It seems like an obvious thing to say, and yet, for many companies it’s merely another reason for annoying audits and additional paperwork. The worst companies may even treat it as a mere afterthought.
The simple fact is, however, that you have a legal duty of care to all employees, as far as is possible, to provide them with a safe and secure environment. If found not to have discharged this responsibility the company and its directors may well be liable for prosecution. This is therefore ‘serious business.’
We all know that dealing with Health & Safety can be a frustrating and time-consuming task and that some rules may appear trivial (thank you Brussels), but the subject is too serious to be trivialised. It’s with this in mind that we decided to include a number of modules that fit nicely into our Captureit time & attendance system that can greatly help with health, safety and security; of both your employees and your premises.
Here's some examples of bad fire registers: A bit of paper with everyone’s names on the list. A whiteboard with all the employees written onto it. A book in reception. Unfortunately, these are also the most common fire registers being used by most companies. Fire is dangerous. It is capable of utterly destroying your business and, if given the chance, can and has taken lives. Don’t mess about when it comes to fire, and absolutely do not underestimate it by only putting in the bare basics for your fire register – that’s just courting disaster! We’ve talked about the features of Captureit Fire Register here. However, consider the following two stories just to highlight how important a proper fire register can be:
Example 1: This story would be amusing, if the subject matter were not so serious, and involves a company we spoke to last year (2016 already seems so far away!) who had what they thought was a very clever fire register solution. This started with a large plastic board at point of entry to their premises, that showed a list of all employees. Next to each employee was a small slider that could be moved back and forth to either show “In” or “Out.” When someone walked into the building, they simply moved the slider to show “In” and when they left, they moved the slider to show “Out.” All seemed fine until one day, the fire alarm went off. Everybody diligently left the building and the designated fire marshal picked up the board, tucked it under his arm and went outside to conduct the fire roll call. Unfortunately, tucking the board under his arm caused all the sliders to slip to the “Out” position, because of an old thing called gravity. They were now stuck with absolutely no idea who was in the building at the time the fire alarm went off – gross embarrassment all round. Fortunately, it was only a drill, and therefore they were able to look for a proper fire register system, which Captureit was able to provide.
Example 2: A company gave us a call looking for a time and attendance system that included a reliable fire register. They had two buildings on one location and wanted to know who was in which building and who was on/off-site at all times. They asked our sales team a lot of questions concerning the fire register, which prompted our curious sales advisor to query what was prompting so many queries. It turned out that the company had lost everything in a fire. By everything, we mean everything – their main HQ building was literally burnt down to the ground, including everything inside. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but understandably, having seen just how horrific and devastating fire can be, they decided they wanted the best fire register they could possibly have.
There’s not much more that can be said to demonstrate the importance of getting a proper, reliable fire register.
By controlling access to your premises, you can help to ensure that only your employees are able to gain access to your company. This stops “undesirables” from entering the building without your knowledge, and it goes a long way to preventing petty crimes such as theft – you would be amazed at how many items are stolen from ‘reception’ by folks walking in off the street. You can also have internal areas protected by Access Control which only allows access to certain employees. This is particularly useful for areas with sensitive or valuable company assets. Likewise, you may want to keep some employees out of areas where there’s a higher risk of accidents and injury. Similarly, there may be equipment that only specialists and qualified individuals should have access to, and with Access Control, you can ensure that only employees with the correct clearance can access such areas. Finally, since Captureit maintains an audit trail of all door access activity, you are always in a position to know who went through which door, and when.
This may seem like an odd thing to bring up when discussing health and safety, but, when you look below the surface, it falls very much into the “health” aspect. A good time & attendance system, will let you know when employees are late or absent from work. Patterns of lateness or absence can be difficult to spot manually, but these are behaviours that a good time & attendance system can alert you to, so you can investigate the underlying cause. Is someone habitually absent, but also working large amounts of overtime? That’s a classic sign of a burnout. Overworking in such a way is unhealthy, causes stress and greatly increases the chance of getting ill; so perhaps it’s time to sit down and discuss things with the employee.
Is someone continually late to work and seems to be having a lot of Mondays and/or Fridays off? Again, by using a time & attendance system you will spot unusual patterns, highlighting the need for a conversation with the individual. It can be tempting to respond to absences and lateness with the knee-jerk reaction that the employee is being lazy, dishonest, etc, but there could be a myriad of other reasons, including issues at home, sleeping problems, struggling with an ongoing health issue and so on; all of which you may be completely unaware of. With a time & attendance system, it’s so much easier to spot troubling trends early and then intervene, instead of losing employees due to lack of information. Of course, if the conclusion is simply that you have a ‘bad egg’, then that it is a completely different conversation!