EHS Inspections

See how Refined Data has raised the bar with Mobile Site Inspections

Inspections in an Analog World

Site inspections, whether daily or weekly and hazard inspections, are typically conducted using a clipboard and printed checklists and scribed with observations and corrective actions made during those inspections. This paper-first approach is the traditional way of performing inspections, but there are several drawbacks:

Administrative Challenges
  • Paper must be filed – that’s an additional unwelcome administrative burden, often leading to delays.
  • Paper has no backup – it is a single point of failure in your workflow until it is scanned.
  • Audit teams must visit sites periodically to ensure that paper checklists are dated, filed and signed as evidence that procedures are being followed.  This is an inefficient use of resources.
  • Paper notes must be manually merged with photos into digital reports.
  • Handwritten notes may be mis-interpreted.

Paper is an Analog Format in a Digital World

Paper cannot support real-time decision making, nor can it provide responsiveness to unpredictable events.  All of this is especially true when you are often away from your administration office and rely on the coordination of multiple, independent teams and individuals to operate safe, well-managed buildings.

Whilst paper has served us well this far, it has now become an impediment to greater efficiencies, real time decision making and auditing requirements.

The Refined Data Approach to Inspections

Despite the prevalence of mobile devices there may be some resistance to their use. Refined Data’s solution must, therefore, provide a superior experience and clear advantages over paper. It should be clear, right across the organization, on-site and off-site, staff and vendors, EHS and Operations teams, that the transition to digital has resulted in more efficiency and less frustration for everyone.

Data acquisition should not lead to further data processing before becoming useful.  Data must be captured without repetitive, manual steps, without delays, with minimal room for error, and must be immediately actionable.

Deficiency Inspections

Deficiency inspections are performed using the Refined Data mobile site management app.  As site managers walk the building, they quickly photograph deficiencies to create automatically categorized corrective action tasks.  These tasks can be immediately assigned to maintenance teams or to service providers or placed on hold and flagged for estimates.

With one walkthrough, the site manager’s work is done;  no filing of paper checklists and no administration. The data is captured and is ready to be acted upon.  All relevant details captured at the source, quickly, efficiently, digitally.

Back at head office, completed inspections are available for analysis by the operations and EHS management teams and at the sites the maintenance teams have a list of deficiencies to correct.

Deficiencies identified by site managers represent an audit of the scheduled tasks that are routinely performed by site maintenance teams and by service providers.  An unacceptably high deficiency rate for any task (landscaping for example) is easy to spot and we can identify where additional training or a contract review is required with the service provider.

mobile checklists, surveys, inspections, incident report
Refined Data mobile EHS and Operations app

Compliance Surveys

EHS compliance surveys are also completed using the Refined Data site management app.  For site management teams, having a single app for both task management and inspection/survey needs reduces the learning curve.

In Refined Data’s mobile site management app, compliance surveys are presented as a list of customizable questions with yes, no or not applicable answers.  Selected answers can be configured to automatically generate a corrective action task, pre-assigned to the EHS management team or to site maintenance in order to address the area of non-compliance.

These tasks provide an audit of the areas of non-compliance identified at each site and verification that they are returned to a fully compliant state.

For individual questions a portfolio dashboard displays trends in responses over multiple survey periods. This dashboard helps determine if certain areas of compliance are improving or deteriorating. This data can be used, for example, to roll out improved procedures or updates to employee training material.

This is an example of the sum being greater than the parts – by eliminating paper and moving to an integrated digital platform we can perform the kind of data analysis that enables proactive and responsive EHS management practices.

Managing for Performance

Site deficiencies identified during inspections represent an audit of the scheduled tasks that are routinely performed by maintenance teams and by service providers.

An unacceptably high deficiency rate for any task (landscaping for example) is easy to spot and can identify where additional training or a contract review is required with the service provider.

Refined Data’s management dashboards also identify sites where scheduled tasks (like deficiency inspections) are not being performed at appropriate intervals. This is further insight into the maintenance of your portfolio and ensures not only compliance with regulations but also agreed service levels. It’s a marker for resource allocation and contractual obligations.

EHS and Operations Team

The act of completing digital inspections generates data points that initiate site level corrective action and produce real-time portfolio level performance metrics with unparalleled efficiency.

A paperless, frictionless site inspection workflow isn’t just a chance to conduct business-as-usual, it opens up avenues of opportunities beyond efficiency.  It elevates the people and the processes and brings together an organization into a more responsive and adept unit.

Related Topics

Benefits of the System

  • You ensure your buildings are operating safely, efficiently and in compliance with applicable requirements

  • You are able to measure progress toward completion of company goals and objectives

  • Give field staff a valuable tool for driving continuous improvement via the Mobile App

  • Deliver a responsive inspection program that provides a clear signal to employees that they are valued members of the organization, and that management is proactive in improving health, safety and sustainability

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