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Why OSHA inspection software is much bigger than compliance

By The Fulcrum Team
March 16, 2023

Safety inspections can sometimes make you feel like outsiders are trying to find fault with your work. OSHA, of course, requires you to conduct safety inspections, but so do insurance providers, investors, unions, contractors, and state and local agencies. 

Many see this as a burden, but inspections have their purpose and can yield benefits – and a digital inspection program can deliver on that promise. 

As we’ll see, using software designed to automate and streamline the inspection process isn’t just to keep OSHA happy, but improves your safety and saves money. Join us as we look at the most essential benefits that OSHA inspection software can bring to your organization. 

An ounce of prevention

OSHA makes the business case for safety with its Safety Pays tool, which simulates injury scenarios to show how much money you save by avoiding accidents and how much revenue you need to generate to cover injury costs. For instance, a concussion costs $114,000 and requires roughly $1.9 million in additional sales in a 6% profit industry to offset the expenses. OSHA estimates that every dollar invested in a safety program yields a return of four to six dollars – an impressive ROI by any measure for any sector. 

In other words, safety pays literally. 

The inspection as a procedural

A digital checklist serves as a helpful guide not only for performing inspections but also for carrying out work. OSHA inspection software helps inexperienced workers easily follow the proper steps to perform quality work to spec, eliminating the need to create a separate manual or SOPs. Automation also streamlines the inspection process, freeing up time for inspectors to focus on more critical tasks. And if issues arise on the ground, inspection software allows for real-time collaboration and communication so employees, inspectors, and safety managers can tackle safety issues right away. 

Everyone’s an inspector

Monitoring and documenting work sites, equipment, and tasks every day, your employees understand the daily conditions of the immediate environment better than a dedicated safety inspector who may only visit occasionally. Simply going about their jobs means they are also always collecting data that can be used to your advantage.

User-friendly inspection software involves workers in identifying and managing workplace hazards, making every employee a de facto inspector. This not only increases the amount of data available for analysis but gives employees a vested interest in workplace safety – the bedrock of a company-wide safety culture.

Why OSHA inspection software is much bigger than compliance

Attract and retain employees

A study by the National Safety Council found that one-third of occupational injuries and illnesses occur among workers with less than a year on the job. As new workers gain experience, the risk of accidents decreases, so the longer they remain at a job, the safer they tend to be.

Nobody wants to work in an unsafe environment, so using OSHA inspection software both demonstrates your commitment to workplace safety and creates a safer workplace, encouraging employees to stay.

By attracting and retaining employees, companies benefit from reduced accident rates as workers become less prone to injury. And a safer workplace boosts employee morale and reduces turnover, driving down the costs of hiring and training new employees.

Get more work

Contractors with a strong safety record are better at reducing risks, maximizing profits, and completing projects on time, all of which contribute to securing more jobs, winning bids, and signing contracts. On the other hand, contractors with subpar safety records may have difficulties getting past the early stages of bidding, as a company’s safety record is often used as a prequalification factor that the contractor may not even be aware of. So by improving the strength and rigor of your safety program, OSHA inspection software is directly tied to the future health of your organization. 

Lower insurance premiums

Used to predict future risk based on actual insurance and workers’ compensation claims, the Experience Modification Rate (EMR) can be a source of anxiety for safety inspectors. When multiplied by the standard premium, the EMR determines the amount your company pays insurers. A lower EMR can result in a discount, while a higher EMR means a higher premium – sometimes significantly higher.

Your EMR also correlates to your chances of securing future work, as clients are more likely to award contracts to those who have clearly invested in a successful safety program resulting in a low EMR.

Data at your fingertips

By regularly conducting self-directed digital inspections and keeping track of data, you’ll never be scrambling when OSHA arrives. Readily available data serves as evidence of compliance (or a good faith effort) that can be immediately shared with OSHA or other stakeholders for further review and analysis. To boot, inspection software can generate detailed custom reports and visual representations of data in seconds, making it faster and easier to understand and share findings with others. 

And by conducting regular inspections with digital tools, you can consistently monitor safety progress, reducing the future likelihood of receiving OSHA citations. 

You are your reputation 

If your company has a reputation for poor safety – whether from a history of accidents, fines, or injuries – business is bound to suffer. People have long memories when it comes to reputations and, given an option, future clients will always award contracts to companies with better safety records. By incorporating safety as a core aspect of your brand through consistent and visible digital inspections, you gain support from employees, stakeholders, government agencies, and the public.

More than just compliance

Inspection software does so much more than just satisfy OSHA. By digitally organizing and tracking inspection data, you improve safety on the ground every day, but can also monitor and evaluate safety performance over time to identify areas for improvement and prioritize safety initiatives based on their risk and cost. And by automating the process, you reduce the time and resources required for training and inspections, saving labor and equipment costs.

Inspection software represents the best of both worlds, letting you enhance safety while allocating resources more effectively and efficiently, so that your teams stay safe, and your business stays solvent.

To find out how Fulcrum’s OSHA inspection software keeps workers and bottom lines healthy, sign up for a free trial.