• Construction Workers with Smartphones

4 Things to Know Before Deploying EHS Mobile Apps

August 10, 2017 By
In a previous post, we explained how EHS mobile apps can enable greater risk awareness. The post was based on a session at SPF EMEA 2017 with Guillaume Escourbiac from Enablon, Lizanne Gildenhuys from Anglo American, and David Rose from Lendlease.

In this post, we provide lessons learned from the roll out of mobile apps. These lessons are from the same SPF EMEA session and from deployments by other organizations. Remember these valuable lessons before rolling out EHS mobile apps.

1) Be Sure All Employees Have the Right Devices

EHS mobile apps are supported by different mobile platforms (Android, iOS, Windows). You can easily obtain the information about supported platforms for each app that you select. But often the challenge is to know the types of devices supported within your own organization. This is especially the case in large, global organizations where IT may be decentralized and different IT teams or departments are present in different countries, which means you need to know and understand what is used. For example, you may think that most workers are using Android or Apple devices, but the IT department in one particular country may have deployed Windows devices to the local workforce. Before deploying EHS mobile apps, be sure that all employees around the world are provided with the proper devices that would support the EHS mobile apps.

2) Verify BYOD Policies in Place in All Regions

Having different IT teams or departments for different countries can also lead to different BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies. BYOD refers to the approach of allowing workers to bring personally-owned devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) to work, and to use those devices to access company information and applications. Knowing BYOD policies allows you to determine if you need to assess whether workers have the right personal devices, and if the capabilities and supported platforms of the EHS mobile apps match their devices. If BYOD policies do not allow the use of personal devices, then you would only need to verify the types of devices rolled out by IT, as per the previous item.

3) Align IT Strategy with the EHS Roadmap

Making sure that workers have the right devices and being aware of BYOD policies are about the present. But you also need to think about the future. Many organizations will roll out multiple EHS mobile apps in phases. For example, they may start with a safety mobile app, and then roll out a mobile app for inspections, followed by a mobile app for audits. In addition, they may roll out mobile apps in some regions first, and then bring other regions on board. The EHS department must share the roadmap of the deployment of EHS mobile apps with IT. In return, IT must make sure that its strategy for the future deployment of devices and support of mobile platforms is aligned with the EHS roadmap.

4) Think About Users, Not Management

Leading, fully native EHS mobile apps will already offer an intuitive user experience to encourage user adoption. But there are extra steps that an organization can take to further encourage user adoption and make a roll out successful. At SPF EMEA, David Rose from Lendlease gave this good example: When people perform Google searches, they rarely go to the second page of results. The same mentality should apply to EHS mobile apps. To encourage users to fill questionnaires or checklists, be sure that all questions or checklist items fit on a single page, without forcing the user to go to a second page or to scroll too much. Minimize the number of fields as much as possible when building questionnaires or checklists. In addition, make it very convenient for users to download and launch the app (e.g. through links in emails), and deploy the apps in all important languages. Always have the user in mind and keep things as simple as possible.

By selecting the right EHS mobile apps and applying the four lessons in this post, you will achieve a successful deployment and reap all the benefits of extending the reach of your EHS management software through mobility.

View the recording of our webinar “From Compliance to Pro-Active Safety with Mobility” to learn how Lendlease, a global leader in construction and real estate, is leveraging mobility to encourage workers to report observations.

Webinar: From Compliance to Pro-Active Safety with Mobility


Categories: EHS, Technology

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