One staff member = one tree wasted, per year!
The average office worker in the UK uses up to 45 pieces of paper a day, with approximately two-thirds of that paper being considered as waste (research completed by Kyocera). If that statistic doesn’t shock you enough, if that office person works 47 weeks of the year, 5 days a week, that person will use 10, 575 sheets, with over 7,000 sheets being considered as waste.
If all that wasn’t enough, environmentally conscious procurement advisors, Conservatree, state that one ream of paper (500 sheets) uses as much as 6% of a tree, which means our office staff are wasting nearly a full tree every year. It’s enough to make you wonder why there isn’t a better way.
Health and safety has long been known as one of the most paperwork heavy areas of business and quite rightly so! Where else would you want to place more care, effort and detail than into the policies and procedures which protect the people who make your business work? Do you really have to a wipeout a full forest to achieve it though?
One of the issues with modern business is that it is so adaptable and dynamic, gone are the days where you take someone on and show them to their workspace – where they work consistently without interruption or change for the next decade. Every day, businesses are challenging their self-defined limits to keep ahead of the competition and meet the ever-changing needs of the market. What would have once required a full factory refit just requires a few taps on the screen and it’s in motion.
Is it just red tape?
Of course, with great power, comes great responsibility and that’s where the paperwork comes in. A new risk assessment is required every time the product, process or components change, even a change to the building, weather or time of day can require a whole new set of documents and policies before it can be considered compliant, and more importantly, safe. It can feel a lot like red tape if it is taken on in the way the legislation intended in 1974. The sort of tasks the legislation was based on have evolved so much, as has our knowledge of risk, our ability to source more economically viable controls and also, the likely outcomes of a failing. Essentially the stakes are higher, and the pressure is mounting, employees have more power to speak up and move against companies who are not operating responsibly.
The only process yet to ascend
Unfortunately, many companies are yet to catch on to the fact there are better ways to manage their health and safety. Despite moving CRM databases, procurement, recruitment, communication and even training to digital platforms, some even into the cloud, many businesses still think that the only way to compliantly manage health and safety is with mass printing, physical signatures and the biggest filing cabinet you’ve ever seen. But wouldn’t it be nicer for all of us if the filing cabinets were decommissioned and the empty space filled with lush green plants instead of their rather sad looking, dust-loving by-product?
The true cost
What starts out as a few induction documents and policies when a company forms, evolves to a fully comprehensive safety system, yet companies haven’t evolved their methods. Not only is this costly in the way of printing, posting and time spent arranging and chasing, but it is also costly to our environment too. Beyond just the cost in trees, the cost of manufacturing and transporting the paper, the cost of procuring and servicing printers and their consumable parts, followed by the cost of sending this all out to staff for them to send it back, only for it to be redundant at every review or every time the process is updated when we start again. Trying to put a cost on that is just not doable
So what is SaaS and how can it help?
SaaS is an acronym for Software as a Service, it describes subscription-based software which is fully managed by the provider, rather than installed and managed in house. Generally, companies using SaaS do not need any additional hardware to access the product and indeed, they can often access this via ‘pocket devices’ via mobile interfaces or apps.
Health and safety SaaS offerings, like CRAMS, typically provide companies with a secure space to store their health and safety data. Being specific to health and safety means these products have bespoke templates which suit the regulatory requirements and guide users into compliance. Most also offer electronic signing capabilities, meaning everything can be seen and signed without a piece of paper ever coming into the mix. Changes can also be quickly disseminated to staff who can resign and return in seconds, without anyone having to physically go anywhere. All reminders are digitalised and can be moved to another person, if the responsible person moves on, in just a few clicks.
The most responsible choice
It makes sense to suggest that any forward-thinking company should start with an economical solution which is easy to both manage and grow in even the earliest days of trading. Whilst moving from a static system is a step in the right direction, it is still a bigger step than starting as you mean to go on in the first instance. Companies should be doing all they can to rid their offices of paper from the outset of their operations, not just when numbers suggest it is justifiable.
Aside from the saved paperwork and admin, having a digital health and safety system shows your clients and employees that you care about your staff and your processes. In construction or project work, many clients will judge a tender based on the quality or format of health and safety information. Your staff also benefit from having access to all information from anywhere at any time to ensure they have no reason to deviate from the processes put in place to protect them. And if all that isn’t enough, one tree, per employee, per year should be the tipping point which makes you seriously consider using SaaS.
Our team love to demonstrate the power of our sophisticated software. If you’d like to learn more about how CRAMS could help your organisation, book a demo today!