16th Mar, 2020 Read time 4 minutes

Predictive analytics and safety: is it worth investing in?

In recent years, predictive analytics and various software have been introduced to help managers in all business areas to get a better return on investment, to help with performance, and to allow for better forecasting and planning.

The realm of workplace safety is a little different though and leaves us asking whether safety software systems that employ advanced and predictive analytics are worth the investment.

Predictive Analytics and Safety

Similar advanced and predictive analytics software systems have been deployed across safety functions with dramatic results and great success.

It has been proven that workplace injuries can be predicted with accuracy rates as high as 97%. It also has been proven across numerous companies that if injuries can be predicted, they can then be prevented.

Here are some examples of where predictive analytics has worked in safety:

  • One Fortune 150 energy company reduced its injury rate by 67% within 18 months.
  • One Fortune 150 manufacturer reduced its lost workday rate by 97% within 1 year.
  • A top 20 construction company reported achieving significant safety improvements including 90% of worksites experiencing no lost-time incidents.

However, it is easier said than done for a company to predict and prevent injury, and it’s not always clear to determine whether you will get similar results or a good ROI on solutions that are invested in.

Should you invest in predictive analytics software?

When deciding whether to invest in predictive analytics software for safety purposes or indeed what software to invest in, then it is worth asking yourself three questions:

 

  • What are you trying to accomplish?

In order to determine if using advanced and predictive analytics systems is an efficient investment for your organisation, you first need to decide what you’re trying to accomplish.

If all you are trying to do is gain access to and report on your historic data, then basic data access and reporting is enough to go on.

However, if you want to start answering deeper questions which can help to drive your business forward such as, “Where and when will injuries likely happen next?” and “How do I optimise the response to risks so I can prevent them?” then advanced and predictive analytics will help you to delve deeper and answer these questions.

Of course, software that has advanced analytics functionalities will be more expensive. However, if your company or facility can use this data to actively change the number of incidents, and the response to these incidents, then the added investment will be worth it.

 

  • Are you ready to invest in and deal with the software?

There’s no doubt that the reduction in workplace injuries has hit a plateau over recent years, but this can be solved if we start branching out from traditional safety methods and investing in advanced technology and predictive analytics software that can support the more traditional methods.

In order to invest in new technology and software, your organisation has to be ready and willing to take this on. Firstly, those within your organisation should be committed to collecting data regardless of the level of the employee. This does mean that leaders within the business must support their frontline teams to ensure the collection of data.

Secondly, leaders should be ready to act on the data collected from the software and the analytics provided. If they are willing to look at the information provided, analyse this, and take action then they will be utilising the predictive analytics provided and ensuring a profitable investment.

 

  • How will you measure success?

If you, your manager, CEO, or any other stakeholders are demanding a quantifiable ROI on the investment in advanced and predictive analytics for safety then you must consider how you’ll measure success, and what success means to you and your stakeholders.

Here we’ve listed some measures of success as an example, however, these may differ depending on what you are trying to achieve and the data you are collecting.

  • Reduction of incidents and incident rates, and lower costs as a result
  • Reduction of direct workers’ compensation or other insurance fees or other insurance measures such as an experience modification rate
  • Automation of time spent manually “crunching numbers” and analysing data
  • Automation of time spent manually collecting data
  • Improved safety culture measures
  • Improved response to incidents
  • Employee satisfaction

 

Predictive analytics software comes in so many shapes and sizes, so you should work out what you want to gain from this software first to best establish which one is going to work for you, your company, and your employees.

If you are ready to invest in this type of software, then the results can be incredibly rewarding both from a monetary perspective and due to a reduction in workplace incidents. If you are able to effectively measure, anticipate, and tackle workplace incidents then you are sure to be rewarded tenfold.

HSE Network
Article by: HSE Network

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