• Construction Worker with Smartphone

Top 5 Benefits of EHS Mobile Apps

September 13, 2018 By
The use of EHS mobile apps is growing. Increasingly companies that implement EHS management systems are also extending the reach of their platform to mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and even smartwatches. EHS mobile apps are used today for incident reporting, audits and inspections, real-time safety alerts, access to Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and safety information on chemicals, etc.

When talking to organizations that use EHS mobile apps, the main feedback is that apps made things much faster and convenient for workers. But the benefits go beyond simply making tasks easier. There are tangible benefits for the enterprise as well, in addition for workers in the field. Let’s take a look at the top five benefits.

1) Strengthening the Safety Culture

If you want workers to contribute to the safety culture of your organization, then make it easy for them to participate in it. Not only will it strengthen employee engagement, but also convince workers that they have an important role to play in safety. EHS mobile apps allow workers to easily report observations of unsafe behaviors or conditions, and near misses, directly from the field. Any single observation or near miss has the potential to help uncover a hazard, thus helping to prevent an injury or illness. When workers feel that their contribution is preventing potential incidents, it makes them more willing to participate in safety initiatives, which strengthens the safety culture.

2) Protecting Workers

Imagine that a chemical spill occurs at a facility, and dangerous fumes are released that can be inhaled and cause health problems. In a situation like this, literally every second counts, and that’s not an exaggeration. It’s important to alert workers as soon as possible about the areas affected so they can stay away from them, or quickly grab the appropriate personal protective equipment. Since time is of the essence, real-time safety alerts on mobile devices constitute the best way to keep employees safe when hazardous conditions occur.

3) Enhancing Operational Efficiency

EHS mobile apps help to enhance operational efficiency because they are extensions of a central EHS management software platform. For example, audits and inspections need to be conducted in the field or remote locations, and by moving through a facility. Completing an audit or inspection sitting in front of a computer is not feasible. A mobile app empowers workers to conduct an audit or inspection from anywhere and anytime, and reduces the risk of error that can be caused by collecting data and separately entering it later in the system.

Also, if an inspection identifies a new hazard, a corrective and preventive action plan can be triggered right away. Creating and launching action plans directly through a mobile app during inspections ensures that hazards are promptly addressed. Organizations that have an EHS software system from one vendor, and EHS mobile apps from another vendor are missing out on many opportunities to enable more efficient operations.

4) Capturing More Accurate Data to Get Better Insights

How many times has this happened to you: you see something, you make a mental note of it, you make your way to a computer, and by the time you’re ready to enter information about what you saw you have already forgotten some details. Now imagine if you witnessed an incident, and you need to capture accurate information because it can be useful for the incident investigation and can help identify the root causes of the incident. With an EHS mobile app, you can enter data right away with just a few taps, including images and videos that can provide crucial information to incident investigators. More accurate data can be captured, whereas witnesses to an incident who are interviewed a few days after the event may already forget some details. When more accurate data is available, better insights can be generated on hazards and risks present in the workplace.

5) Enabling Greater Risk Awareness

Since EHS mobile apps are extensions of a central EHS management software platform, they help to establish visibility into frontline operations and work projects performed by employees or contractors. Establishing greater visibility into all operations allows you to see where the risks are, and react more quickly. Having greater risk awareness of what’s going on in the field also means implementing control measures quicker. A workplace injury caused by an unknown risk is bad, but it’s even worse when an injury is caused by a known risk that is taking weeks to make it through the process before controls are put in place. EHS mobile apps accelerate the identification of risks through the immediate reporting of observations, incidents and near misses. They also accelerate the implementation of control measures through the launch of action plans directly from the app during an inspection.

Those are the top five benefits of EHS mobile apps! Do you agree with them? If you want to learn more, check out our post on four things to look for in EHS mobile apps and our post on four things to know before deploying EHS mobile apps.

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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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