How Better Incident Reporting Improves Risk Management

Power Plant Worker
October 17, 2019
By Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

It’s well known that risks and incidents are connected. The best description I have seen is the following: “An incident is a risk that has materialized”.

The description also shows that everything starts with risk management. To prevent incidents, you need first to properly identify, analyze and control risks.

But incidents are also a great source of information on hazards and risks. This means we’re faced with a “chicken or the egg” situation (if you’re wondering, the egg came first). Do you start with analyzing incidents or risks?

Should you proactively identify risks, or analyze observations, near misses and accidents to identify hazards and risks? The answer is both. In many industries, chances are that there are already great sources of information on the common risks to look out for.

But companies are also unique. You may face certain risks more frequently in your particular case. Which is why you need to look at your events to inform your risk management.

In other words, to improve risk management, you need to have full visibility over all incidents. And to gain visibility over all incidents, you need better incident reporting.

You must implement a better way of capturing hazards, near misses and accidents, and analyze the information to identify risks with potentially severe consequences.

Some of you may be thinking “It’s easier said than done”. That’s a fair point. But what if you could learn more about an organization that was successful in improving incident reporting to better identify risks?

The Safety Leader Among Australian Power Utilities

Let’s meet SA Power Networks. The company is the only electricity distributor in the entire state of South Australia, which includes Adelaide, the fifth largest city in Australia. South Australia has only about 1.7 million people. But Australia is huge. The state of South Australia has an area 1.4 times larger than Texas!

SAPN is the national leader in safety among Australian electricity distribution businesses. It is always seeking new ways to improve. The company recognized that the key to preventing incidents is to identify high-risk areas by being aware of and learning from all safety events.

For SAPN, mobility was a gamechanger. With the Enablon Go mobile app, workers are now able to enter safety events directly from the field, instantly in real-time. No more written notes, no more delays.

The average number of days to report an incident has dropped by 3.1 days. It would take 4-5 days before Enablon. Now an event, on average, is reported the same day through a mobile device, or the next day through a desktop computer.

SAPN believes that the best way to manage safety is by managing risk. The company takes a risk-centric approach to safety and incident management.

With Enablon, SAPN has a better integration between risk management and incident management. This robust integration allows the company to analyze information on incidents, near misses, and hazards to proactively identify risks, including those with a potential for severe consequences.

SAPN now has visibility over previously unknown or unforeseen risks.

Click here to learn more about the SAPN story.

Author

JG

Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

Content Thought Leader