Overcoming the paper obstacle

Posted on November 17, 2021

Municipality of Lakeshore continues their digital transformation journey with the Univerus Health & Safety solution

For any organisation that needs to keep track of their employees' health and safety requirements, wading through paper files has long been a barrier to efficiency, accuracy and compliance. The Municipality of Lakeshore in Ontario, Canada, was no exception.

Lakeshore is a Municipality on Lake St. Clair, in Essex County. It comprises the communities of Belle River, Comber, Deerbrook, Elmstead, Emeryville, Haycroft, Lighthouse Cove, North Woodslee, Pike Creek, Pleasant Park, Puce, Ruscom Station, South Woodslee, St. Joachim, Stoney Point, and Strangfield, as well as the far eastern section of Tecumseh. It provides a range of community services, including Water Services & Billing.

The challenge of keeping track

We recently spoke with Kyle Davis, the Municipality of Lakeshore's Water Compliance Coordinator, to get his insights into the kind of pain points his department was facing, and what led them to seek out a digital solution.

"The largest obstacle in our industry for our operations is the paper aspect of things," he explained. "And keeping track of our documentation - visibility, who has access to them - and having to go through hundreds of file folders in person or trying to pull pieces here and there out of our network for tagged inspections."

Like many other organisations, the Municipality of Lakeshore was keen to investigate the digital alternative - was there a solution that could pull all employee documentation into one place and keep track? Kyle had his eye on future developments. "It’s an ever changing industry, it never gets easier or cheaper to do anything and that’s why digital solutions can help," he says.

Univerus Health & Safety solution opens up mobile capabilities

The Univerus Health & Safety solution is designed to help organisations to quickly on-board employees through easy access to training materials, policies, procedures and competency tests. It includes a full suite of web and mobile applications to support health & safety programs, ensuring everything is properly recorded and tracked.

When the Municipality of Lakeshore brought the Univerus Health & Safety solution on board, they weren't just going digital, they also created mobile opportunities.

"The Univerus Health & Safety can be uploaded on each person’s smartphone," says Kyle. "Anytime they need to find a PDF or other form while they're out in the field, they can pull it from there."

Kyle goes on to say that, especially for his teams in the water department, the solution ensures that their legal and controlled documents are kept in order, tracked, and made accessible for those who need them.

"We do annual inspections for the province, we have four municipal drinking water systems that get inspected independently every year," Kyle explains. "Inspections can take a month to do, so it’s nice to be able to keep all of the information in one place to go back to. Drinking water systems are given a file during inspection time and they ask for literal gigabytes of data. With this system, I can either transfer it to the water system or download it, and be able to track it for that year."

Ease of use and improved visibility

For Kyle's team, one of the most significant advantages of the solution is how easy it is to use. "It's simple to see and control the documents," he says. "Anybody at any time can go online and find what they need, whether it be regulations, whether it be fillable forms, whatever they need to do in their day-to-day."

Kyle goes on to say that the solution has simplified their processes, because they've been able to do away with paper files and control everything through a digital approach. "Instead of me keeping file folders upon file folders of standard forms for people to fill out, I just go to the computer, pull up the form they need and either have them fill it out there or notify them," he says. "And, instead of me having meetings every month or every week with operators to give them 15 minutes of on the job training, I can set up training modules within Univerus Health & Safety to have my operators complete."

Looking ahead, Kyle is keen to emphasise that they're keen to exploit the solution's potential to the fullest. "I know it has a lot more to offer, especially for what we’ve been using it here for in the past," he explains. "I believe it can take us further, so that is promising. For municipalities like ours, this solution is phenomenal, it’s exactly what they need."

If you'd like to learn more about how the Univerus Health & Safety solution can streamline your employees' health and safety documentation, we'd be delighted to start a discussion.