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Published: April, 2014; Vol 10, Num 11

 

A Review:

Five Useful Apps for Construction Laborers

Today it seems just about everyone has a smartphone or tablet. Aside from keeping people connected with friends and family while on the go, smartphones also let people check email, get directions, stream music and play games – all through the wide variety of apps available. But did you know there are also plenty of apps out there to help protect the health and safety of Laborers? Here are five free or low-cost apps you may want to check out.

1. NIOSH Ladder Safety

   Available for free on iPhone and Android

Created by NIOSH, this simple app makes it easy to set an extension ladder at the proper angle of 75.5 degrees. An angle of inclination indicator helps prevent misjudging ladder angle, which could cause the ladder to slide out or fall away. Increase the safety of your ladder operations by combining this app with the LHSFNA’s easy-to-follow ladder safety PDF.

 

2. OSHA Heat Safety Tool

    Available for free on iPhone and Android

A must-have for the summer months, this helpful app calculates the day’s heat index and provides the risk level for outdoor work. The app also details protective measures to prevent heat-related illness based on the day’s risk level. The LHSFNA offers additional resources on preventing heat-related illnesses through our Publications Catalogue.

 

3. SPLnFFT Noise Meter

    Available for $3.99 on iPhone and iPad

   Sound Meter

   Available for free on Android

There are lots of apps that measure decibel (dB) levels and though none are as accurate as a dedicated sound level meter, they can be a good reference and are certainly better than using nothing at all. Travis Parsons, Senior Safety and Health Specialist with the LHSFNA, experienced the value of these apps during a recent site visit. “I came across a generator running in a basement and thought it may have been too loud. My sound app put the dB level around 95 – over the 85 dB threshold where hearing protection is needed.”

 

4. HT NIOSH Lift Calculator

   Available for $2.99 on iPhone and iPad

   NIOSH Lifting Index

   Available for free on Android

These apps allow you to quickly perform the NIOSH Lifting Equation to determine the recommended weight limit for a given task over the course of an eight-hour shift. Note that these apps do assume prior professional training in how to use the NIOSH Lifting Equation and are not a substitute for that training.

 

5. First Aid: American Red Cross

    Available for free on iPhone, iPad and Android

This top notch first aid app created by the American Red Cross offers step-by-step instructions for common first aid scenarios. In addition to first aid, the app offers safety tips for emergency preparedness and interactive quizzes that add a social element by letting you earn badges for improving your lifesaving knowledge.

More App Reviews on the Way

There is no shortage of useful apps out there and more are being released all the time. Next time, we’ll take a look at five useful apps for site safety managers and supervisors. If there are any apps that help improve your health and safety while on the job, let us know about them by emailing us at editor@lhsfna.org. [Nick Fox]