Audits, Occupational Safety

The only way is app: How Veltec increased incident management reports by 70%

Veltec GmbH & Co.KG

8 minutes 10/14/2021

When Thomas Arnold was appointed Head of EHSQ at Veltec in 2018, he faced the challenge of standardizing health and safety operations across five company locations and more than 30 external construction sites. Previously, duplicated data recorded in different files had resulted in inconsistent datasets, additional work and confusing list-based chaos. Arnold’s mission was clear: he needed to centralize and cleanse EHS data, standardize data recording processes, and make tasks and procedures concerning occupational safety more convenient and practical – in offices, in power plants, at chemical facilities and on construction sites.  

He procured the Quentic software platform to help him, starting with the Health & Safety module. However, Thomas Arnold’s responsibilities aren’t the only things to have changed since then – over the course of three years, his Quentic solution has grown, module by module, into a central solution covering all of his duties as Head of EHSQ at Veltec. He values the software’s mobile functionality, standardized and central data collection, and transparent document management processes – as well as the flexibility it gives him to put his own ideas into practice and adapt to specific cases. Using a combination of the Quentic platform and the Quentic app, Thomas Arnold has successfully reinforced Veltec’s safety culture, carried out efficient digital audits, and added consistency and transparency to EHSQ processes across locations and in different fields. 

Thomas Arnold

“In the past, we didn’t have many accident book entries or near-miss reports because the process of filling in paper forms was far too cumbersome. We use Quentic to create reporting forms that employees can access on their smartphone via QR codes, without having to log in to the app. This has enabled us to increase the number of reports we receive by 70%.”

Thomas Arnold, Head of EHSQ, Veltec

About Veltec GmbH & Co. KG

Veltec GmbH & Co. KG is a leading European specialist in technical services for the process and power plant industries. Working with its customers in a spirit of partnership, Veltec ensures the short-term and long-term productivity and availability of industrial plants of all sizes and degrees of complexity. It offers services ranging from predictive maintenance, system overhauls and replacing equipment to services for automation and EMSR systems, plus renovation, modernization, dismantling and structural steelwork engineering. Veltec is also an experienced partner to the nuclear industry, supporting the safe operation, smooth maintenance and secure dismantling of nuclear facilities. Safety and quality are therefore firmly anchored in Veltec’s DNA – as the company’s numerous accreditations and certifications demonstrate. Veltec holds ISO 14001 (Environment), ISO 50001 (Energy), ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 45001 (Health and Safety) certifications.

Veltec achieves success using the following Quentic modules:

  • Health & Safety

  • Online Instructions

  • Incidents & Observations

  • Hazardous Chemicals

  • Risks & Audits

  • Control of Work

  • Legal Compliance

  • Environment

Clear overview of employee qualifications

When Thomas Arnold first introduced the Quentic Health & Safety module in 2018, his main goal was to gain an overview of employees’ training and qualification levels across all locations in a central, standardized platform. Veltec deploys its workforce to provide services to clients in various industries throughout Germany. At the start of a new project, he needs to be able to access crystal-clear details of each employee’s qualifications and what training they have completed. Duplicated lists, uncoordinated occupational health check-up records and inconsistent data made his work exceptionally tricky. However, thanks to Quentic, Arnold, other managers and employees can now access this up-to-date overview in a matter of clicks. If a project requires employees with specific additional qualifications, managers at all sites can search for exactly the right employees and arrange their deployment with ease. This saves time, conserves resources, and helps to ensure targeted employee training – both in person and online. Online training was a huge support to Veltec during the pandemic, because it ensured that employees never missed training sessions. The company’s ability to convey vital information and provide training and instruction meant that its clients’ sites never came to a standstill.

Thomas Arnold

“For HR managers and our clients, it’s very helpful to be able to access all the information we need about employees in a single system – from risk assessments and occupational health check-ups to their current level of training and instruction.”

Thomas Arnold, Head of EHSQ, Veltec

Risk assessments – a top priority

The Quentic Health & Safety module makes it easy to carry out the seven steps of risk assessments – and the Quentic app provides further support. Thomas Arnold always takes his iPad with him when visiting a new construction site so that he can document any hazards then and there. He can detail the necessary safety measures while on site or add them later from his office PC. After that, he can finish the process with a click of the mouse, with the assessment sent directly to all relevant recipients. “The beauty is that we don’t have to print everything out anymore; there’s no running around collecting signatures. We do that through the Quentic workflow, which sends everything to the relevant people for approval. Even the Works Council is on the mailing list, so they’re always kept up to date,” explains Arnold. Work that might once have taken him a day or two is now complete in just a few minutes.

