Safety: there’s an app for that.
While apps are often associated with email, Angry Birds, and scrolling through Facebook, apps are also a remarkably powerful tool for EHS teams on the go, as well as employees who need access to safety information. It’s safety, just a tap away. And since most of your workers probably own smartphones, most employees will be able to access these resources easily.
Here’s how a little icon of computer programming can hold so many benefits for workplace safety.
What Are Safety Apps?
Safety apps are computer (or rather, smartphone) programs designed to assist the user in managing safety data in various forms.
These could be public safety apps that are designed to assist first responders and emergency personnel. They could be personal safety apps designed to help users protect their own safety, such as bSafe, which has an SOS button to alert selected contacts if you are in danger along with a GPS location. They could even be basic safety apps that contribute to safety for your unique occupation, such as weather apps for those who work outdoors.
There are also workplace safety apps, included with a subscription of EHS software, used to manage various program initiatives, including safety training, audits and inspections, incident tracking and more.
Why Use Them?
Let’s say, for example, that you’re a company with a strict policy for dealing with workplace incidents and injuries. And let’s say that part of that policy is a two-page report which must be submitted within 24 hours, addressing all the relevant details of the incident. Seems like a good policy, right? Reporting is handled quickly while everyone’s memories are fresh.
The problem is that remote employees may have trouble submitting their reports if they don’t have access to the relevant system or if they don’t have access to a computer at their worksite. Worse, if employees happen to neglect information, your EHS program will likely suffer severe consequences.
One way to fix this issue is with an incident reporting app unique to your company. As long as employees have a smartphone, they can access the app, fill out the report with pertinent information as prompted by the app, and send the report to your EHS team without having to think about it.
It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s far more efficient for your safety program.
Of course, there are also plenty of outstanding safety apps developed by third-party providers that can be quite useful to your EHS team.
OSHA and NIOSH collaborated to build a Heat Safety Tool in English and Spanish for outdoor workers who need to pay attention to the heat. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) created a National Electrical Code (NEC) app that is indispensable for electricians. There’s also the Chemical Safety Sheets app developed by the WHO so that workers can easily access and reference all 1,700 sheets of International Chemical Safety Card (ICSC) information.
Safety App Benefits in Action
Safety app benefits are all about taking safety where you need it most. And during these difficult times, that’s a benefit that companies can’t afford to ignore.
If your EHS team is looking for resources to meet new safety challenges, make sure to check out our blog for more great posts, like this one on the rise of mobile EHS during COVID-19.