Just about everyone has a smartphone now, and most of us make a habit of carrying ours at all times. Most apps give us the ability to keep up with friends, shop or quickly get around town. Others can help make workplaces safer. In the past, we’ve covered helpful tools like NIOSH’s Ladder Safety and Sound Level Meter apps as well as OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool.
While these apps help workers and the general public avoid specific hazards, a new app from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) offers a broader look at hazard prevention. It’s called HazardAssess, and it’s available now for free on both Apple and Android.
“Workers are on the front lines in the workplace every day and are often the first ones to find hazards,” says LHSFNA Management Co-Chairman Noel C. Borck. “Identifying hazards and reporting them is the first and most important step to improving safety and health in the workplace. Frontline workers are a vital part of this process, which also includes site supervisors, safety and health professionals and others in leadership positions.”
HazardAssess makes this easy by turning your phone into a tool to facilitate the process of hazard identification and reporting. The app allows users to create a report that can be shared with anyone via email.
The app lists a dozen different hazard categories, including:
- Air Quality
- Working Alone
- Thermal Comfort
While all of these hazards won’t apply to every workplace, users can choose which ones apply to the type of work they do or their jobsite. Once you select a hazard within HazardAssess, the app allows the user to describe the specifics of the hazard or exposure, describe any symptoms that are occuring, take a photo of the hazard and list possible solutions. Hazards are rated on a 1-5 scale ranging from “well-controlled” to “exposure interferes with the job.”
Although the app was developed for workers in Canada, the hazards facing construction workers are universal. Despite different occupational safety and health laws between the U.S. and Canada, workers in both countries can use the app to identify and report hazards on the job. None of the data gathered by the app’s users will be reported to any federal or state agency. It’s meant solely as a tool to assist in the ongoing process of finding and fixing hazards.