SiteDocs is a paperless documentation system that was developed in 2012 with the construction and civil engineering industry in mind. It provides a platform for digital forms and resource documents for compliance reviews and confirmation via signature. Once signed the document arrives at a desktop platform, in a similar way that an email would. All data is stored on a cloud-based server as part of the service package.
Spectrum was a relatively late adopter of the technology. Starting in 2017 there was an industry initiative to collaborate safety data digitally, between
reforestation companies, to better target safety issues. This initiative is still underway, with a free platform through EHS Analytics. The drawbacks with this system include the shared data with competitors as well as the need to align the Spectrum reporting process with that of other silviculture companies.
In spring 2019, after several months of researching paperless documentation systems, I proposed a trial run with SiteDocs. There were several core goals and considerations behind that decision:
- Remove barriers to reporting by using a device that the majority of workers have access to.
- Reduce bulky files and manuals.
- Reduce costs associated with paper files, printing and preparation and the waste associated with obsolete documents.
- Increase document and version control.
- Meet regulatory requirements for access to manuals, Safety Data Sheets and forms.
- Increase accuracy of reporting, such as required fields and consistency of names.
- Improve data entry and storage systems.
- Modernize systems in line with other companies and clients.
Initially I rolled the system out to select departments but still had a great deal of work to do to digitize all of our forms and populate the resources section to enable access to manuals and regulations that are required to be on site. Job locations had to be created, employee details entered, passwords set and contact information collated.
The system offers some analytics data, so after three months I assessed the usage and pushed forward with expanded access across the company. Integration goals were set over the remainder of 2019 and after 12 months we had approximately half of safety documentation in a paperless format.
The SiteDocs system has presented some challenges for a seasonal company with fluctuating staffing requirements. We also have some strict privacy of information laws in British Columbia that impact our data access decisions. Overall, a paperless documentation system is a great tool for meeting regulatory requirements and managing data. Crews now have several binders’ worth of safety information and the ability to document their required tasks without the bulk of binders in a work truck.