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Industry Trends

Construction Site Safety Technologies: Top 5 Mobile Apps for the Job

Articles - Dec 18

Construction Site Safety Technologies: Top 5 Mobile Apps for the Job

JLG Industries, Inc.
World-leading access equipment manufacturer
____
McConnellsburg, PA

Though the rates of worker injuries and fatalities on the job have been steadily declining since the 70s, safety remains a top concern on job sites across the U.S.

 

Companies who willfully or repeatedly violate regulations can expect OSHA fines up to $124,709*. And that’s just the beginning.

When you factor in indirect costs like damaged equipment, lost time, legal fees and even loss of reputation, the real cost of workplace accidents grows to a staggering number.

Not to mention, there is no number that can account for a human life.

Emerging technologies have improved safety workflows and documentation to help companies avoid the emotional and monetary consequences of safety incidents. Devices like wearables, drones and smart personal protective equipment (PPE) make it easier for contractors and safety managers to monitor how their team is performing and to address problem areas.

One technology already in use by most of the population is the mobile phone, which has proven to be an asset when addressing safety concerns on the job site.

 

Mobile Apps On The Job Site Improve Safety And Efficiency Almost Instantly

As of February 2018, roughly 95% of Americans owned some type of cellphone, with nearly 77% owning a smartphone. The numbers are comparable on the job site.

According to a recent study, “96% of general contractors and 70% of trade contractors report that site superintendents use mobile devices on worksites.”

Along with the rise of smartphones came the rise of mobile apps. Apps span across topics and industries—from meal planning and fitness to gaming, banking and transportation.

With so many workers already using mobile phones and personal apps, it’s clear that—if leveraged properly—these devices can have a big impact on job site safety and your workplace safety culture.

With so many workers already using mobile phones and personal apps, it’s clear that - if leveraged properly - these devices can have a big impact on job site safety and your workplace safety culture.

Safety-focused mobile phone apps can enhance employee protection while improving communication and documentation. This allows safety managers and their teams to better train staff, track incidents and follow new regulations.

Reviewed below are some of the top safety apps currently on the market. When considering these for your workforce, it’s also recommended that you do additional research to find what’s best for your team.

 

Five Best Mobile Apps For Safety-Conscious Construction Sites

Safety on the job site applies to everything—from being prepared to handle an emergency to properly documenting safety risks. The apps listed here are just a sample of what’s available on the Apple iPhones’s App Store and Android’s Google Play.

Note: Some of these are paid and some are free. Many of these mobile apps are also available for iPads and tablets.

1. Scribe for OSHA

Scribe OSHA

Scribe for OSHA guides users through applicable OSHA reporting and record-keeping processes after a safety incident occurs. It also provides ongoing updates on OSHA regulations.

Best For:

Safety professionals responsible for filing incident paperwork

Top Benefits:

  • Comply with OSHA reporting and record-keeping rules more easily
  • Gather all necessary information when filling out an incident report
  • Streamline communication by emailing information to yourself or others

Cost:

Free

 

*Android download not available as of September 2018

2. iAuditor

iAuditor allows users to perform inspections and safety audits with more speed, consistency and accuracy. It’s designed to streamline communication, so all necessary parties are immediately notified if safety risks are found.

Best For:

Superintendents, foremen, supervisors and field crews who are responsible for ensuring safety on site

Top Benefits:

  • Perform inspections in less time with digital checklists
  • Audit sites for safety and quality assurance and send out automated reports of the results
  • Standardize your auditing procedures by creating your own checklists with the use of existing templates or by building from scratch

Cost:

Tiered pricing, including free, premium and enterprise versions.

 

3. Safety Meeting App

Safety Meeting

Safety Meeting App helps you document all required OSHA safety meetings and provides a list of topics to choose from. Keep current and past meetings—as well as incident reports and checklists—stored in the cell app for reference.

Best For:

Contractors or safety managers responsible for conducting safety meetings with employees

Top Benefits:

  • Access over 900 safety meeting topics within the app
  • Clearly document meetings, incidents and near misses
  • Use the app to print from your phone, tablet or computer

Cost:

“Per user” annual plans, ranging from $89 annually for a single user to $1,166 annually for 150 users

 

4. Fieldlens

Fieldlens

Fieldlens is a web-based platform with an accompanying construction management app that provides real-time data as project team members post safety issues in the project feed. It streamlines project communication, so all stakeholders are working off the most up-to-date information.

Best For:

Workers across an organization, but particularly helpful for contractors, architects and safety directors

Top Benefits:

  • Document job site issues and safety risks as you go with unlimited photos and videos
  • Manage an entire project from manpower resources to accountability and weather tracking
  • Generate reports and view real-time data to make better, strategic decisions

Cost:

$15 per user, per month

 

5. First Aid by American Red Cross

Red Cross

First Aid by the American Red Cross is an app that guides you through how to deliver common first aid for conditions from mild strains to broken bones and heart attacks. It provides training and instructions to help you be prepared in the event of an emergency.

Best For:

Workers at all levels on the job site

Top Benefits:

  • Gives clear, concise instructions for how to handle a variety of emergencies that could occur on the job
  • Available in both Spanish and English to make it accessible to your entire team
  • Includes quizzes and videos to help team members understand the material

Cost:

Free

 

Other Technologies Revolutionizing Safety On The Job

Mobile apps are a great way for safety professionals to stay on top of safety regulations and communicate with their industrial team while on the go. But, there are other emerging technologies that have also worked to improve safety on the job.

- BIM Models

BIM is an intelligent 3-D model-based process that gives architecture and construction professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings. BIM has transformed the traditionally siloed architecture, engineering and construction disciplines and allowed them to work together more efficiently with integrated workflows.

Learn more about the benefits of BIM from two industry experts.

- Drones

Drones are already used to collect data for more effective job site planning, and they can also scout potentially dangerous areas before workers get started. Mapping out projects with drones takes less time and less human effort, which not only reduces safety risks in the short term, but in the long term as well.

- Wearables

Wearables come in all shapes and sizes—from watches to heart monitors. These devices allow safety managers to monitor workers’ vital signs in real-time, which can help identify if a worker is in danger of serious conditions like heat stroke or cardiac arrest. Wearables can also notify workers if they’re working in the presence of environmental hazards like volatile organic compound (VOC) gases generated from things like paints, wood preservatives and other building materials found on job sites.

- Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has had a positive impact on safety, particularly in the area of training. VR training experiences prepare operators for challenges they will face on the job while significantly reducing risk. By simulating real job site conditions, including hazards, virtual reality training allows operators to practice their skills in a controlled environment before ever setting foot on the job site.

Learn more about virtual reality training and how it’s reshaping the training landscape within construction.

- Autonomous Vehicles

One of the most effective ways to reduce safety risks is to remove humans from the equation. Autonomous vehicles can help protect workers from the dangers of vehicle accidents. Often controlled remotely by operators, driverless vehicles can perform tasks more efficiently and with more precision, which increases both operator safety and equipment utilization.

- Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics uses data, algorithms and machine learning to help safety professionals understand safety risks and engage in better planning to negate those risks. This system is proactive rather than reactive in that it looks at historical data to try and predict likely risks. Then, preventive steps can be taken at the start of a job instead of after a safety incident occurs.

 

Mobile Apps For The Construction Industry: Future-Proof Your Workplace Safety Efforts

As we move into the 21st Century and beyond, new technologies will continue to shape how we live and work. Capitalizing on mobile phone applications, an already widely understood and widely used technology, can promote workplace safety and help workers go home safely to their families each night.

(Cited source from paragraph two)* https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/national/06302016

 


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