Digital health and safety record keeping – The pros and pitfalls

To minutes of health and safety meetings to accident reports, there is an array of documentation that must be maintained and kept in order to meet statutory requirements. Keeping records digitally makes sense but what are the pros and the pitfalls of digital document storage?



Embracing the digital age

More and more businesses are moving towards a complete digitalised way of working which when it comes to health and safety record keeping can be good news, but it can also have its downsides.

What are the pros of electronic health and safety record keeping?

There are numerous advantages to a digitised record-keeping system, especially in relation to health and safety;

  • Improved compliance – a digital system can alert users when documents are in need of being renewed, excellent when assessment, training and audits must be completed and remain current to show your compliance.
  • Improved staff efficiency – with information stored electronically, it saves time searching for key pieces of information.
  • Improved audits – with information and documents easily found audits are improved as key information e.g. who performed the audit etc. are kept secure and accessible.
  • Better organisation – information can be stored and accessed via several different routes including alphabetically, chronologically and so on.
  • Ease to retrieve key documents – documents can be accessed and retrieved from a number of sites, depending on the type of system you operate.
  • Trend analysis – again, depending on the system you use, it is possible to group data in certain categories, meaning that being able to see the overall picture relating to certain kinds of incidents etc. is easier to gauge.
  • Space-saving – fewer paper documents means physical space in the office or archive is freed for other use.

What about the pitfalls of digital health and safety record keeping?

Whilst the many benefits of digital record keeping are undeniable, there are, as you would expect, issues with what many see as a system that could potentially be open to disadvantages;

  • Security – hardly a day goes by without some kind of data breach or hack. Are digital health and safety records safe?
  • Training – bespoke software and systems are all well and good but they can be complicated to the untrained and unfamiliar eye. Training is clearly an issue in terms of both time and cost.
  • Superusers – this is when a small number of people are the ones who become familiar with a software system. Unfortunately, when they leave the company or retire, they take these skills with them. stopping ‘superusers’ from occurring means making sure a wide band of people are trained and using the system.
  • Downtime – technological mishaps and drop time are problematic, meaning that maintaining record can be problematic during such times.
  • Cost – from buying the system to upgrades, to training, there are cost implications although it could be argued this is an initial investment.

Is digital health and safety record keeping the right move for your business?

How can we help you?

If you are in need of assistance with any aspect of Health and Safety management, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions or are looking for advice and support to maintain standards, call 01484 666160 or Email and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.



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Steve Kilburn
Steve Kilburn
I initially trained as an industrial chemist working in a variety of manufacturing environments eventually moving into quality management which grew to encompass environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. I hold a Masters Degree in Health and Safety law and Environmental Law and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Waste Management and I am a Graduate Level Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). In my spare time I enjoy reading, my favourite author is Stephen King, and listening to music, generally from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
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