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Scaffold safety inspection using tablets and smartphones

Supplier: Techs4biz - Pervidi By: Naaman Shibi
13 August, 2012

The Android-based smartphones and tablets have changed the market with approximately 15 million monthly activations of Android devices at the middle of 2012.

The Android-based smartphones and tablets have changed the market with approximately 15 million monthly activations of Android devices at the middle of 2012. Regardless of the popularity of those devices, just a few Android applications appeared to be focused on these requirements — specifically scaffold safety inspection software.

When properly implementing scaffold safety inspection based on Android application, the procedure for collecting information in the field is simple, efficient, and captures all of the required information.

The use of scaffold safety inspection software operating on Google Android devices has increased because of the low price and accessibility to these devices, compared with other mobile phones. Since nearly all scaffold inspectors already have phones, utilising their Android phones for performing scaffold safety inspections doesn't require any large capital expenses.

The scaffold safety inspection app should be simple to use. Since it's used within the field, safety inspectors must have the ability to quickly 'master' the app and learn to navigate to their desired screen/function.

Scaffold safety inspection with handheld devices is therefore replacing paper forms — but without the need for continuous Internet connectivity and increased costs.

So how might an 'offline' scaffold safety inspection application work with no need for online connectivity? The safety inspector can send and receive all of the required information, including photos and pictures wirelessly anytime; but as soon as data is actually sent or even received, users may record all required information directly on to their mobile device even though it is 'offline' — similar to the way an email client manages when and how information is sent to the actual server. This eliminates having to rely on constant online connectivity in remote locations, as well as reducing telecommunication expenses — since data may also be transmitted utilising Wi-Fi.

Picture-taking, as well as integrating the actual image together with the scaffold safety inspection information without extra 'manual' procedures can also be essential. Safety inspectors must have the ability to take pictures, 'doodle' on the pictures as required, and allocate the picture to the appropriate item on the inspections with minimal number of 'clicks'.

Speech-to-text capabilities on most new mobile phone and tablets allow the safety inspector to record audio notes direct to the application and have them ready as text in real time.

Simplifying information collection through standardising features and drop-down lists and speech-to-text are important. The safety inspector must have the ability to select results or defects from drop-down lists and consequently minimise information entry.

Based on current trends and the fact that the Android operating system powers a large range of computers and mobile devices, there could well be many more Android devices than any other smartphone in the near future. 

As such, expanding the use of Android devices to support scaffold safety software is already happening.