Automating Safety Inspections
Performing safety inspections within a facility is an extremely important process that must be completed on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it can also be quite time consuming and may even cause some disruption of work. This is why it is so important to do everything possible to find ways to improve and streamline the entire process.
Whenever possible, finding ways to automate the safety inspections will not only save time, but can also help ensure the inspections are able to be completed more often and more accurately. The following automation tips will help just about any facility to complete their inspections properly, and identify any hazards that may be present so they can be dealt with right away.
5 Tips to Automate Safety Inspections
1. Using Digital Tracking
One of the most important things you can do is begin tracking all your safety inspections digitally. There are many options for this including using spreadsheets, databases and other systems. By putting everything into a computer it will be much easier to enter information (often automatically, as you will see), search through it and track changes.
Thanks to modern software, it is often much faster and easier to enter everything into the computer rather than trying to write everything down and store it in a filing cabinet. It is also a much safer option that will provide you with the long term ability to watch for safety trends and other things to help you to improve the overall safety of your facility.
2. Use Mobile Devices
When performing any type of safety inspection, make sure you use a mobile device to do it. Laptops and tablets, for example, will allow you to instantly enter information as you gather it. This will help you to avoid any mistakes and cut down on the amount of time these inspections take.
Another benefit you’ll get from these devices is that you can typically take a picture of a safety concern and store it or show it to others. This is a great way to help identify potential problems, and work as a team in order to complete your inspections quickly and easily, while still getting the best possible results.
3. Digital Scanning
One of the best ways to automate a safety inspection is to use some type of digital scanning technology to make it much quicker and easier to gather information. You can print unique barcode labels using high quality vinyl labels (which you can find here) that will withstand even the harshest work environments. The following area all great options to consider:
- Barcodes – You can use your industrial label printer to create bar codes that can be placed on specific machines in the facility. Use your tablet to scan them when entering information about that device.
- RFID – Most mobile devices are able to read RFID tags, so you can stick one to each machine that needs to be inspected. When you scan the tag on the machine, your tablet will automatically pull up the historical information and any notes that are available for that machine.
- NFC – NFC, or near field communication, is another scanning technology that has gotten very popular in recent years. It works similar to how RFID tags operate, and can allow your tablet to pull up information about a machine as soon as you walk close enough to it.
- Bluetooth – Some machines and equipment made today have built in bluetooth technology. This allows the machine to communicate directly with a nearby mobile device. In many cases, this can help to allow for gathering more information and making the overall safety inspection process faster and easier.
There are many other benefits you can enjoy from suing digital scanning technologies. Whichever one you choose, it will help you to save a lot of time and effort attempting to keep track of which machine is which.
4. Connect Machines to Network
A growing number of machines and safety devices today are equipped with the ability to communicate with a local computer network. A great industrial label printer (such as this one) utilizes cutting edge technology along with exceptional levels of efficiency. Having network ready machines and equipment will allow the machines to send status updates to your safety inspections system on a regular basis.
Other networked safety devices can alert you to potential problems, and allow you to gather the necessary information automatically and on an ongoing basis. This is much faster and easier than having to walk around to each location to complete a manual inspection. In some cases, however, it will still be required to go look at the machines, but it is good to have the frequent updates automatically imported into your system.
5. Create Safety Inspection Flowcharts
You can create a flowchart to complete any manual safety inspection properly. Using the mobile device, you can check in to which machine you are inspecting and then the software will ask a series of questions to ensure the machine is operating safely.
These flow charts are a great way to make sure that the person doing the safety inspection is not missing anything or skipping over any steps. In addition, it helps allow the inspection to be completed much more quickly and efficiently.
While it is technically possible to use a flow chart that is written down on a piece of paper, the digital versions are much easier and faster to use. They can also be updated quickly when there is a change that is necessary.
Automating Safety Inspections is a Smart Choice
According to an article titled, Automate Routine Inspections, Microsoft Sharepoint and mobile devices can work together with the 5 tips mentioned above:
But with Microsoft® SharePoint® and a mobile device such as an iPad available, the good news is that this is a problem easily solved. The combination of these readily available technologies will:
– Streamline data collection and eliminate paper forms and transcription
– Automate the workflow process through real-time analysis and automated email notifications alerting responsible parties of upcoming inspections, overdue inspections, and required corrective actions
– Make all data available in electronic format for improved and faster reporting
While it is not always a good idea to automate things just for the sake of automation, this is one of those situations where you can actually get better results while also saving time. When you follow these five tips and implement your own automation processes for your safety inspections, you will quickly see just how helpful it can be.
Whenever attempting to automate an activity, however, you need to make sure that you are going to be getting as good or better information from the automated process than you were from the manual process. You never want to sacrifice safety just for efficiency. In most cases, however, using the latest technologies it is possible to get improved results by streamlining processes and taking advantage of technology.