App or Crap? Sorting Through Safety Apps, Part 2

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In part one, I encouraged you to evaluate why you would use apps in your workplace. I’m sure you were waiting in anticipation of my top app recommendations! This is the post you’ve been waiting for…

A good blend of safety applications includes those used for auditing, inspection, and evaluation along with apps that can be used as reference in real-time at the field level. Apps like iAuditor, JSA, and Safety Reports have become very popular with safety professionals. Beware of in-app purchases if multiple users will be using the apps. Users should be coached on what they can and cannot do within the app, especially if it is tied to a company credit card!

Field evaluation apps like OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool, the NIOSH Ladder Safety app, and Workrite’s FR Clothing app can be used in real-time to provide information to end users in the field. Other field apps can be used for reference to find Safety Data Sheets or to access the Hazardous Materials Guide.

As part of a holistic safety program, the weather and personal safety should be considered. Weatherbug is an easy and intuitive app that pushes alerts to the user for severe weather events, including nearby lightning strikes. This is great for safety on and off the job. The Companion app allows a user to essentially have their friends walk them home from a destination. The flashlight application is standard on most smart phones and comes in very handy for many reasons!

The functionality of some apps is yet to be seen. There are many sound level meter apps in the app store, however it is best to use a real device if you must evaluate the sound level in a work area. A sound level meter app could give a ballpark estimate of noise exposure in a pinch.

Safety professionals have apps designed with their professional development in mind. Many safety publications are available in application format for easy reading. If you’re venturing to a large safety conference or expo, check to see if there is an application associated with the event. This can save you time by planning your educational sessions and route around the expo hall.

Safety applications are evolving everyday. Look for suites that offer solutions to manage all of your safety data and communication, and better integration of evaluation and inspection apps into your software systems.

Learn more at the Mobile Apps for Safety webinar, Tuesday October 13, 2015. Use code SPEAKFREE for complimentary registration.

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