Flexible, mobile audits

The Risks & Audits module enables Veltec to handle between 35 and 40 audits per year. In order to retain its many ISO certifications, the company must carry out internal audits for standard chapters within the three-year validity period. Thomas Arnold has therefore compiled extensive question catalogs in the Risks & Audits Module, including corresponding sub-catalogs for certain managers. This enables the company’s management to respond to questions about the company’s organizational structure and context, and helps site managers to answer operational and process-related questions in detail. The quality management officers in Arnold’s team draw up an annual plan for internal audits, draft the audits based on one or more catalogs, and then forward them to Arnold for approval. All key stakeholders are invited to audit appointments in Quentic directly. Instead of a pad, pens and lists of questions, all the lead auditor needs is an iPad, as the audit team works through the questions on site. If further clarification is required, they can easily add further questions, skip irrelevant topics or enter comments. After the visit, the auditor can add further content and finalize the audit in the Quentic platform. “Most of the time, I actually finalize the audit during the visit,” says Arnold. “This means that the auditee receives the final report during our meeting, I can sign everything off on my tablet and send the documents to all stakeholders with a couple of clicks.” In the case of external audits, it is the external auditor who poses questions and produces all documentation. Nevertheless, Thomas Arnold transfers the action items into Quentic so that all measures can be forwarded on to Veltec management directly.

Incident management: 70% more reports

Veltec employees don’t need individual logins to the Quentic app to report critical incidents or near-misses. Instead, they can simply scan QR codes with their own smartphones, and can choose to anonymize their reports if they prefer. The codes are linked to forms that Thomas Arnold and his team have configured for various applications. Any employee can fill out these forms in just a few steps. The laborious process of filling out paper reports – which would sometimes disappear into a desk drawer, never to be seen again – is now consigned to history. The system collects all reports centrally and directly notifies managers, who can then begin to analyze the causes and derive safety measures right away. The speed and simplicity of this process has led to a 70% increase in near-miss reports at Veltec over recent years. The newly established culture of safety and reporting is a fundamental part of the company’s efforts to prevent accidents and analyze hazards. Consequently, QR codes are now ubiquitous at Veltec – across every location, on every building site, and in the document folders for every project.

  • Thanks to the quick and uncomplicated reporting process with Quentic, Veltec has seen a 70% increase in near miss reports over the past few years. | © Veltec GmbH & Co.KG

Enabling smartphones to talk to accident books

The company has also affixed QR codes to its first-aid boxes. Whether it’s at a Veltec location or on a client’s premises, whenever an employee takes anything from the box, they simply scan the code and record the injury. Thanks to mobile reporting, minor injuries that would not have been reported previously – such as tick bites and small cuts – are consistently recorded. If an employee’s health insurance provider requests information from Veltec, perhaps regarding an occupational illness, the company can see straight away which accidents have occurred during certain activities – even if the employee in question has left the company since. If certain injuries occur repeatedly at a given location, Thomas Arnold can investigate the relevant practices and processes before working with managers and employees to implement improvements.  

However, Thomas Arnold’s creativity doesn’t end with first-aid boxes. In a recent development, QR codes have been added inside all of Veltec’s company cars. This enables employees to report small incidents directly.

Reporting in the blink of an eye

EHSQ issues are a key priority for Veltec’s executive management. Arnold provides a weekly report to managers, outlining the current status of accident rates, training and audits. The company’s operational director also consults the software solution on a regular basis, asking detailed questions of his Head of EHSQ. “I can now use preset filters to generate figures in 15 minutes that would once have taken me a day’s work,” explains Arnold.

The company has been recognized on numerous occasions for its work on occupational safety. With the focus now on continuing this trend of improvement, further Quentic projects are already in the pipeline. “We are currently considering documenting responsibilities for tools and materials digitally in Quentic and migrating our occupational healthcare records into the software solution,” says Arnold.

EHSQ building blocks: Modules for every task

In addition to Health & Safety, Online Instructions, Risks & Audits and the Quentic App, Veltec also uses other Quentic modules to bring all its EHSQ management activities together in a single, central platform.  

The Environment module enables Veltec to keep an eye on its electricity, gas and water consumption and costs at all times. The digital register of hazardous chemicals available in the Hazardous Chemicals module also promotes safety in the company. In addition, the Legal Compliance module sets out standards and requirements. The Quentic solution automatically compares the legal inventory against an online database of legal texts to keep it up to date. “In the past, we had certain employees dedicated to that task alone,” recalls Arnold. “But that’s no longer necessary.” He can now identify each department’s legal obligations and organize technical inspections with ease. Veltec recently added the Control of Work module to its portfolio in an effort to gain a clearer overview of change management.

What Veltec particularly values about Quentic:

  • Complete solution for all EHSQ tasks

  • Employees across all locations integrated in one system through QR codes, smartphone app and desktop platform

  • Flexible, mobile audit management

  • Efficient collaboration in all areas of EHSQ, both internally and externally

  • Huge time savings on administrative tasks

  • Centralized, up-to-date data storage and access, including remotely

  • Analyses at the touch of a button and effortless report generation

  • Legally secure document management

  • Liability risk minimized and legal security improved

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