Most everyone in the modern workplace today has access to a smart phone and/or tablet device (commonly these are products like the iPhone and iPad). While these devices are great for personal communication and entertainment in a plethora of ways, they can also be great ways to further workplace goals. One of these goals is safety. In this blog post I want to go over several different apps designed to help employees and management handle safety risks and situations. We’ll take a look at their intended function, and then some pros and cons to evaluate how well they serve that function.
Occupational Health And Safety
As an informational app, this one serves to keep one up to date with the latest and greatest in occupational health and safety issues. It features webinars and expert speakers and/or written pieces on training and tutorials for OH&S related topics, general workplace safety, and also connects you with conversations on the topics via social media (Facebook and twitter).
Pros: It’s free, is organized well and is easy to navigate right off the bat, it’s well designed, it offers offline use.
Cons: Video instruction is low resolution and not very helpful, safety headlines are not updated often enough to keep the app useful for an extended period of time.
OSHA Heat Safety Tool
In many workplaces, especially those involved in chemical or machine-assisted production, heat can be a major factor. Being consistently exposed to a hot and humid work environment can put workers at risk for heat stroke, dehydration, and a number of other complications that can range from production-slowing and uncomfortable to life-threatening. This app allows you to put in the temperature and humidity of your work place and get a heat index rating and risk level based on OSHA standards. Additionally, the heat index you get will result in precautionary recommendations from the app that you can use to improve safety.
Pros: It’s free (and you don’t have to suffer ads for it, either), it’s well-organized, it’s simple, and it works not only on iOS but also on android platforms.
Cons: It oversimplifies the OSHA heat index, the temperature is only available in Fahrenheit (only a problem if certain locations).
Professional Safety Journal HD
Trade journals have been a staple in their respective industries for decades and with the rise of digital media more and more publications are taking their content to phones and tablets in an attempt to reach people where they spend most of their consumption time. This publication is monthly, and informs workplace safety professionals of developments in injury and illness prevention through cutting edge articles. Many of these are written by other practitioners and can be readily applied to your ongoing safety efforts.
Pros: It doesn’t cost anything, it’s easily searched and navigated, the latest issue is available immediately, even before the print issue would arrive by mail, the design is slick and visually appealing, well-formatted for various screen sizes, you can download an issue for offline reading, compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Cons: Well, there really aren’t many downsides I can think of for this one, highly recommended.
This app has its roots in personal use as well as professional, and is mainly intended for researching and self-diagnosing various symptoms. However, for the occupational safety professional, the app can also be a large help when an incident occurs: It not only gives advice to first aid and treatment of various injuries and ailments, but in the event of a more serious accident one can view emergency room locations, wait times, and more to make an informed decision about where to seek professional treatment.
Pros: Multi-functional with a lot built in, seemingly up to date information on wait times for medical centers, thousands of diseases and symptoms cataloged, emergency and advice hotlines listed.
Cons: Information on healthcare providers is only available when online, graphic videos (some may not be for the faint of heart).
Well, there you have it, some of the most helpful and unique apps in the industry, and they’re all free!
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