In the latest instalment of our health & safety industry executive interview series, we spoke to Mirashare Director Louise Perryman (pictured) about her company, the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, the opportunity for technology & software and the importance of data…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
The early years were mainly spent developing health & safety software for the Manufacturing and Research divisions of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Sandwich, Kent, who continue to be a major client. Over time we grew our customer base and redesigned the Mirashare EHS system as a cloud-based product, ideally suited to larger organisations in hazardous industries.
Twenty one years on we have Mirashare customers in sectors including life sciences, food, facilities services, construction and energy. In addition, our online learning platform Learnbubble offers a complementary product for building H&S and related induction courses and provides online training for users of Mirashare to facilitate implementation.
Our customers tell us that the main drivers for choosing and staying long term with Mirashare are that it is easy to use at operational and management level, is reliable and has great real-time reporting and charting options across the board. By analysing and acting quickly upon the data gathered (using the Mobile App for hazard reporting for example), accidents can potentially be avoided, lost time reduced and an organisation’s good reputation maintained. The Mirashare service currently offers a choice of 14 different modules, the most popular being Incident Management, Action Tracking, Risk Assessment and Audit/Inspection.
What have been the biggest challenges the Health & Safety industry has faced over the past 12 months?
Covid-19 has presented a tremendous challenge, putting H&S right in the front line. Practitioners know that their instructions to implement appropriate measures in the various work environments will help save lives on a scale they are unlikely to have encountered before. This is quite a heavy load to bear. If everyone can be set up with systems to work safely from home that helps. However, many sectors need their employees to be at their normal place of work, particularly higher risk industries such as manufacturing, construction and waste management.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Ironically Covid-19 has also presented opportunities in that it has raised the profile of H&S. From a software provider’s point of view I would say that some organisations that have managed with a few forms and an excel spreadsheet are now looking to adopt affordable software designed to help them do their jobs more effectively through things like mobile data capture, instant trend analysis and tracking of actions to make sure issues are fixed fast.
What is the biggest priority for the Health & Safety industry in 2021?
Same as always – keep people as safe as you can. Continuous improvement is a term that’s been around for a long time but it’s one I believe in. Covid-19 will continue to dominate as everyone struggles to keep up with legislation changes, meaning that online systems which facilitate speedy Risk Assessment version release and dissemination are valuable assets.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2021?
More lone working with emphasis on the individual. More use of internet enabled mobile systems to handle updates ‘in the field’.
Then at the other extreme, for the large organisations ever greater integration of data across the piece, including increased links to HR and issues around mental health.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this coming year?
Probably still Mobile tech.
In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?
More robotics in high risk situations and to assist with rescue.
More use of AI for monitoring and to assist with decision making.
Increasing use of virtual 3D learning.
Which person in, or associated with, the Health & Safety industry would you most like to meet?
Dr Andrew Sharman, President of IOSH until a few days ago.
I attended a Health and Safety seminar in Amsterdam a few years ago, with which he was closely involved.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Health & Safety sector?
That it’s not boring, it’s about saving lives and the environment. Its serious stuff that needs to be done right.
You go to the bar at the Occupational Safety & Health Forum – what’s your tipple of choice?
Depends on my mood, but if cocktails are on offer, definitely a mojito.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
Reading thank you emails and comments sent to the staff who have helped customers implement and support our systems.
AND the fact that every day is different.
And what’s the most challenging?
Choosing the right priorities
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
‘A stitch in time saves nine’, from my grandmother. Catch it early – that’s why I’m so keen on our mobile hazard reporting App.