Why do spreadsheets cause non-compliance issues for construction companies?
According to the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, where a machine or tool has a log, it must be kept up to date and maintained to an acceptable standard.
As a business grows, so does the size of its spreadsheets. Whilst smaller sheets are fairly easy to manage, the larger they grow the more room there is for confusion and error. Because spreadsheets rely on data input, there is considerable scope for human error in particular, with 55% of spreadsheet users rarely catching errors in spreadsheets they use.
These mistakes can often lead to inaccurate reports and audits that could leave a company liable for any incidents that occur due to poor upkeep of their spreadsheet. Almost 90% of large spreadsheets contain errors, meaning that there is an increased risk that incorrect or outdated information could be used. Not only is this inefficient, it is unsafe.
A spreadsheet is able to store information such as tool certification dates, however it cannot alert you to when these tools need renewing. On top of this, it cannot store a data log, so once new data is entered, it overwrites any previous information and all historical data disappears, meaning that companies aren’t able to check or provide logs of this data in lawsuits or investigations.
This can lead to a number of issues such as: fines (due to tools that aren’t certified), employee accidents, and lost or stolen equipment that hasn’t been properly recorded. Without an automated system that is fully trackable, your company becomes fully liable for any accidents or incidents that you haven’t recorded to an acceptable standard. This can be extremely costly, particularly when a lack of traceable data puts your company in violation of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.