Construction is a dangerous industry, and safety inspectors can’t be everywhere at once. If they have more than one project to monitor, they are not at any jobsite 100 percent of the time. And when they are onsite, they are only one set of eyes.
What if you could expand your “inspector base” by having your entire project team involved in reporting safety observations?
What if you could reduce the risk of accidents, serious injuries and deaths on your jobsites by giving everyone the ability to capture safety observations on the spot, report minor problems before they become serious and create a safer workplace by including all sets of eyes and ears in reporting safety observations?
Thanks to mobile technology, you can. By using the one tool that everyone has with them all of the time—the mobile phone—you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of safety reports and reduce the likelihood of onsite accidents.
Reporting safety observations on construction sites can be a challenge. Site personnel have to stop working to file these reports, and they may have to leave the site and go to the trailer to write a safety observation or incident report. This inconvenience can result in safety observations going unreported, which increases the risk of accidents.
Some companies are now using voice services for safety reporting. These tools are becoming a preferred way to report safety hazards and incidents, because voice services converge voice and data to make reporting more effective. Voice services also give crews the ability to quickly reach key people who need to be informed when an observation or incident occurs. These services allow everyone on the jobsite to participate, instead of limiting involvement to only the general contractor’s employees.
Voice services offer the convenience of simply speaking a quick note into a phone, which then sends a message to the safety inspector or safety team who can address the hazard before it becomes an accident. When an incident occurs on the jobsite, a crew member can dial a designated phone number and leave a voice message with the essential information about the location and type of incident, which will then be transmitted to the safety inspector or other personnel who must be notified of safety hazards. This quick transmission of information allows safety personnel to respond immediately to the incident. Some services will also allow you to add pictures and video to your noted observation. The job-specific phone number can be posted on signs throughout the project. Crew members can also place this number on speed dial in their mobile phone.
An important reason to give everyone on the jobsite the ability to call in their safety observations is that those who report incidents can remain anonymous, removing any concern that a caller might be perceived as “telling on” another worker on the job.
Voice services also allow crew members to place multiple calls at once, so they can efficiently notify every individual who needs to know about the incident and recount all the same details at once. In other words, the voice message the incident reporter leaves is transmitted to multiple people simultaneously. This capability addresses the following issues:
- When an incident occurs on a project, people get nervous and can lose sight of protocol.
- Often, 10 or more people need to be notified of an incident.
- The injured person may need immediate assistance.
- The person who reports the incident needs to help the injured person, and one person cannot quickly make 10 separate phone calls.
A voice service can also send immediate information automatically (via text and/or email messages) to the person who reported the incident, providing site-specific instructions on how to deal with and document the incident. These messages are defined by the company and can include necessary forms and attachments. For example, the text or email might remind the incident reporter to document the following information:
- Who was injured
- What happened
- When it happened
- Where it happened
- Why it happened
- How it happened
- Who witnessed the incident
In addition to the notifications mentioned above, voice services can send to those who report safety incidents a PDF that includes all notes and photos of any observations or incidents reported the day before.
Technology has become so advanced that, instead of relying only on the safety inspector, contractors can include their entire project team in safety reporting, expanding their “inspector base.”