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Almost everyone has a smartphone or a tablet these days (have you even seen an eight-year-old at a park these days?) For us “grown-ups,” as technology becomes more integrated with the workplace, smart and efficient professionals are always looking for ways to improve their productivity.
It’s a joke in common culture to say, “Is there an app for that?” And regardless of the issue, there usually is. (Okay, definite side note, but did you know there is a dog whistle app? Even a baby cry translator app? How about an app to track all the places in the world where you’ve um, gone #2? This is no joke.)
Safety professionals these days are as tech savvy as anyone else. So, just what applications are out there for the safety professional? Turns out there are quite a few (and these one’s are actually useful!)
This list is just a sampling of what is available out there for the tech savvy safety professional.
Weather – If you are in any industry where weather can affect the job or job site, having a weather app on your device is essential. WeatherBug is a favorite, as are Accuweather app and Weather.com’s app.
One of interest that is specific to the Aerospace industry is AeroWeather. It provides weather information for pilots to aid them in their flight plans. No matter what your preference, do not be without a weather app.
ERG – This is the electronic version of the Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response guide. It is a searchable resource; you can do keyword or term searches on the fly instead of flipping through indexes and pages of material to find what you need.
NFPA70e – This is the Arc Flash code that is distributed by the National Fire Protection Agency. Like the ERG listed above, this application is also searchable. There is a cost associated with this one.
FEMA-Mobile – This free app put out by FEMA contains all of the contact information you would need for FEMA.
NIOSH Pocket Guide for Chemical Hazards – This app has varying costs depending on the level of detail you wish to have; it starts as cheap as $2.99 on the Google app store. This app offers the complete contents of the NIOSH pocket guide at your fingertips. It is searchable as well.
Chemical Safety Data Sheets – This free application provides the International Chemical Safety Cards that are put out by the UNEP, the ILO and the WHO. This application is free.
Pocket First Aid and CPR Guide – This is the electronic version of the American Heart Association’s pocket guide. It includes both the first aid and CPR information. It also includes emergency information that the Heart Association provides.
Tools and Productivity Applications
Dropbox – It might be pretty obvious to suggest Dropbox, but everyone should have access to a cloud storage application. Dropbox is considered one of the gold standard cloud storage providers. If you have not used it, check it out. Having all of your safety policies and documents at your fingertips is a valuable time saver.
Docusign – Do not be stuck carrying around stacks and stacks of forms and papers. Docusign is an application that allows you or others sign off on documents using a finger or their stylus. This prevents the need to carry paper and scan it in to send electronically.
PocketCPR – This tool uses the accelerometer that is built into your iPhone to measure the rate and depth of chest compressions while performing CPR. It also provides feedback telling to press harder or softer, slower for faster. It can be used in a classroom environment to aid students in learning CPR.
OSHA Heath Tool – Do you know how hot is too hot? When do the heat and humidity factors start climbing to dangerous levels? Now you don’t need to guess. This app allows you to enter the temperature and the humidity in the air. It lets you know not only what the heat hazard rating is, but what precautionary steps to take in that environment.
JSA – Need to build a customized Job Safety Analysis? This free app can be used on site to create a customized JSA and then, if you wish, send it electronically.
Brady Link 360 Lockout/Tagout – Keep track of all of your lockout/tagout procedures in one place. This app allows you to create complex lockout/tagout procedures that can be shared with the work crew. It also allows you to add photos, diagrams and share them with other users of the app.
Noise Sniffer – Do you have a need to figure out what the base noise level in your work environment might be? Noise Sniffer might be the app for you. While your cell phone or tablet does not have the sensitivity to do what more advanced equipment designed to sample noise can do, it will at least provide you with a ball park idea of what your noise level might be and if you need to investigate further.
Crosby Sling Calculator – Need to know if the rig you have set up is adequate enough to lift the equipment you are trying to lift? This little app can help. It is designed to take the type of rigging you are using, combine that with the weight and geometry of your lift load and tell you if what you are using for your lift is the right equipment. It does cost $25; compared to the cost of injuries or damaged equipment, it is money well spent.
This list only begins to tap into the wealth of applications that are available for safety professionals. Go explore and see what you can find!
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