Gallagher introduces voice-operated risk assessment app

Insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting firm Gallagher has introduced RiskTalk: a user-friendly, voice-operated risk assessment app designed to help UK businesses cut down on the time and expense of undertaking workplace safety assessments and benefit from increased reporting reliability.

The Health and Safety app helps businesses to perform fast and efficient risk assessments and manage the risks posed on site to the health, safety and welfare of their employees and visitors to their premises.

The app allows end users to record observations and report hazards by simply speaking into their phone or a tablet device, thereby removing the need for completing lengthy paperwork. Through a set of prescribed questions, RiskTalk guides users through the process of assessing and identifying risks present in the work environment and detailing how they will control them.

RiskTalk also makes the process much easier for managers to review risk assessments. Users can take photos in-app and send recorded voice memos straight to a cloud storage system, with managers able to approve assessments by using a voice sign-off feature. 

Reports can be generated via the app, thereby avoiding the need for a lengthy data entry process which can then be converted to PDF files if hard copies are required. In-built speech recognition technology can understand and process recordings in 220 languages, ensuring accessibility for a wide range of users.

All entries are time, date and author stamped – making it easy (in the case of a Health and Safety-related incident) to locate risk assessments and prove that they were completed in full prior to the event occurring.

The app works offline, allowing users to conduct risk assessments and store data while working in areas with limited or no network coverage.

Time commitment

Undertaking risk assessments is a significant time commitment for businesses. Research commissioned by Gallagher and conducted last month among 200 UK firms found that one-in-two companies (ie 49%) are concerned they’re not carrying out risk assessments thoroughly enough to protect their organisation, employees and clients, which potentially leaves them without a strong defence in the event of legal actions, insurance claims and Health and Safety Executive enforcement action.

Cost was highlighted as another frustration among businesses regarding the completion of risk assessments. Over two-fifths of firms (ie 45%) feel that completing risk assessments is an expensive process, costing their business an average of £1,500 per annum. This could be due to paying wages for employees undertaking assessments or for contractors who need to be paid to conduct them.

Neil Hodgson, managing director of risk management at Gallagher, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing this innovative risk assessment tool to UK businesses. It’s easy to use, makes the process of undertaking risk assessments quicker and more reliable and businesses will benefit from increased peace of mind that, in the event of an incident, they’re more likely to have a robust defence. This is particularly important when you take into account the fact that 50% of UK firms are unsure as to whether they’re completing the risk assessment process correctly.”

Hodgson added: “Evidence of risk assessments carried out and the steps taken to mitigate any identified risks can be crucial in the defence of an insurance claim for personal injury or illness, or intervention by the Health and Safety Executive or another regulatory authority. Penalties can be significant. Over £250 million worth of fines have been paid by businesses across all industries to the Health and Safety Executive over the last five years alone for non-compliance with regulations, with the average fine costing £135,000.”

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