Safety is one of the crucial aspects of construction and a factor which determines the success of a project. Regardless of size, firms prioritize safety because they operate on the following four assumptions:
- Construction is One of the Most Dangerous Industries – Construction sites are hazardous. To prevent turnover and other disadvantages of an unsafe work environment, measures to ensure the safety of workers must be implemented.
- Workers or Visitors Can Be Injured – Firms heavily invest in safety measures and equipment to prevent injuries to their workforce or even death as a result of an accident.
- Healthy and Safety Failures Lead to Lost Working Days and Canceled Projects – The whole project can be compromised as a serious accident can halt its progress. This may anger the client and possibly cause them to choose another contractor.
- Businesses Can Be Fined, Sued or Banned for Safety Violations – Authorities and special organizations such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can issue fines and prohibition notices if unsafe working practices are carried out. Similarly, injured workers or their families can sue firms for compensation, affecting them financially.
Unfortunately, merely communicating safety information and measures is still ineffective as:
- 28% of 107,355 serious claims and 469 deaths were reported by construction firms. (Safe Work Australia)
- Occupations in the construction industry are the third most dangerous and life threatening. (HSE)
- The construction industry had the highest number of working days lost by industry at 10,200 for the March quarter 2017. (Australian Bureau of Statistics)
One of the reasons behind this inefficiency is firms’ dependence on paper based forms and documents. Workers on site and visitors take a lot of time filling these paper documents and even longer to submit them to concerned staff. Moreover, these documents can be altered or even lost.
Resorting to software may streamline things a little more. However, using laptops at sites can be equally risky and inconvenient. There’s also the issue of keeping these devices charged for over eight hours to ensure uninterrupted communication during a work shift.
This is where mobile forms shine.
Why Mobilize Safety Forms
Mobile forms deliver the benefits of mobile devices, including quicker communication and convenient use. Using them to replace paper-based safety forms, however, allows enterprises to reap the following benefits:
Fewer Chances of Errors
Paper forms filled by hand can lead to human error. This is especially true if the forms require transcribing as handwritten information can be illegible or misread. On the other hand, mobile forms allow users to quickly and accurately enter data through controls such segmented controls and barcode scanners.
Zero Damage and Loss
Paper forms aren’t overly durable. This makes them susceptible to tearing, smudging, and staining. Damage aside, they can be misplaced or entirely lost. Considering how vital the information entered in these documents is, damaging or losing them can cost the company more than money. Mobile forms, on the other hand, are safe from damage. They can also be submitted automatically to business systems such as ERPs and CRMs.
Near Real Time Submissions
Traditional paper forms take a lot of time to be submitted from work sites to back offices. For starters, employees spend a considerable amount of time on filling them and re-filling them in the case of mistakes. Then, they need to locate a fax machine or scan safety documents to email them. Even when the forms reach their destination, a lot of time will be spent on transcribing and filing them. This isn’t the case with mobile forms. As data is already in digital format, it is only forwarded to designated staff and entered automatically in databases and other data stores.
Bonus Mobile Features
One of the biggest advantages of mobilizing paper forms is tapping into the power of mobile devices. Features such as video and photo capture, eSignatures, and geo and time stamps are very effective as they allow firms to track workers’ efforts. They also enhance safety accountability and ensure everyone carries out their responsibilities.
Time and Money Savings
All the aforementioned advantages benefit construction firms by reducing the time and money spent on communicating risks and ensuring on-site safety. The saved resources can then be directed to other efforts which contribute to the bottom line.
3 Ways Safety Mobile Forms Benefit Construction Firms
In the upcoming parts of this series, you will discover the three ways in which mobilizing your safety forms can revolutionize your construction company –
- Improve Your Firm’s Safety Compliance
- Enhance Worker Safety on Busy Sites
- Ensure Risk Management throughout the Project’s Cycle
Stay tuned for the next installment of this series on Friday May 11th, 2018.