One of the most successful applications of inspection software has been in the occupational health and safety (OH&S) field.
Laws around the world require businesses to ensure that the workplace is as safe as possible for employees. Part of this requirement is regular safety inspections. Historically these inspections were conducted using paper-based processes. The use of inspection software to automate the safety inspection process has been particularly useful to businesses.
As with most types of inspection, safety inspection software converts safety inspection checklists, based on OH&S legislation and other safety standards, into an electronic format to be used on a mobile device. Safety inspections can be scheduled for regular intervals and any corrective action required can be followed up. Unlike with a paper-based system, safety inspectors will be alerted if they accidentally omit an inspection item. PDAs with in-built cameras allow safety inspectors to capture and annotate photographs of hazards and attached these images to their inspection reports.
Safety inspection software is particularly useful in large workplaces spread over indoor and outdoor locations where there are many different safety inspection requirements. Safety inspectors need only scan the barcodes or RFID tags attached to assets for the safety inspection software to bring up the correct safety standard and inspection process.
The other major benefits of a paperless system is that no physical storage is required and safety inspection software allows for much greater access to past inspection reports as well as comprehensive reporting capabilities. Inspection information is stored on a central database accessible by a desktop computer. Inspectors can generate and print or email reports as required. Data can be backed up so that in the case of a workplace accident there is no possibility of data being lost in complicated filing systems. The safety inspection software is able to list the inspection report history of any item within minutes.
The use of safety inspection software has had varied use from pool safety inspections to OH&S inspections on mine sites, farms and manufacturing plants to pre-start checks on heavy machinery and vehicles. More specific applications of safety inspection software will be discussed in future articles.