Heriot Watt University increases visibility and scope across health and safety processes

Heriot Watt University increases visibility and scope across health and safety processes

Recognising the market-leading technology capabilities and expertise Alcumus delivers, Heriot-Watt University has partnered with Alcumus since 2014 to implement a digital health and safety system. 

Founded in 1821, Heriot-Watt has a rich heritage and is valued for its pioneering research informed by the global needs of business and industry. The university hosts over 7,000 students and prides itself on being one of the leading universities in the UK.

Before they implemented a digital health and safety process, the victim of an accident would complete a paper form that would then be sent to their local safety officer to review and add comments. This would then have to be passed to their health and safety team as a physical document. As a result, the time it took to complete this process could range from a few days to a few weeks and there were often times where the paper forms would be lost.

A similar, cumbersome process was involved with the security teams at the university. If an incident happened, the team had to search through over 50 paper forms to find the right one to complete and then pass to various people.

As a result of this, the visibility of the accidents and incidents across the university was poor, the paper forms resulted in a duplication of effort and there were delayed response times.

Starting in 2014, Heriot-Watt decided to digitise their processes. Dr Lorraine Russell, Health & Safety Manager commented that “students are constantly on their phones, so using the new technology means we have direct access to communicate with them.”

The software platform enabled Heriot-Watt to have the right information, in the right place and at the right time which is imperative to the immediate response to any accidents or incidents.

It enabled them to save time as they had the functionality to report accident rates and trends at the touch of a button, something that would normally take Lorraine and her team weeks to complete. The use of remote forms means that everyone has access to the system instantly, improving the data collection to all.

Since implementing the system, Heriot-Watt have extended their use to include travel declarations. This was a key feature for Lorraine when students were caught up in the terrorist attack that took place in Strasbourg in December 2018. They were able to locate all their students within 20 minutes and communicate with them to ensure they were safe.  Historically, this was something that would have previously taken up to 48 hours to complete when they didn’t have a digitised solution to enable this.

Further information for universities

Alcumus is now supporting almost 20 universities across the UK with their EHSQ management, including Staffordshire University, AMRC University of Sheffield and the University of Strathclyde.

While the need to manage risk is widely recognised within businesses, it is also just as important and a growing priority in the academic world, with many colleges and Universities rethinking how they look at risk.

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A guide to strengthening risk management processes in higher education

You will learn:

  • Challenges facing higher education
  • Health, safety and wellbeing
  • Data security and remote learning

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