Safety and health at work is one of the fundamental aspects of a company in any sector and of any size. In addition to being mandatory by law and supervised by the ACT, organizations can improve their indicators with the support of HR software.

Motivated employees work more efficiently and effectively. Many companies still have a long way to go to provide environments of well-being and happiness among employees. But it has been proven that happy employees integrated into a positive environment are less absent, are more productive and, therefore, the company ends up being more profitable. And for that, safety and health at work and, of course, Human Resources management software contribute a lot. Firstly, technological applications free HR from more routine tasks, which become automated, thus freeing up these teams to work with greater added value.

And that added value goes, firstly, through the correct integration and automation of processes (updating legislation and other internal or external obligations), avoiding the need to confirm that all data on employees is correct and duly entered into the system. But it goes further. Without this work in their charge, HR departments can innovate in how to get messages to teams, create wellness initiatives or promote occupational health programs.

By the end of reading this article you will know:

In this article we will address several aspects of the advantages of human resources software in relation to the obligations of organizations in terms of safety and health at work:

  1. What is safety and health at work within organizations;
  2. What are the advantages of human resources solutions in terms of safety and health at work;
  3. How can HR applications open the door to greater innovation in health and safety in companies;
  4. Because decision-making is facilitated;
  5. How to create an occupational health program;

1. What is occupational safety and health within organizations?

With or without HR software, companies have, according to the Labor Code, the obligation to promote the conditions for protecting the health and guaranteeing the safety of workers. The legislation is vast and comprises general and specific rules for certain sectors of activity, duly explained by the supervisory body, the Authority for Working Conditions (ACT). And what do companies have to comply with?

  • At the very least, companies must comply with the general principles of Occupational Health and Safety (Labour Code, art. 281 to 284). That is, to inform and train workers in risk prevention.
  • Organizations may choose to use internal, external or common services or a designated employer(s)/employee(s), in accordance with the law.
  • Companies still have to assess the risks and define preventive measures to reduce the occurrence of accidents at work and occupational diseases.

The basic conditions for safety and health at work are numerous and human capital management solutions, which are constantly being developed, help to ensure that all policies, regulations and legislation (which are also constantly changing) are duly updated, optimized and automated. And the more employees the company has, the more relevant the symbiosis between HR professionals and the application that takes care of routine tasks becomes, allowing the teams to be freed up for added-value functions.

Is that safety and health at work is much more comprehensive than just a medical examination at the time of entry into the company and a brief consultation of manuals/training to prevent occupational risks and accidents at work.

They also monitor the development of regulations such as the ISO reference model – ISO 45001:2018 – Occupational health and safety management systems.

2. What are the advantages of human resources solutions in terms of safety and health at work?

Including occupational health and safety in HR solutions brings numerous benefits. It allows, above all, immediate access to data about the company or collaborators, instead of having to look for documents arranged in physical file folders or on the computer.

In addition, the HR department, in particular the occupational health and safety teams, will:

  • Improve internal communication;
  • Take up less time in preparing reports;
  • Reduce non-conformities that can lead to accidents at work;
  • Comply with necessary principles and requirements;
  • Accelerate decision-making;

They also ensure that everyone involved within the organization:

  • They use the same monitoring workflows;
  • Have timely knowledge of the necessary training;
  • Has health monitored;
  • They know which documents are needed and requirements to be met.

Thanks to accessible and clear data, visually intuitive, well organized and, moreover, protected in backups, with no risk of losing information. Communication between the HR department and employees regarding safety and health at work is simplified. HR professionals have the opportunity, in the event of an accident, to be able to dedicate themselves to all processes related to it.

And in the meantime, they can create programs to improve employee health and reduce workplace accidents.

3. How can HR applications open the door to further innovation in occupational health and safety?

We have already seen that applications for HR or human capital have profoundly changed operations in Human Resources departments. And it's far from finished. These solutions evolve according to the needs of organizations, legislative changes, or the technology itself, being in a process of constant improvement, including with regard to safety and health at work.

The human resources management software makes it possible to follow the path of each employee, from recruitment to onboarding, booking vacations and absences and ending at the end of the life cycle of each employee in the organization. It also admits a high degree of autonomy on the part of employees through the employee portals, which saves the organization time and money.

Taking advantage of HR management systems, processes related to safety and health at work are simplified and optimised. It is a continuous improvement process:
The human resources management software makes it possible to follow the path of each employee, from recruitment to onboarding, booking vacations and absences and ending at the end of the life cycle of each employee in the organization. It also admits a high degree of autonomy on the part of employees through the employee portals, which saves the organization time and money.

Taking advantage of HR management systems, processes related to safety and health at work are simplified and optimised. It's a process of continuous improvement: HR lessons open the door to greater innovation in occupational health and safety?

  • Collection and processing of employee data, including social security and insurance data;

  • Automation of the data collection process on the work environment;

  • Simplified identification of the performance of each work environment, the needs for improvement and subsequent comparison between before and after;

  • Simplification of the collection of relevant information about the employee;

  • Automation of referral processes for occupational medicine (mandatory by law and in case of need);

  • Simplification of processes in the event of a claim;

  • Management of salaries, in case of absences and casualties related to claims;

  • Team productivity management;

  • Constant updating of the legal and regulatory framework and also of internal policies;

  • Availability, in real time, of information on ongoing activities (audits, inspections, non-compliance and fines, etc.);

  • Access to dashboards where reporting features are available for other company employees;

  • Involvement of employees who can insert data (photos, audio, text) about a certain workplace and suggestions for action;

  • Disclosure of recommended actions;

  • Integration of information with other tasks.

