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The modern workplace is a digital one. Consumer-level mobile connectivity is everywhere, and just about everyone, from a first-day-on-the-job apprentice to the CEO of the company, is connected.
This means that such a modern workplace has to take digital safety standards into account. Digital workplace safety, however, is a two-way street; connectivity doesn’t just make it easier to communicate. It also poses unique safety dangers of its own. Here’s a quick overview.
Relying on EHS software tools to boost workplace safety can go a long way to making any worksite less accident-prone. Environment, health, and safety (EHS) platforms can help with scheduling site maintenance, equipment, and even process inspection and then archive results and records.
These same systems can enable workers to raise awareness of possible safety issues they spot by performing regular audits and inspections or job safety analysis (JSA). EHS systems with mobile apps can be used to push notifications to workers’ phones to alert them of issues or send safety reminders as well.
In the long run, digital business systems can analyze all the data collected on repair, maintenance, equipment, people and processes and generate detailed reports on how a job site is faring overall. This can help identify trends or trouble spots that might be hard to miss otherwise.
This helps with fixing issues before they become serious problems, and it’s this proactive safety management that can make such a major difference in overall workplace safety. There’s no risk of accident or injury if an incident never occurs, after all.
EHS platforms require not just an investment of resources to implement and integrate, but also an investment in staff to ensure these platforms are used properly. An EHS program can’t provide accurate data analysis if it doesn’t have the right data to work with, after all, and if workers don’t download and install an accompanying mobile app they may be missing out on notification features. This makes both adoption and implementation of any EHS platform a best practice for efficient use.
On a more granular level, there are some other dangers posed by digital solutions in the workplace. Mobile phone use by workers while on the job can be a distraction; as a result, many job sites limit or even completely ban the use of mobile phones while on the clock except in the case of work-related tasks, like logging incidents, performing inspections, or in an emergency.
Operating heavy machinery while texting, for example, is supremely dangerous and can lead to any number of accidents and injuries, of which many may be fatal. Digital workplace safety means avoiding accidents, not causing them!
As time marches on, digital tools and mobile connectivity are only going to become increasingly advanced. One day we might see fully-automated work environments that are controlled remotely by workers, thus preventing exposure to any health and safety risks, but until that day we need to leverage digital tools to make each and every work environment as safe as possible.
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