When conducting our research about why incidents go unreported, often with detrimental consequences to business, we’ve been met with a barrage of possible reasons. The main ones being: unclear protocol, lack of time, fear of unpaid leave or costs, workplace bravado linked to a culture of ‘I’m fine’, particularly among male workers (more on that later).
In order to reduce the number of incidents, it’s important to reduce the risk of them happening in the first place and it’s been deduced that having a clear, time-saving reporting system allows that to happen.
Tackling a culture of male bravado
Firstly, let’s address the issue of workplace bravado. The past few years have brought to the fore an open (and welcome) discussion about mental health, in particular male mental health. We’re predominantly focusing on the guys here and this is why. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that those identifying as male made up the majority of reportable workplace accidents in 2019/20 much the same as previous years. It follows then that a large portion of the workforce in industries most likely to suffer incidents are male, and that those who don’t report incidents will be male, too.
Leaving incidents unreported due to a culture of not wanting to admit injury, be it mental or physical is perhaps a direct result of an endemic of unwilling to show weakness. What if a digital app could introduce faceless reporting so that the customary, ‘knocking on the gaffer’s’ door is avoided completely? We’re placing our bets that the rate of incident reporting nationally would increase exponentially.
Time is precious
We all appreciate the value of time, especially when it’s your own. Employees might be reluctant to report incidents if they believe any filing is to be done at the end of a shift, in their own time. Equally, they might not want to take time away from the proverbial factory floor, leading to a decrease in productivity. The use of a digital app to report incidents can literally, give the gift of time. Goodbye, long, manual form-filling. Hello instant reporting, immediately after the incident.
Promote a transparent reporting process
What about unclear protocol as a barrier to submitting appropriate reports following an incident? Your employees know what needs to happen, but they don’t know the process. Where is the form saved? Who is the dedicated health and safety personnel? These questions won’t exist with an app for reporting incidents. Decreasing the risk of future accidents can be achieved in the palm of a hand with the appropriate individual notified in real time thanks to innovative technology that’s bespoke to your sector and company.
We all know how cumbersome traditional reporting can be. Clunky forms that often have unnecessary fields unrelated to the incident and industry are as time wasting as they are demoralizing. How about bespoke digital forms, gleaning the right kind of information, uploaded to a dashboard resulting in a report giving tangible results? Where do we sign up?
Have a robust internal communications strategy
In the past eighteen months, we’ve all been affected, be it directly or indirectly, by the uncertainty of having to take leave due to self-isolating, experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 or worse, suffering from them. With that comes the worry of having your salary deducted due to unpaid absence – exactly why a worker might fear reporting an incident – because their monthly take home could be deducted, a completely rational fear.
This unsettling belief can be firmly stamped out with an appropriate, robust internal communications strategy, underpinned by a digital reporting app. Do you work in a sector where incidents go unreported due to these reasons? How do you combat them? We’d love to hear your thoughts or how we can help you overcome a low incident reporting rate. Get in touch with us below.