We spoke with tech startup founder, Dr Sue Bahn, about the story of Tap into Safety, their three year old health and safety app.

Hello! What’s your background, and what is your business?

Tap into Safety are all about keeping workers physically and mentally safe. We have two patented software solutions developed from proven university research: Hazard Insight (hazard perception training) and All of Me (preventative mental health).

Customers use Hazard Insight at recruitment, to complement safety inductions and as refresher training (e.g. pre-starts). All of Me provides critical data on staff mental health decline to guide further support. Both solutions are supported by our predictive analytic reporting package.

What motivated you to get started with Tap into Safety?

The two founders have been working in health and safety for almost 20 years. We were working with our first safety systems software and tier 1 mining clients. In doing so we began to understand their problems.

I coupled that experience with research work in completing my PhD and across a number of research projects concentrating on hazard perception and adult learning. The key problem we wished to solve was to try and reduce the number of workplace injuries and fatalities in high risk industries. Training delivery, e.g. safety inductions, have moved to ‘tick and flick’ compliance activities that no longer prepare workers entering the new work environment.

We wanted to move safety training into the interactive and gaming space to make it engaging and to influence behaviour. We began with the first solution Hazard Insight and in 2016 developed All of Me to begin to address psychological injury prevention, encourage help-seeking and to predict staff groups in early mental health decline.

We wanted to break down the stigma associated with mental health and the barriers to seek help to ultimately reduce the number of stress claims for business, help the individual and reduce the number of suicides every year.

Who is the ideal customer for Tap into Safety? Why would they benefit?

Hazard Insight suits businesses that conduct high-risk work (infrastructure, construction, mining, transport, manufacturing). Businesses that have 100 or more employees, safety expertise and who are looking to improve safety performance.

All of Me is suitable for every business and is most likely to appeal to businesses with 500 or more staff who are looking to add to their current wellbeing programmes. They will have an Employee Assistance Programme in place and use traditional initiates such as workshops, talks, fitness and healthy eating programmes etc.

Business that are looking for predictive data to prevent mental health decline.

It’s going to be the hardest thing you ever do, you’re going to need more money and time than you thought.

Looking back, how has your business evolved from initial idea to now?

The initial idea was for Hazard Insight and that has remained relevant and a key solution. It has evolved from custom-built content for clients to also include pre-built plug and play content, content that can be cloned and edited and a build your own feature in multiple languages.

All of Me pivoted off the Hazard Insight solution so that we can offer a holistic approach to workplace training to prevent both physical and psychological injuries. Recently Australian health and safety legislation has moved to require business include psychological injury prevention and support in their workplace risk management.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

I like to use the Nike slogan “Just do it” – but with a codicil – it’s going to be the hardest thing you ever do, you’re going to need more money and time than you thought, you need to be a ‘master of all trades’ and every day you are going to worry about the next – but I couldn’t think of a better path to choose.

How do you market Tap into Safety to attract new customers?

We use content marketing strategies – produce a newsletter emailed each week as a ‘give back’ to our market. We contact one on one via Linked In and in response to calls to action to try a free demo via our website.

We are just stepping into social media marketing via Adwords and this will ramp up later in the year as we launch our global platform.

What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?

The biggest challenge to businesses is scaling on the smell of an oily rag – money, funding and investment is crucial. I don’t think we are unique here and we have had to be quite inventive to manage staff wages while we built the solutions.

We began with help from family and friends and took on our first investor in year 2. We utilised the R&D tax incentive, the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant and smaller State and Local Government grants. We took some major investment – Series A – at the end of year 3. We have resisted listed on the ASX, preferring to trade and grow and prepare for an eventual trade sale.

What do you attribute your business success to?

Grit, determination, sheer tenacity. Careful spending and a dedicated team. Not expecting financial gains personally until the business is acquired. Always put staff and investors first.

What are the main goals of Tap into Safety?

Launch internationally with a globally scalable SaaS solution. Build the customer base before a trade sale of the whole business or in two parts centered around the two solutions.

To ensure as much as possible that the staff who wish to remain in the business move with the acquisition/s.

LocationsGwelup, Joondalup and Melbourne