Putting Paperless to Practice (1)

First day in a previous role, I died just looking at the cupboards stacked with paperwork I had just inherited from the retiring safety director. How do we have this much paper? It’s amazing how common this is in so many workplaces. Even in 2022.
Published on
September 26, 2022


This is the first issue of my rebranded newsletter called Digitising Safety. It is basically me sharing what I have done over the years and still do to digitise my work in health and safety. Many of what we do is still manual and paper based even in large organisations. But we can be proactive and work with what we have rather than wait for senior leadership or IT. I will show you how over a series of newsletters I will sent out in the next few months.

Just before we get started….

Let’s do a little housekeeping… ⤵️

Reading online? Jump to next session titled Is it just me? 😁

Reading via email? Remember my newsletter I sent out last year titled Digital Dose? Well I have decided to start writing again afresh and with a different approach. I’m sending them to just you and others who signed up for digital dose, or to test my soon to launch software or attended one of my digitisation challenges. If you will rather not get these newsletters, please use the unsubscribe button at the bottom of this email.

Now, let’s get down to business. 😎

Is it just me?

First day in a previous role, I died just looking at the cupboards stacked with paperwork I had just inherited from the retiring safety director.

How do we have this much paper?

It’s amazing how common this is in so many workplaces. Even in 2022.

The safety department is usually waiting to get digitised, a little digital here and there or never. While all other departments are basking in the euphoria of streamlined and digital processes and system.

Let me paint a likely scenario…

There is a Return to Work Assessment waiting to be completed and signed by relevant parties.

Matthew: Prints. Completes it. Signs. Scans and emails to Lee or places it on Lee’s desk. Waiting for Lee to sign and forward to Saima to sign.

Lee: Prints it. Signs, and scans, then sends it to Saima. Basically repeats what Matthew had to do — this could possibly take days to finally get done.

Saima: Prints, signs, and scans, then sends it to….

The cycle continues and it could take days or even weeks for it to be completed.

Apart from the obvious loss of time and chasing up that would be done to get these signatures, there is the risk of the scanned document left on anyone’s desk, getting lost or binned, and restarting this cycle.

Some even go as far as printing out an email, to scan and save as PDF 🤦‍♀️. There is really no need to do this!

Ironically, at the bottom of the email is the declaration that you are an environmentally friendly company with advice not to print the email unless necessary.

In this newsletter, I am going to share simple and effective ways you can reduce or eliminate paper. That is, effectively Putting Paperless to Practice.

But why?


  1. You are wasting precious time.
    Time is money, why waste it? When Matthew sends the document to Lee and asks him to sign and forward it to Saima, he is inadvertently starting an email trail that will very likely take weeks to end.
  2. You are wasting paper.
    Contrary to your declaration that you are an environmentally friendly company, you are wasting paper, resources, and creating unnecessary stack of paper and waste.
  3. You are killing productivity and affecting compliance.
    Imagine having to repeat the scenario above on most days and can’t move to the next stage because you are waiting for a signature. Or that you need to keep records in hardcopy. This means tasks get delayed and can’t be completed as quickly as possible. Before your team is able to roam through the filing cabinet or go over a stack of papers, the day is already gone. Plus getting to compliance will be a lot longer and slower opening you up to additional legal risks.


There are easy ways to save you these headaches without spending money on expensive software or tools.

The one thing you can do…

Create a digital strategy for managing your processes.

This will allow you go paperless by using digital alternatives.

Let’s go back to that Return to Work Assessment Matthew, Lee & Saima needs to sign.

Did you know? 👇

You could build an in-house tool or get a readymade software or tool to complete the assessment and collect signatures from all parties in a short amount of time rather than printing, signing, scanning and sending to the next who repeats this vicious cycle. Flocrunch (my soon-to-launch software) is designed to solve problems like this.

Tools like Flocrunch can be used to complete the assessment, notify the person or persons required to review and sign, and even send reminders reminding of deadlines or when overdue. This helps automate the process and saves time.

You can even set the flow, once started, to be completed within a specified period (for example, 72 hours) and requires ZERO PAPER nor PRINTING. This also ensures everyone knows the timing, get automatic reminders, and they do not have to be manually chased for a signature or to complete an important document.

No software? Hmmm…

You can either…

Switch to digital signature and eradicate printing as much as possible. The downside to this, is, it could take longer due to manually getting involved.

First, you should have your signature saved digitally to save you having to draw it each time you need to sign. If you use a MacBook, it will be saved after your first use of it under the annotate tool.

Some platforms ask you to use the mouse to sign. This doesn’t work for me. It ends up distorting my signature.

Some ask you to use your finger to draw on a screen. Perfect if you encounter this.

👉 If you don’t have a signature already, sign boldly onto a plain sheet of paper (ironic 😅), take a picture, crop it and save to your PC or folder or cloud drive where you can easily access it from when you need it.

Or use an external digital platform to e-sign documents.

I use signaturely.

There are numerous other electronic signature platforms out there. You can upload a document and it gets sent to the person whose signature is required. Once their signature is submitted, you get notified. No need to download before signing, and certainly no need to print!

Did you find value in this tip? Please share it!

Flocrunch Update…

Errr…. What’s that?

My invention. 😁

In my 13 years as a safety professional working across various sectors and on some pretty large corporations, one thing that stood out was the lack of digital systems and processes for managing safety. Like the scenario described above.

Work and important tasks also tend to escape us.

❎ This happens because we are too busy with admin, visiting sites or other tasks and there is no streamlined way to track or keep on top of things.

I created Flocrunch to solve a problem I faced in my work as a safety professional. A problem common to many safety professionals.

Flocrunch will help safety professionals/teams/departments go digital, embrace technology and as a result improve compliance and become more effective, efficient and productive without breaking the bank.

The revolution starts now!✊

For more details and to join the waitlist of prospective users and supporters, click the below 👇.


Here’s the short of it.

✅ Replace paper based processes with digital alternatives by:

  1. Building an in-house solution or get a software with workflow functionality OR
  2. Use of digital signatures — create one by signing on a plain sheet of paper, take a picture then crop and save for future use or using e-signature platforms like signaturely.

✅ I’m building a software called flocrunch.io to help safety teams go digital. You’re invited to visit that link and join the launch waitlist.

Next week…

I will be sharing the 2nd in the Putting Paperless to Practice Series showing how to digitise a paper-based process and use it to collect and analyse data that further informs how your company is performing safety-wise, without spending a penny. I will show you exactly how I did this for an international corporation that had zero safety systems and of course zero digitised safety processes.

You don’t want to miss it. Invite a friend to subscribe and receive juicy content to their inbox.

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