Record number of Site Sentinel online worksite safety inductions for 2019!

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We’re excited to announce we’ve beaten last year’s safety induction record – delivering almost 24,000 online worksite safety inductions across 20 separate sites for six different rail industry clients.  One of the sites executed an astonishing 5,000 worksite safety inductions using our Site Sentinel online platform – an incredible figure for just one year!

These numbers show a 20% increase compared with last year’s – where we successfully delivered just over 20,000 online inductions.

Founder of Lucid Communications, Paul Townsend said “We’re thrilled with the high number of inductions completed this year… we’ve surpassed our own expectations and it demonstrates how the rail industry really is starting to appreciate the power of digitising the induction process.  What a fantastic start to 2020.”

The SiteSentinel platform provides an online induction, test and administration interface.  The system is designed to consistently deliver relevant, up to date, high quality information using text, photos, video and illustrations.

SiteSentinel ensures an easily accessible audit trail of worksite safety inductions for all staff, visitors and contractors.

The Digital Depot

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The media is awash with stories of the ‘Digital Railway’ – from digital asset management to smart ticketing for passengers – the railway industry is embracing the digital revolution with both hands.  However, walk into most train maintenance depots and you’ll get a different picture entirely – paper piles, noticeboards, bursting filing cabinets – the rail back office hasn’t yet joined the revolution with such vigour!

Yet with thousands of rail workers passing through depot doors every year – this is an area that equally warrants the efficiencies that ‘going digital’ can offer.  So, we’ve been conducting our very own little revolution – starting with digitising worksite safety inductions…

Typically, worksite inductions at depots involve lengthy face-to-face sessions where local managers spend lots of time sharing information and describing the risks.  This can be labour intensive and, depending on the manager, the quality of the training delivery can vary.  The induction also often happens the moment a visitor sets foot on site – expecting them to digest a lot of new material in a short space of time.  Hardly conducive to effective learning.

This is why we’ve developed SiteSentinel – a unique online worksite safety induction solution allowing depot visitors to complete an induction before they even arrive on site, ensuring they arrive equipped and ready for work with the necessary competency certificates and worksite awareness.

The added bonus is that the whole induction process is captured and stored online, giving depots an easily accessible audit trail.  They can quickly confirm who has been inducted at the site and when.  A short online test at the end also gives depot managers the necessary assurances that visitors understand the safety issues before they even arrive on site.

And we’re not the only ones helping to build a ‘Digital Depot’ – we’re proud to be joined in our back office revolution by the likes of Zonegreen (depot protection through intelligent technology) and Alcumus Sypol (COSHH online management system).

So, how long will it take for the rest of the rail industry to wake up to the benefits of digitising the back office?

Brief Before They Get To Site, Not Once They’ve Arrived

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Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

There’s an old adage in training: “tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you’ve told them.”

Sound a little odd?  Well there’s a sound educational basis for the one-liner – most of us need time to assimilate new knowledge and getting to grips with new concepts requires time.  There is only a certain amount of information that our working memory can absorb in any one training session – in psychology circles this is known as the “cognitive load” – the limited mental capacity that we have for processing new material.

So, why do companies still insist on waiting for contractors to turn up to their worksite, ‘hosepipe’ information at them, walk them around unfamiliar surroundings pointing at things, and then let them loose on site, expecting they’ve fully comprehended everything that’s been said?

The best approach to site induction is to deliver detailed information BEFORE visitors arrive on site, using text, photos, diagrams etc.  Of particular importance is the provision of a site schematic – an overview of the ‘shape’ of the site.  People new to the site will need this to make sense of any site walk-around.  They need a context into which they can place the physical experience of a site visit.

There is also certain information that visitors and contractors might need beforehand, such as: Where is the site?  Which entrance should I use?  How do I get in?  What are the relevant telephone numbers?  What equipment should I bring?  Etc.

Lastly, think of visitors and contractors from outside of high hazard industries like rail.  For example, are they aware of the strict ultra-low alcohol level required by the rail industry?  Would you really expect a contractor, upon arriving at site and being told of the level, to throw their hand in the air and say, “Oops, sorry, I went out drinking last night – I can’t come on site…”  Highly unlikely!

So, we suggest the best worksite induction looks something like this:

  • Step 1 – Online briefing and test before arrival;
  • Step 2 – Quick verbal test and correction of any incorrect test results;
  • Step 3 – Site walk-around to reinforce and embed information.

What are your experiences?

Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Video For Your Worksite Safety Induction…

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Using a video for your worksite safety induction might appear the perfect solution – it’s visually engaging, straightforward to operate and comes in one neat package – what’s not to love?  Well, quite a lot actually… here’s three reasons we think you should avoid using a video as your worksite induction.

1/ A video isn’t easy to update…

It’s critical your worksite safety induction presents the worksite as it currently looks – there’s no point sharing detailed information about the worksite as it was five years ago.  Yet this is probably the biggest flaw with video – as soon as it’s made – it starts to become out of date.

Worksites change all the time.  There are the big changes, for example, a change of layout or an extension to a depot.  Then there are the smaller changes, a new poster, a gradual build-up of waste materials, a new coffee machine – the minor things no one really notices.  But big or small, all changes contribute to a gradually evolving visual environment which can start to look very different over time.

Creating a professional video – along with a presenter – tends to be a one-off financial hit.  You might spend around 15-20K shooting it – and create a polished induction – but then can’t update it because even the littlest change would involve getting everyone back on site to film again at a high cost.

However, you need to be confident that new visitors entering your site know how to safely navigate their way around – and if the induction is visually out of date – visitors will be digesting incorrect information which could impact on safety.

2/ Video content isn’t layered

Unlike online content, a video can’t be ‘information layered’ – you can’t adjust the content depending on the viewer.  For example, a visitor just wanting to see the welfare facilities won’t need to understand the detailed procedure for clocking in and out of the main worksite.  Sharing that video content would only waste time and possibly cause them to ‘switch off’ altogether.  In contrast, a new employee must see the whole site.  Ideally inductions would be able to adjust the level of content according to the visitor – but with video this just isn’t an option.

An online worksite induction created using different media – imagery, video clips, text – can layer the information and only deliver the layer which suits the viewer.  Increasing both induction efficiency and engagement.

3/ Video is all one-way traffic

When was the last time a video asked you to enter your details?!  Probably never – because it’s not possible for a video to capture data – it can only present information – not collect it.  In contrast, an online worksite induction can present information and capture it in equal measure – furnishing the viewer with worksite knowledge and the induction administrator with critical visitor information.

So, should we be using video for worksite inductions at all?

Yes – but treat it like a media asset, such as an illustration, schematic or image etc.  Use parts of the video and insert them into your induction – but at all costs avoid using one complete video as your entire induction programme – otherwise you’ll watch it ageing almost as soon as it’s created!

More Than 12500 Inductions in 2016

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2016 was an exceptional year for SiteSentinel: the system delivered over 12500 site inductions across work sites in the UK.

The system enjoyed greater than 99.99% uptime and there were no reported performance issues. The number of sites increased, with the latest addition, Willesden, coming on stream in late December.

The SiteSentinel platform provides an online induction, test and administration interface. The system is designed to consistently deliver relevant, high-quality information using text, photos, video and illustrations. SiteSentinel provides an audit trail of site inductions for staff, visitors, and contractors.


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