Workplace injuries can be tracked, predicted, and prevented with the right tools, including the right safety software programs. The best software packages include advanced features, such as multi-level security, archiving capability, customization options, cost-tracking analysis, a built-in OSHA recordability test, and a graphing and reporting engine. Most companies find that these advanced features pay for themselves in convenience and ensured accuracy.

The first step in purchasing software is to identify which features will meet your record keeping and reporting needs. Second, determine which of these programs are compatible with your existing hardware and software systems. For example, consider whether you’ll need network and/or multi-facility versions.

Below is a checklist based on the software features most requested by safety professionals. This checklist will help you compare the costs of different packages and determine which features and additional services are most important to your organization. To compare features on competing products, download or print a copy of this list from www.RMSsystems.com/EHSsoftware.htm.

Selection checklist

Vendor information Name of company: Name of software program: Is there a demo available? How long have they been in business? Have any independent or third parties reviewed/evaluated the program? How many customers do they have? List a few.

Software configurations & system requirements How many people will be accessing the program at one time? How many facilities will need this program? What are the minimum system requirements?

Features

Security Can I secure sensitive data (for example personal employee information)? Can I determine who accessed the program, when they accessed it, and what data was changed?

Customization Can I create user-defined fields within the program? Can I generate reports that will include the user-defined fields?

Graphs & reports Can I produce the OSHA 200 Log & 101 Report? Will the OSHA 300 Log be available when released by OSHA? Can I generate my state-specific First Report of Injury Form? Can I generate 3-dimensional graphs to illustrate my data? Can I produce cost reports that compare costs by department, facility, etc.? If I have to generate weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports/graphs, can I save my settings? Can I send reports via e-mail?

Tracking & analysis Can track multiple lost & restricted days? Can I track injury, illness, first aid, and near miss incidents? Can I identify unsafe work conditions? Can I identify recurring employee incidents? Can I record any corrective actions associated with an incident? Can I track incidents by employee, job title, department, facility, etc.?

Importing data If I have an existing database, can I import my data into the software program?

Archiving Can I archive old records, removing them from the program’s active database and reports?

Searching If I have a lot of records in my database, can I search for information by department, employee, etc.?

Training Are training sessions such as phone training or on-site training available?

Technical support What if I need technical support?

Total cost What is the overall cost to purchase this software package?

Notes/comments

Information provided by RMS Systems, Inc. RMS Systems can be reached at P.O. Box 480482, Denver, CO 80248-0482 or by phone: (888) 766-0220, fax: (303) 297-1907 or e-mail: info@RMSsystems.com.