Phones or smartphones from Android to Apple iPhones have become the standards in our lives. The following are a few of the free apps that can assist with maintaining a safer workplace.
OSHA heat safety tool:
Available in English and Spanish at http://tinyurl.com/3e673ue, this app allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite and based on the heat index displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple click you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness. Reminders include drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new hires, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health — ladder safety:
This app uses visual and audio signals to make it easier for workers using extension ladders to check the angle the ladder is positioned at, as well as to access useful tips for safely using extension ladders. It also features a multimodal indicator and a graphic-oriented guide for ladder selection, inspection, positioning, accessorizing and safe use. The app is available in English and Spanish at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls.
The following are third-party Android apps that are free in the Google Play Store.
Safe lifting calculator by Oregon DCBS:
Oregon OSHA’s Easy Lift app uses a modified version of the NIOSH lifting equation to give the user a maximum safe weight for various lifting scenarios.
NIOSH lifting index by JFujimoto:
This app adopts the NIOSH lifting equation into an Android format that provides a quick and easy reference tool for use in an occupational situation. This app is for a single, two-handed lifting task and is based off the Applications Manual for the revised NIOSH Lifting Equation (NIOSH, January 1994).
Fall clearance calculator by Honeywell International:
When working at height, it is important to know your fall clearance and swing fall, whether using a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline. The Miller Fall Clearance Calculator app gives workers at height the ability to quickly calculate the required fall clearance for shock-absorbing lanyards and self-retracting lifelines, including swing fall.
OSHA case reporting by Snappii:
This app is designed for individuals to instantly report any violations of OSHA regulations. Users can easily fill in the general form and email it to multiple recipients. All forms are saved in the app and can be checked at any time.
Safety Inspector by Barracuda Software:
This app allows you to perform safety inspections, prestart checks and inspections from your smartphone or tablet. The app has the ability to apply ISO and OHSA standards when auditing to prevent workers from being harmed on the job.
Safety reports by iNet Solutions Group:
Checklists are compliance-driven and reference-applicable to OSHA standards for Construction and General Industry with MSHA, CalOSHA and FMCSA/DOT checklists. The application will automatically generate professional-looking reports, including a cover letter, photos, comments and recommendations.
Job safety analysis by BreakThrough Apps:
This app is an innovative new way to complete JSAs from a smartphone or tablet.
Sound meter by Smart Tools Co.:
This sound-pressure level (SPL) meter app uses your built-in microphone to measure noise volume in decibels and shows a reference. Note: There are numerous sound meter apps available. The apps are basically reference tools. It is recommended that due to differences in phones and setups the apps should be tested against a calibrated sound meter or calibrator.
There also are hundreds of pay apps available. More free and pay applications are being created daily for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets to help make your workplace as safe as possible.
This article was originally titled “There’s an app for that” in the June 2015 print edition of Supply House Times.