As smartphones and mobile technology become increasingly important to people’s daily routines, government agencies and private companies are adding new applications every day. For example, mobile apps are making it easier for workers to access safety information when and where they need it.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released a smartphone application for ladder safety, available for free download on iPhone and Android devices. The app uses visual and audio signals that help workers using extension ladders check the angle at which the ladder is positioned. It also provides references and a safety guide for selecting, inspecting, accessorizing, and using extension ladders.
OSHA offers a heat safety app for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android that workers and supervisors can use to calculate the “heat index” for a worksite and get information about appropriate protective measures. The heat index, which combines temperature and humidity, provides a more accurate indicator of risk for heatstroke and other heat-related conditions than temperature alone. For more information and to download the app, visit http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html.
NIOSH is developing a mobile version of the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) that includes descriptive, exposure, protective, and emergency recommendations for 677 chemicals commonly found in workplaces.
Although mobile apps are convenient and helpful for some safety-related activities, bear in mind that they are not a substitute for a comprehensive program to protect your workers on the job. Use them to supplement the essential components of a safety system that includes formal training, weekly meetings, job hazard analysis, and so forth.
To learn more about integrating mobile apps into your workplace safety program, feel free to get in touch with us at any time.