Greg Hart
Apr 3, 2019

Good Safety Doesn't Need More Paperwork

Good Safety Doesn't Need More Paperwork

Most companies have assumed that the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 is a tedious compliance exercise involving increased amounts of paperwork.   However it is about being responsible for the health and safety of everyone at risk from a company's work including its workers, customers, visitors, or the general public.  It does involve paperwork but is mostly about proving good health and safety procedures are operating within your company and that you have done everything possible to reduce "risk".

For small business people, less paperwork means higher profits, boosted sales and more time with the family.  

Most people hate having to do any paperwork. Doing paperwork or process related tasks take them out of the field and away from the actual job.

In most cases, the burden of handling and processing paperwork falls on the shoulders of the foreman and management.  This often leaves them spending more time sifting through documentation than assessing physical risks at building sites.

Safety paperwork

You don't need to do more paperwork to keep safe


Keen to reduce your paperwork but rather be out on site assessing risks and remaining compliant? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Paperwork at the time

The biggest hassle about doing paperwork is the time it takes. Knowing that doing paperwork is a least favourite task for most people, many either put it off till the last minute or rush through the process just to be done with it.  What happens when things are rushed? Mistakes are made.  Where safety is involved mistakes cannot be made.

The best information is often that collected in the moment. With an online system available on tablet or smartphone the paperwork can be completed at the time of an incident, before a job is carried out or immediately after.

Eliminate the paper whenever possible

Take a look at your processes and forms. Do you ask the same questions on several forms? Are all the forms necessary? Can a simple computer program or online form be used instead so people don’t have to fill out paperwork but can just fill in an online form where the basic information is stored and re-used? Often using a computer program (online or off) will also automate things so paperwork isn’t needed. Or just eliminate the paperwork altogether if it’s possible.  Could one photo be better than 100 words describing a work hazard?

Electronic signatures

Often a manager becomes a bottleneck, requiring their approval before anything can get done. Using electronic systems means that documents can be sighted by a manager electronically and signed electronically too.  This means documents don’t pile up unseen on the managers desk. Approval gets back in the field quickly.

Have the information you need ready

If you don’t have information, you can’t make decisions properly. If you haven’t the paperwork to hand and have to leave the site to get it valuable time is lost.  Technology has changed all this; with offline functionality and storage in the cloud documentation can be wherever you are. The same document can be shared across several sites and you will know they are all working off the same version.  Has the computer ever “eaten” your document? With automatic back-ups to the cloud this is no longer a problem.


Thinking of reducing your paperwork but wanting to remain compliant?  Site App Pro can manage all your Health and Safety compliance documentation in the cloud.   A document system wherever you are. 

About the author

Greg Hart

Head of Design at Comply Pro

We’re not sure how Greg became one of NZ’s best UX designers and SaaS marketers. Somehow it started with tunnelling, moved through ostrich farming and evolved into travelling the globe as a rock guitarist. He claims he “just has talent” but most of us have decided he was abducted by aliens. So what’s next for this multi-talented guy? That’s right you guessed it - launching his own craft beer. Sign us up as taste testers!

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