30th Apr, 2021 Read time 5 minutes

Snake in the Grass: How a Digital Audit Program Can Help You Identify Lethal Hazards Waiting to Strike


Staying on top of what’s expected

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional responsibilities on supervisors and mid-level managers of all industries, tasked to maintain essential operations while limiting the risk of infection to the workforce. With tasks and priorities changing constantly, even important matters can fall through the cracks, especially when it’s left to the individual to simply remember all that they need to do. When those forgotten tasks involve safety-critical systems, the risk for catastrophic failure is high.

Workload management is one of the principal reasons organizations invest in HSE Software. These solutions offer the ability to deconstruct even the most complex compliance requirements into meaningful, tangible actions that prescribe exactly what needs to be done to adhere to applicable standards. Automated alerts can be configured to notify users when a compliance task is coming due or when it’s past-due, so it can be reprioritized, and users can take informed action immediately. Similar alerts can be set as part of escalation workflows, pushing outstanding compliance actions up the chain of command at designated intervals, to help drive accountability or reallocate resources to meet these obligations.


Digital audits help ensure the right things are reviewed

But simply ensuring that individuals remember to complete audit assignments isn’t enough. Workers performing workplace audits and inspections must be competent and must know what specific system components need to be assessed, and how. Enterprise HSE software solutions that support digital audit programs simplify this process by enabling organizations to create and assign standardized inspection checklists to guide auditors on the key components and failure modes to look out for when inspecting safety-critical systems.

These checklists, when accessible via a mobile device, enable inspectors to record findings directly from the field, reducing the administrative burden of secondary data entry, and assist in issuing corrective action requests immediately when a defect is observed. And as technology evolves, software solutions are leveraging the power of prescriptive insights to give workers immediate feedback on the level of criticality of identified issues, and the specific actions to be taken to mitigate risk. In this manner, workers will not simply report when things go awry but can take immediate, targeted action to address risk and reduce the chance for the failure to escalate out of control.


Looking beyond the immediate failure

When a system failure occurs, it’s not a question about what happened, but why and how it happened.  And as organizations collect greater volumes of HSE data, it presents an opportunity to leverage this information to help predict where system failures are most likely to occur next, so they can adjust audit and inspection schedules to ensure these processes are reviewed more frequently.

The challenge is that despite this growing volume of collected audit data, most organizations lack the scalable capacity to translate that data into timely, actionable insights to guide their decision-making – principally because data aggregation and analysis is still predominantly manual. Individuals physically consolidate and analyze data on simple spreadsheet tools, which is time-consuming, error-prone, and limited to the maximum number of datasets that they can evaluate at any given time. In this respect, the value of this data for predictive modelling is lost.

Yet emerging solutions including machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) are enhancing the HSE practitioner’s ability to quickly draw insights from their collected metadata and support more preventive decision-making. Platforms are growing where a user can simply input a query into an analytics engine via speech or text, after which the engine leverages natural language processing to scan all records by those search terms and present data in any number of different graphical formats. The user can then drill down or manipulate that data to create the insights they need to drive decisions. In this way, natural language processing provides necessary flexibility in querying data and insights without needing to have the foresight on what the desired endpoints might be.

Just as you might say: “Hey Google, show me restaurants in a 5-mile radius from my house”, business leaders will instead query their HSE platform by saying “Show me all root causes from audit corrective actions”, to provide them, in real-time, with insights they can use to refine future digital audit planning, and/or to take targeted action to address system gaps before they may lead to fatal outcomes.



Learn More about Digital Audits

To learn more about how to get started with your digital audit program, check out Cority’s eBook, .

This comprehensive HSE software guide was created by HSE experts to help you:

  • Make a convincing business case to your boss
  • Confidently navigate the software procurement process
  • Build an effective RFP
  • Score the vendors you’re evaluating
  • Ensure the implementation goes smoothly
  • Sustain your program for years to come


Download eBook now: .

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