Team Safesite

We're a group of safety and tech professionals united in our desire to make every workplace safer. We keep a pulse on the latest regulations, standards, and industry trends in safety and write about them here on our blog.

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