Why a visitor management system is critical for health and safety compliance
Health and safety compliance is a big deal. How (or if) your organisation complies with regulations determines the safety of anyone that comes onto site, whether that’s a visitor, employee, student or resident. In Great Britain alone, 1.6 million working people suffered a work-related illness in 2019/20, and there were 38.8 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
Across the globe, there’s different health and safety regulations that organisations should comply with to ensure that they are protecting the health and safety of their employees, visitors, students and residents. Below are a few examples but, as always, we recommend researching further into the specific regulations that may apply to your area or industry:
- 🇬🇧 UK: The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992
- 🇺🇸 US: The Occupational Safety and Health Act
- 🇪🇺 EU: The European Framework Directive (1989/391/EEC)
The extent of how a visitor management system (VMS) can improve health and safety can often be overlooked, and in our opinion, they are sometimes not given the credit they deserve. When making comparisons between a visitor management system vs traditional processes such as pen & paper, you’ll quickly see why a VMS could be critical for health and safety compliance in your organisation; we’ve picked some of the top reasons why below…
Emergencies happen, and when they do your evacuation list can save lives - so it’s crucial that this is accurate, up-to-date and easily accessible. Traditionally you might be running around to find a hefty visitor book to complete the roll call which may not take into account everyone on site or be completely up-to-date. A visitor management system that also supports shared evacuation lists allows multiple appointed fire marshals to complete roll calls at the same time - a great addition if your site has multiple evacuation points. As a cloud service, your evacuation list on your visitor management app can be accessed from anywhere, any time and from any internet connected device, and you can be sure that everyone will be accounted for. Complete timed roll calls from your smartphone and create reports to keep a record or share with others.
At a time when health screening has become the norm, health questionnaires are being widely used in a variety of industries. It’s not always easy to get visitors or staff members to complete questionnaires when they come onto site. You might need to find a pen, a staff member could be rushing to get to a meeting or you may just forget to hand one out, and then let’s not forget about the task of filing them away securely. A visitor management system can streamline the process for all visitor types. Tailor the questions to each visitor group and these can be presented during the sign in process to complete, however they are signing in. A copy of their completed questionnaire can be stored securely in the online portal and notifications can be set up to notify hosts if a certain answer has been provided that may affect them from proceeding further on your site.
Site safety messages and policies
Important site safety policies and messages are also now more common in a variety of industries, and for some industries it’s absolutely critical to ensure your guests and employees read and accept any important policies, messages or NDAs. Like questionnaires, when these are on separate pieces of paper, it can be easy to forget to hand them out or file them away, but this should not happen when you’re responsible for people’s safety. With a visitor management system, these can be presented at the point of sign in. You can display as many different messages as required and these can be easily edited from your online portal. A copy of every agreement will be stored securely in your online portal for your set retention period.
Rejected sign ins
While we all want to be friendly and welcome people into our organisations, in some scenarios it can be unsafe for them to continue onto site and it’s important to have a tool in place that makes it easy to control access in these situations. A VMS can block a sign in depending on a certain response to a question asked during the sign in process; a notification can then be triggered to notify the relevant person in your organisation who can then deal with the situation to keep everyone on site safe.
Checking health status
Some government regulations now state that in certain industries it is mandatory for employees or visitors to be fully vaccinated or present negative COVID test results (see our recent blog post regarding how this has affected care homes in the UK). So, for many organisations it’s absolutely essential to have a robust process in place to be able to check health status for their specific entry requirements; certain visitor management systems allow you to do this and issue a digital health certificate to approve sign ins without storing any personal health data.
Visitor ID badges
Visitor badges are a great way to improve site security. Confirm guests are who they say they are by ensuring they wear a visitor pass with their details and photo on at all times when walking around your site. A visitor management system with a badge builder allows you to tailor the information and highlight key information if you need to draw more attention to particular elements. Connect a compatible printer to your VMS so when visitors sign in, their badge can be printed automatically.
At Sign In App, improving health and safety in organisations is one of the key drivers behind our development of new features. Our visitor management app offers all of the features listed above and more, to help you make health and safety compliance seamless on your site. If you’d like to learn more about our safety and compliance features, get in touch with our customer experience team via live chat, phone or email. Alternatively, if you’re ready to get started, we offer an unrestricted 15 day free trial which you can start here.