Mobile EHS apps are one of the most exciting innovations in EHS technology.
Now, hundreds of employees at every level of your company can capture valuable information more efficiently.
However, choosing the right app can be a daunting task.
Vendors offer many different features -- including sophisticated add-ons that the average worker simply won't use -- so it's important to look past the bells and whistles and shop for what's important to you.
To help with the selection process, here's a list of 6 essential features to look for in an EHS mobile app:
1. Ease of use
An EHS mobile app should not require lengthy training. Instead, look for an app that's designed for the "average" worker. Any user should be able to download the app, self-install, and begin using it in a matter of minutes.
2. Offline data collection
A good mobile EHS app should allow you to capture data both online and offline, from anywhere. Look for an app that allows you to enter observations or fill out an inspection form in the app, then sync the information when you get back online.
This is especially valuable for oil and gas companies, mining, construction, and other industries where workers need to be able to collect data in remote locations where wireless coverage isn't available.
3. Image & video capture
Your phone’s camera is a powerful tool. With the right EHS apps, your phone can capture rich information in the field. You can snap a photo of a potential hazard, record a video to enhance safe work behavior, and enable employees to quickly enter observations.
4. Task management and alerts
It's easy to miss important deadlines or tasks when you're away from your desk. Look for a mobile app that lets you create and manage tasks in a centralized calendar, and provides alerts so you can keep tabs on important tasks on the go.
Better yet, look for an app that can automatically direct notifications, trigger tasks based on certain conditions you define, and escalate missed deadlines based on rules you set in order to lower your risk of violations and ensure you never miss another deadline.
5. Configurable form templates
Using data collection templates, apps can help standardize how your organization collects and measures EHS data in the field and on the go. A good EHS app will have a variety of user-configurable form templates to fit any case. Anyone with administrative access (typically an EHS manager or supervisor) can quickly customize the forms to fit their needs. You can easily configure a custom form for a job safety analysis, environmental audit, maintenance inspection, and more.
6. Supports iOS, Android, and Windows devices
In order to ensure widespread user adoption across your organization, your EHS app needs to work on a variety of mobile platforms. Make sure that the app is "platform-agnostic", meaning it will run on any operating system such as iOS, Android, and Windows.
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