As part of the management team here at RiskTalk, a key part of my job is understanding the problems our customers have, their needs and wants, and how technology (hopefully ours!) can fix the problems that pain them on a daily basis.
One such problem we hear regularly is along the lines of; “Safety conversations are awesome, we know they work…but it causes us problems in that we can’t document or capture it”. You hear it once or twice and you think, ok, this is a relatively minor issue…but when you hear it over and over again, you very quickly realise that this is a very real and frustrating problem for an enormous number of companies and their staff across the globe.
It is this very problem, among others, that makes my job building workplace safety apps is so exciting and fulfilling on a daily basis. I’m lucky enough to be able to meet operations managers, safety teams, directors, and most importantly, frontline employees, whose interest immediately piques at the revelation that the team here at RiskTalk, has built a tool specifically around fixing these very problems and frustrations.
We know very well that teams don’t want to handwrite (or digitally type for that matter) safety forms…they want to have a conversation about what can hurt them and others, what they plan to do about it, and proceed with the task they are highly skilled at completing. They want the freedom to express their knowledge and pass on information and learnings to their colleagues, rather than be told how to complete a job they are highly skilled at, likely by a safety manager who has never “been on the tools” in their career. They want to know that each activity they complete, from prestart safety activities, through to the final step in their actual task, adds value to the business.
How soul-destroying it is to complete a time-consuming form knowing the information in it doesn’t even get captured and correctly reported on. What learnings and decisions come from the time that employee just spent completing the tick and flick formatted form? Did it even make that employee safer?
Safety Conversations Enabled with Workplace Safety Apps
I’m rambling a bit, but it’s because we are passionate about this. Coming back to the problem…how can teams capture their safety conversations? We know documenting a safety conversation with a form is inefficient, doesn’t capture the data correctly or in its entirety, and most importantly disengages people from the conversation itself. So what is the solution?
Stuart Farquharson, our MD, and co-founder at RiskTalk had somewhat of a lightbulb moment one evening a few years ago. He looked at the macro environment in technology and realised that nearly every platform was moving towards voice technology. We can change our TV channel, order our groceries, navigate hands-free while driving, all using our voice. He also knew from his vast experience in workplace safety that not only did things have to change for safety to improve, but that conversations and natural language were going to play a huge role in the change.
Fast forward a little while and the team here at RiskTalk have created what we believe is truly game-changing in the safety and risk management space. Teams using RiskTalk can engage in safety conversations, with just the right amount of structure to trigger critical thinking, while removing the disengaging form format and tick and flick approaches. They speak naturally, look around their environment and discuss the perceived risks and hazards, and what they as a team will be doing to control those risks.
RiskTalk captures the data, in an appropriately structured manner, providing never before seen insights to supervisors and managers. This is real “work as done” data…powered by the frontline staff. Employees know that the safety conversations they complete improve their safety, but also provide the company with information about how work is truly performed in the field, by professionals in that field. It’s empowering and engaging…the polar opposite of a tick and flick form.
Change and innovation require courage. We are lucky enough to work with some incredible companies with incredible employees, who have the courage to change the status quo and improve how we go about our daily work. RiskTalk is enabling real change and innovation in safety, by enabling proven modern safety philosophies (safety conversations and freedom within a framework) to be implemented in the field, powered by modern technology. Without courageous innovators in safety, nothing will change and employees will remain disengaged and less efficient.
If you want to lead change in your organisation, empower your colleagues, and increase efficiency and productivity in the business, don’t hesitate to reach out for a chat! We’d love to meet you.