3 Questions to determine if your company needs a mobile app

“We all know that poor OHS compliance leads to low staff engagement, high turnover, lawsuits, fines, damage to a company’s brand, and of course, their bottom line.  So, of course, it makes sense to get your health and safety compliance running smoothly. Yet far too many industries are fraught with poorly defined procedures, employees uncertain about accountabilities, and little or no formality to recording and reporting occupational health and safety issues.”

Many companies today still use paper forms and a complicated series of Excel spreadsheets as the primary method of recording vital health and safety compliance information.

“When you consider how important OHS compliance is for the success of a business, not the mention the livelihood of staff, it seems archaic that so much is dependent on a series of messy spreadsheets and bits of paper!”

Fortunately, we are in the middle of a technological revolution that can easily fix this!

Smart companies, both big and small, are recognizing the benefits of Health & Safety mobile apps to meet and exceed compliance standards.

Here are 3 questions to ask to determine if mobile apps will benefit your health and safety solution:

Will real-time reporting, and response help my business?

Do you find that OHS information is being delayed, and not reported as the hazard is identified, the risk is observed, or the incident happens?  This is understandable when manual recording and calculation is required.  It is hard to recall the nature of a hazard, risk, or incident accurately when there is a time delay or when you are dealing with a high-stress event. It is also near impossible to ensure all relevant stakeholders are available to deal with an event immediately!

With mobile technology, form submission and record-keeping has never been easier!  Health and safety apps allow staff to capture photos, make notes, and fill out forms in real-time while on site. Equipment, plant or environment inspections can be carried out through simple digital checklists on a smartphone or tablet, removing the time consuming and inefficient paperwork.

If your business could:

  • Prevent further risk or incidents by real-time reporting
  • Not require staff to be at the workplace to be immediately and accurately informed
  • Ensure the right people who were qualified and authorized to deal with the hazard, risk or incident are notified immediately, so they could take appropriate action
  • Supply the right information to the right people, so that their response and action is value-adding and mitigates the problem

Then a mobile app will certainly add significant value to your business

A great example of this is when a worker was standing on a 6-foot stepladder, removing frost film from windows. Witnesses heard a tearing sound as the film suddenly came away from the window. The worker lost balance and fell to the concrete floor, knocking a fellow worker out at the same time.  The fellow worker was the health & safety officer on-site!  An employee used his mobile app to report the incident and upload a photo.  3 other employees who were certified to deal with the incident were notified in seconds, and help was quickly obtained by the right people!

Will the accurate supply of information help my business?

Do you find that your business needs to duplicate data that must be reported in multiple different forms by multiple people, or input free form information, which often leads to duplication, inconsistent terminology, acronyms, and/or missing information?  The use of Excel, whilst a great business tool, leaves your business wide open to inaccurate reporting due to its unprotected and free form nature.  Have you found reporting or data inaccuracies have led to non-value-adding actions, the inefficient use of your business time, resource, and costs being incurred that did not yield the results they should have? If the answer to these questions is yes, then a mobile application will certainly benefit your business.

By using formalized health and safety software and mobile apps, the correct data is asked for and easily captured through text, video, and photos, offering a comprehensive and formalized process for OHS compliance.  It only needs to be captured once, so anybody else who requires further information will have real-time access to all the right information the first time, so no duplication is required!

Does my business have a CULTURE of safety?

Do you find that there is often confusion as to who is responsible for reporting or follow up actions?  Does your business ensure that policy or procedural changes are quickly and accurately reported to all concerned?  Are new employees timeously inducted and trained before / as they first arrive on-site?  The fast pace of today’s business world, along with the higher average employee turn-around times makes this a very difficult task if applied manually!

Mobile apps remove these problems. They give employees the power to report hazards, risks, and incidents with the highest amount of accuracy, while on the job. This empowers employees to take an active role in making their workplace safe and creates a culture of care, diligence, and efficiency.

Conclusion

Most organisations have elements of an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) in place, however, it is less likely for organisations to have a system in place that coordinates these elements to improve OHS. A systematic approach to OHS ensures that important health and safety issues are brought to attention so they can be fixed.  Real-time reporting, effective communication, accurate information, and correct policy will ensure your OHS program is maximized, and a mobile app is a quick and cost-efficient way of helping you to achieve this.

Companies like OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd, the Africa Licensee of the award-winning Rapid Global Software, have been delivering EHS software solutions for over 15 years.  Their only business is the continued development and improvement of their software, to make sure that the solutions keep pace with the ever-changing landscape.  All their solutions come with mobile apps.

OVS Solutions, the Africa Licensee of Rapid Global, also have a great support team who are available to assist with live demonstrations, user guides, and relevant information you may require.  They can help you deliver on your plan.  Start 2019 by engaging with a company like OVS Solutions!