Health and Safety download with . . . . Ben Woodruff
2 October 2017 - Sarah Todd
Ben leads a team of Business Development Managers who work closely with businesses across the globe to understand their health and safety challenges and the ways in which SHE Software can help improve their safety performance.
Find out more about Ben’s role, his background, and why organisations need to take health and safety seriously.
Ben, tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in Liverpool with my partner Stuart. We are currently in the process of buying a new house, which is really exciting! I also love to travel, from jumping in the car to explore somewhere new for a weekend break or saving the pennies to visit the 25 countries I have currently on my bucket list.
I joined SHE Software in 2014, after spending a number of years working in the software industry. Joining as a Business Development Manager, I was promoted to Head of Business Development earlier in 2017.
What is your role at SHE Software?
My role is Head of Business Development, responsible for the New Business team and all of the new clients we bring on board.
We are a very busy team, who travel the globe meeting prospective clients to develop an understanding of their businesses and safety challenges, and deliver a solution that will help improve their safety culture, performance and compliance.
What does a typical day look like?
There isn’t one! I love the fact that no one day is the same and I get to speak to so many interesting health and safety professionals across a number of sectors – all with very different challenges and aspirations.
Why do organisations need to take health and safety seriously?
No matter what size an organisation is or where they are based, they are ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of their employees and contractors. A disengaged workforce, deprioritising safety, poor training compliance and incomplete paper trails and records could be putting employers, employees and the public at serious risk.
The consequences of not having strong safety compliant culture and performance are significant – from workplace, near misses to incidents and injuries to fatalities. There is still a way to go to shift certain attitudes on the critical role health and safety plays across industry. Rather than turning a blind eye, organisations need to be committed and have a defined process in place to protect employees and themselves
What would you say, is the biggest safety challenge that organisations are facing?
Training is one of the biggest risks faced across industry. Employers need to know their staff are trained, when the training was completed and resolve any non-compliances quickly. If a company is unaware that an employee misses or doesn’t complete training and they are subsequently injured, in line with 2016 Sentencing Guidelines the company is at risk of fines up to £10m and possible custodial sentence(s).
The era of handing out paper-based materials in the hope that employees will read and comply is not acceptable.
How can health and safety software help protect an organisations bottom line?
With fines in excess of millions of pounds already issued, the enforcement of the revised sentencing guidelines will no doubt be a firm fixture in the legal landscape moving forward. One breach, could result in significant fines and have detrimental financial and reputational consequences.
Moving away from traditional management and reporting systems towards a digital cloud-based approach could be the answer for many organisations in improving their safety performance and utlimately protecting their bottom line.
Real time reporting and data analytics driven from an employee accessible web or mobile platform not only drives tangible financial and time saving value in ensuring compliance of training programmes and recording of incidents, but can also provide invaluable insights to help improve business continuity and identify potential incidents at an early stage before they become breaches.
Going back to the basics of human psychology – if you make a process simple and straightforward then an individual is more likely to complete it. Moving away from manual reporting and countless spreadsheet versions into a unified system, not only adds consistency across an organisation but also plays crucial role in helping managers understand where they need to concentrate their efforts.
With the right resources, culture and data analytics organisations can build and embed an effective and scalable health and safety strategy.
How would people describe you in three words?
Approachable, Driven and Fun.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I actually have too many of these from being an anorak when it comes to planes to the Spice Girls. You could say I hale from a pretty broad church.
Where is your favourite travel destination, where would you like to visit?
Iceland (not the supermarket!). I studied geology at University and have always wanted to see the mid ocean rift plus the Northern Lights look pretty spectacular.
Last question! If you could have any superpower or be any superhero for the day, what would it be and why?
I would absolutely want to fly to try and live my childhood dream of being an airline Pilot!!
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