Today, mobile devices enable us to stay connected and share information with each other no matter where we are in the world.
But have you stopped to think about how beneficial that could be for your oil and gas company’s operations?
A recent survey by Oil & Gas IQ found that while 55% of chief information officers (CIOs) believed that mobile technology would greatly enhance operations, only 16% have employed a mobility strategy in their organisations so far.
Mobile EHS apps, in particular, offer a number of distinct advantages for the oil and gas industry. If you’re still on the fence, here are five benefits that will convince you.
1. Data capture
The most obvious benefit of mobile EHS apps is the ability to capture data from anywhere. In the oil and gas industry, operations are frequently conducted offshore or in isolated locations. Inclement weather conditions and challenging terrain mean that carrying a clipboard or laptop around isn’t always convenient. Not to mention, paper records can be lost, damaged, or just plain difficult to read.
With mobile apps, employees can capture data quickly and accurately. They can easily take environmental measurements and readings or perform a safety inspection using a mobile phone or tablet. In locations where WiFi isn’t available — such as a remote pipeline or an offshore platform — employees can capture data using a mobile device and sync the information to a central system when they’re back in network.
Of course, companies that only use mobile apps for data capture are just scratching the surface of the advantages this technology has to offer.
2. Instant visibility
Unlike paper records, mobile EHS apps enable oil and gas companies to see what’s happening at each of their locations in real-time. For example, a technician can capture data in Alaska and sync their findings to the central database. A manager in an office thousands of miles away in Texas can view that data in dynamic dashboards as it is inputted. This enables oil and gas companies to make informed decisions in their production operations based on timely and accurate data.
3. Integrated corrective actions
Another popular advantage of mobile EHS apps is the ability to integrate corrective actions with mobile assessment findings. Many oil and gas companies are already using mobile apps to perform inspections such as job safety assessments, leak detection, maintenance, or general risk assessments. Within any assessment, question/response pairs can be configured to trigger a finding. Findings can either be resolved on the spot, or a corrective action task can be assigned to someone else within the company. So for example, if calibrated equipment is found to be out-of-tolerance, a corrective action can be assigned to adjust, calibrate, or order a replacement immediately.
Integrated corrective actions can significantly improve your response time, since you don’t have to wait for someone to manually review inspection findings in order to act on them. Not only that, but managers can also track corrective actions in reports and dynamic dashboards. They can easily see whether actions are being completed on time and see trends related to the frequency of findings over time.
4. Get notified of incidents immediately
It’s something no one wants to think about, but the reality is that the oil and gas industry has suffered several horrific disasters in recent years. Experience has shown that even minor incidents require a swift response in order to protect workers and the environment and limit damage.
The question is how to quickly and effectively respond to potential incidents, and mobile EHS apps are one promising answer. With the power of mobile devices, need-to-know employees can get instantly notified of incidents or exceedences. That way, they’re able to take appropriate actions as soon as issues arise.
In addition, incident information can be shared across different departments or locations. For example, if a safety incident happens at one drill site, other sites can be notified immediately. This is extremely useful for alerting workers to potential dangers and preventing the incident from happening elsewhere.
5. Better decision-making
Mobile EHS apps can improve decision making by getting information to the right people at the right time. Because information captured on mobile devices is synced to the central database immediately, managers and executives can get a complete picture of the company’s operations in real-time. Powerful dashboards display information from audits, inspections, measurements and readings as it is collected. Using dashboards, you can analyze trends and drill down on details by location, category, severity, and other attributes. Reports also leverage data captured in real-time at the source. With the power of mobile apps, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions to reap the rewards in efficiency and profitability.
As you can see, mobile EHS apps are no longer a “nice to have” for the O&G industry. Today, they are an essential part of modern and efficient operations. Next, read about some of the other ways the oil & gas industry is using EHS software.