    The work of the HR department, including in terms of safety and health at work, can also be monitored on different devices (at the workstation, on a tablet or smartphone at any time and place).

4. Why is decision making easier?

By monitoring data, for example evaluating the performance of teams, decision-making will be simplified, saving time and money.

In addition to performance evaluation, organizations can get data from the attendance and absence management modules, and from the analysis of this and other data, the HR department has the basis to ask itself:

  • Is it advantageous to have a medical office at work on the premises on a one-off or daily basis?
  • Are there similar and recurring accidents? How can they be avoided?
  • If there are many casualties due to tendinitis or back pain, is it necessary to invest in ergonomic devices (eg mice, keyboards, chairs, footrests) to avoid these illnesses and absences?
  • Is employee insurance adequate for claims?

In this way, it is possible to identify the cause, define concrete improvement objectives and monitor progress. Objectives can be:

  • Reduce the frequency of accidents at work;
  • Increase happiness in the workplace;
  • Optimize work insurance packages;
  • Improve the quality of life of employees at work;
  • Promote organizational health programs;
  • Increase the efficiency of HR management and work safety.
  • How to create an occupational health program;

5. How to create an occupational health program?

Companies spend a very high amount on expenses related to sick leave, medical appointments and other health-related absences. A high percentage of these costs could be avoided with preventive routines.

And it is one of the advantages of using human resource management software. With automated generalist processes (attendance registration, employee onboarding, vacation scheduling, among others), the HR department can calmly collect the necessary data to create analyzes and reports, assess the organization's climate, carry out motivation tests with the objective of creating an occupational health program and improving, for example, absenteeism indicators.

A healthy employee, physically and psychologically, is potentially a happy employee. Therefore, your organization's culture and reputation stand to benefit greatly from integrating tailored occupational health programs.

«Organizational happiness must be seen as a strategy in the management of organizations and their human resources», say researchers Georg Dutschke and Álvaro Lopes Dias. «The organization is appreciated and respected by the community, which recognizes its contribution to a better quality of life». And is your company a source of happiness for your employees, who spend a good part of their day there, and for the community?

Several studies cited by those authors reveal that «there is a relative correlation between happier employees and higher performance» and one of the studies even mentions that «employees with a low level of happiness spend, on average, 1.25 more days per month than the happiest employees".

It is a case to consider what is the level of happiness of its workers and how better health and safety programs in the organization can contribute to increasing productivity and reducing absences due to illness, accidents and even simply “just because”.

Start by making a diagnosis and assessment of the health and habits of employees. It should take into account activities already carried out in the organization, as well as the eating habits, posture and physical activity of employees.

You should also analyze the state of morale and motivation of the teams. These more subjective data should be combined with objective data such as the absenteeism rate, the rate of accidents either on the way or at work or the coverage of the company's health plans.

Once the gaps have been identified, the ideal will be to establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) objectives to mitigate or eliminate them. If the analysis points to a generalized problem of anxiety among employees, you can opt for programs focused on reducing anxiety (imagine: 20% less absences associated with these problems in six months) with the aim of detecting and preventing burnout at work.

These programs must take into account the company's culture and the tastes and needs of employees. There are contributors who prefer high-effort exercise while others prefer meditation. What is the profile of your teams? Either option is fine as long as it contributes to achieving SMART.

Occupational health programs must be properly communicated internally so that employees are motivated. There is little point in having the best initiative if the employees are not aware of it or, simply, if there is a schedule incompatibility.

Finally, it is necessary to analyze the results and carry out the respective follow-up. With the objectives defined a priori, this analysis is possible. That's how you can see if you're on the right path or what needs to be adjusted. It can carry out surveys, use data on sick leave due to depression (in particular burnout), incidence of occupational diseases, among other indicators.

Benefits of an occupational health program

  • increased motivation at work;
  • decrease in the rate of absenteeism and accidents at work;
  • reduction of dissatisfaction;
  • increased productivity;
  • reduction of costs related to absences motivated by absenteeism;
  • enhancing brand reputation.

6. How is data security and privacy integrated?

Data security and privacy is guaranteed in the work safety and health tools integrated into HR solutions. Security is built in parallel with the software, by design.

If tax, social security or salary data are sensitive, even more so are those relating to safety and health at work, in particular in the event of an accident.

For protection, information and reports are stored on cloud servers accessible via credentials and password.

Safeguarded, the safety and health at work data are synchronized, whatever the way of access and available 24/7, 365 days a year.

7. What is the one stop shop for all HR needs?

UnikPeople – Web Portal, by Uniksystem is used by some of the best human resources companies.

This portal allows:

  • Simplify and automate the employee onboarding process (self-service when entering the company);
  • Reduce administrative processes in the HR department (self-service for updating data, employee vacations and absences, approved by team leaders);
  • Management of hours worked, vacations and absences facilitated (face-to-face or remote check-in/out that, through notification, are approved or not by team leaders or HR);
  • Access to salary processing information and detailed payslips;
  • Performance evaluation management

It is one of the ideal tools to help the human resources department to evaluate performance in a simple way, to contribute to the definition of objectives and competences for each type of function and to carry out the respective follow-up. Allows employees to make self-assessments and compare them with those of management.

It reduces administrative tasks and allows employees to manage their personal data. Above all, using human capital management tools is encouraging the HR team to look for innovative ways to improve the company and identify who in the company has the right skills for a given task, in addition to, indirectly, promoting greater productivity and company success.

Optimize, digitize and automate decision-making processes in the area of ​​occupational safety and health, based on real-time management data with UnikPeople – Web Portal.

by Célia Barata – RegTech & HR Business Manager @Uniksystem

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