NZ legislation requires all businesses to have a Health and Safety management system (HSMS). This “system” is not a digital tool but a set of policies, processes, and procedures that combined together ensure the safety of workers and everyone around them. One of the requirements of the HSMS is to actively manage a risk register. The risk register contains a list of all hazards an employee might encounter on the job. Each hazard goes through an assessment process which includes identifying the impact of a hazard, assessing its risk rating, and determining what controls should be placed to minimize the impact, or ideally, completely remove it.
As a H&S product, our goal is to provide a complete set of digital tools to enable our customers to create HSMS. We have seen multiple requests for an easy way to create, manage, and utilize the risk register.
First, we asked our customers to share their existing risk registers with us. We saw a lot of commonalities but still, there were quite a few differences. We decided, in order for us to develop the risk register feature properly, we needed real expert input. We invited four health & safety consultants to participate in a workshop. The goal of it was to find a common ground and see how we can create a “one size fits all” solution.
We ran the following activities:
We walked out with a clear risk register structure and an understanding of how risk registers are being used every day by workers.
We decided to split this whole project into two stages:
After the workshop, I got pen and paper and started sketching the ideas. With paper sketches, it’s easy to share the ideas very quickly, while not getting bogged down with details.
Prior to this project, I created a design pattern library. This library allowed me to move from paper sketches to high-fidelity prototypes very rapidly.
Part 1: Creation of a risk register
Part 2: Allowing to use the risk register within H&S forms
We set up usability sessions with five customers to validate the following:
We had to modify some terminology and adjust the display of the risk matrix. However, the biggest challenge we discovered was on the usage of the risk register within forms. We learned that H&S managers didn’t want to make it too easy for workers to pick hazards. They needed a way for them to stop and think what they are about to do, and most importantly, implement proper controls.
This led us to modifying the view of the picked hazards screen:
This project was the first H&S feature where we worked alongside H&S experts to ensure accuracy and good fit. We formed a great partnership with those experts and were able to go back for constant feedback at every iteration.
The project is not implemented yet and set to be built in Q3 of 2021.