How Mobile Workforce Tech Can Improve Worker Safety
In many industries, employees’ work carry safety risks. These risks can be managed, but not when treated as afterthoughts to the business. The companies with the best safety records treat risk management as a strategic priorities that drive decisions.
But even with a culture of safety, it can be a struggle to get workers to simply complete the tasks that are designed to protect them. That’s why, despite the fact that worker safety goals or even compliance is prerogative for so many companies, it’s a struggle to execute.
Whether safety concerns are tied to protective equipment and tools, materials handling, or data security, businesses need tools and processes to ensure compliance–right down to the devices in your workers’ hands.
Mobile Work Brings Added Complexity for Worker Safety
Mobile, remote and 3rd party work environments are nearly impossible for businesses to control. Mobile workers and field techs, in particular, are often at offsite locations. They may work on a construction site, inspect a piece of industrial machinery at an energy plant, or service large equipment in a restaurant. No matter the job site, your mobile workers face unique safety challenges.
In many countries, governments are adapting workplace safety rules to fit the new era of work:
- U.S. companies are required to follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and uphold their Duty of Care to keep workers safe, no matter where employees work. Failure could lead to lawsuits, insurance claims, government action, and damage to the company’s brand and reputation.
- In Canada, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has set rules for managing mobile workers. These include establishing check-in procedures, such as assigning primary contacts within the organization, establishing alternative methods of communication in case mobile phones don’t work, and creating detailed travel plans—listing workers’ destinations, estimated times of arrival and return, modes of travel, etc.
- The United Kingdom has established new corporate manslaughter laws. The new rules empower British authorities to investigate or prosecute businesses for mishandling preventable risks.
In such a complex regulatory environment, businesses need all the support they can get to keep mobile employees compliant without sacrificing productivity. Mobile workforce technology can help you achieve both.
Safety Checklists and Reporting Within Mobile Workforce Management Systems
Mobile workforce management systems provide a myriad of benefits for businesses with mobile employees. Thanks to technology capabilities, mobile workforce management allows you and your mobile workers to remain in constant contact and boost workers’ productivity and safety.
While mobile workforce management platforms offer many benefits, among the most important safety benefits are in the mobile safety checklists and incident reporting. A great platform will provide safety checklists relevant to the job assignment and elevate an incident within an organization should one occur.
When workers use these tools, managers can:
- Confirm compliance without adding friction to work.
- Troubleshoot in real-time.
- Capture relevant safety details.
- Verify worker and client safety via photos and signatures.
Furthermore, mobile workforce management (MWM) platforms allow managers to adjust tasks and assignments, then communicate changes to the whole team, in real-time. This makes it easier to stay connected and share safety instructions, step-by-step work guides, and risk assessments.
Additional Safety Features Within Mobile Workforce Technology..
Mobile workforce management platforms provide the foundation that you need—data sharing, documentation, communication, and more. In order for your workforce to reap the benefits of mobile workforce management, the platform must be user-friendly and easy for mobile workers to access.
In addition to safety checklists, great mobile workforce management apps empower mobile workers with other tools to be productive and reduce risk as they care for your customers.
A great app for mobile workers may offer:
- Secure access to customer data so mobile workers arrive equipped with the knowledge they need to keep tasks predictable and safe.
- Location services to help managers quickly pinpoint a worker’s location to send help in case of an emergency.
- The ability to capture documents, photos, and signatures in job notes to protect workers and the company from insurance claims, lawsuits, and more.
- Routing assistance to help workers arrive safe and on time, every time. This also reduces the risk of workers feeling pressured to cut corners on safety and rush to the next appointment.
When your employees are empowered with tools to make customer interactions smoother, they can put more energy into completing necessary compliance tasks and ensuring their own safety.
Mobile Workforce Safety Affects Various Industries
The safety concerns for mobile workers aren’t just limited to certain industries—mobile workforce safety cuts across many sectors.
In-home health care workers, for example, often work alone. They can face a variety of safety risks, including agitated patients, work-related injuries, or exposure to pathogens. Mobile workforce technology can help deliver the information workers need to prepare for the next call, upload visit notes quickly, summon help, or to ping their location to a home office in case of emergency.
Another example is in-home disability services. These mobile workers can use mobile workforce technology to make care more streamlined and higher quality, with patient data all in one location. This simplifies in-home visits with special needs patients, reducing risk to practitioners and clients, alike.
Residential and commercial services, such as carpet or window cleaning, have also used mobile workforce technology to improve employee health and safety compliance requirements. With the ability to gather data and keep accurate records, field workers can also narrow the “trust gap” and reduce risk later on.
Even organizations in the safety industry use mobile workforce management systems to completely redesign scheduling, dispatch, and logistical tracking processes. These businesses can use the technology to free up workers to focus on keeping work zones safe. One example is AWP, a company that uses the technology to pair seasoned workers with new employees to learn the job and maintain job safety.
Mobile Workforce Management Can Transform Your Business
Driven by new technology and demand from customers, the mobile workforce continues to grow and expand across the spectrum of industries across the globe. As your company’s mobile workforce grows to meet the demands of an evolving high-tech world, your company’s safety policies, procedures, and technology must evolve to grow with you.
With a great mobile workforce management system that gives employees everything they need, right at their fingertips, your business can boost both productivity and worker safety.
Skedulo’s MWM platform allows businesses to deliver vital job safety information and compliance policies to mobile workers, confirm workers’ safety in real-time, and much, much more.
Request a demo to see how Skedulo can help your business meet your mobile worker safety goals.