H&S considerations for in-field working

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Published 01 December 2016
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H&S considerations for in-field working

Ask a team member about Health and Safety Compliance and you’ll get a shuffle of feet, sideways glances and perhaps a pained expression. We are going to outline one approach we’ve seen work in the field with geotech engineers.

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Above: Build your Health and Safety directly into your App

We all know that implementing Health and Safety is essential for compliance, we know that the practice of H&S will get everyone home safe at the end of the day but there is a conflict because H&S can be seen as form-filling that gets in the way of getting the job done.

Technology should be able to help and there are many mobile H&S systems available. These mobile H&S form systems often link to a central database where patterns and trends can be reported and investigated.

These systems do remove the latency in the H&S process (the time taken for paper to move from site to office to being processed) but suffer from the same essential problem as paper forms: they are not central to the task you have been allocated, you have to remember to do them; they are a separate system.

Here’s an approach that works – incorporate the H&S forms into the engineer’s or rig technician’s core tasks.

For example when performing a geotechnical investigation or site inspection using a mobile Site Inspection App, the first step can be designed to ensure that the Site Hazard Checklist (say) has been reviewed and a new one completed if required. This being the first compulsory item on the electronic form it cannot be ignored.

The next essential success factor for this approach is that the staff cannot complete or report their core task until the H&S information has been completed. The third is getting the H&S data and records delivered electronically to the relevant officer. (You can “split out” the H&S data and deliver it separately from the engineering data which goes into a report.)

This approach has driven a better rate of compliance than seen before, and has been a winner with staff who no longer have to shuffle paper around. By bringing the H&S to the fore, and by being self-managing, staff have been noticeably more comprehensive in their assessments and move on from the idea that H&S is just form-filling.

There is a fly in this technology ointment though. The H&S database you run may not accept data from another system – ie your geotech site assessment app.

The conversation to have with your H&S software supplier is to ask them to add an API – an interface to allow data from your business systems, your mobile inspection systems and dataloggers, into your H&S system. Then you really have H&S flowing through the heart of your business.

 

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