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6 Ways Mobile Apps Help Reduce Workplace Hazards

Derek Tokarz

Derek Tokarz

Certified in Safety Management Group's Training in Fall Protection

Construction Worker With Smartphone

Keeping up with safety regulations and identifying workplace hazards may be a bit easier than it used to be, thanks to the availability of new apps for smartphones and mobile devices. Following are some of the workplace safety tasks that can be performed with the help of apps.

1.  Identify Chemical Hazards

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has released an app that contains all of the information found in its NIOSH Pocket Guide on Chemical Hazards. Users can search a database of more than 600 chemicals to identify the properties of workplace chemicals and any associated risks.

2.  Dig Trenches Safely

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, trench collapses injure hundreds of workers every year, and collapses often occur due to a lack of protective systems or improper sloping. The Trench Right app allows workers to precisely calculate proper trench dimensions, based on soil type and other factors.

3.  Examine Ladder Safety

Another app from NIOSH provides an interactive format workplace managers can use to improve ladder safety. The app uses visual signals, sounds, and vibrations to help users safely position ladders and includes safety checklists for set-up, proper use and inspection.\

4.  Manage Hazard Reduction

The Hazard Scout app is a free download that’s meant to be used with Hazard Scout software (which starts at $100 a month). This safety management system allows managers to track and analyze hazards, collect safety reports, assign tasks and conduct company-wide safety training.

5.  Perform Paperless Inspections

The 3M Active Safety app allows managers, maintenance personnel, and safety inspectors to perform digital safety inspections and store virtual records for easy access. The app features separate sub-categories for equipment, area or location, and workers – for example, an inspector can click the “decommission” tab under “equipment,” to place a machine out-of-service.

6.  Read Fall Protection Rules

Some apps have lots of great graphics or game-like approaches for raising awareness of workplace safety. You won’t find that with the app called “29 CFR 1926 – Subpart M.” But this app is among the most useful for construction managers and workers in the field. It offers a searchable version of the July 2016 OSHA construction fall protection laws, along with tabs for each section and illustrations that help explain certain sections.

Check your Apple or Android app stores for plenty more apps designed to make workplaces safer.

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