Employee fatigue can be a major threat to work site safety

No one is in peak physical condition every minute of every day, and employees in all lines of work have to worry about the effects of fatigue. However, not all workplaces are created equal in this regard.

A fatigued worker could lead to a major breakdown in a large team-oriented process.

In a conventional office job, fatigue is relatively harmless. Even if an employee dozes off at his desk, the impact is often small like a report going unfinished or an email unanswered. At sites that demand a lot of physical labour, however, the stakes are much higher. A fatigued worker could lead to a major breakdown in a large team-oriented process, and someone could get hurt. 

It's important to safeguard against this danger.

What causes workplace fatigue?

Many people think of physical dangers like falls and fires as the chief threats to work site safety, but the truth is that intangible factors like fatigue can be just as bad. According to WorkSafe New Zealand, the safety of your employees might be in jeopardy anytime people are tired and their ability to "perform work safely and effectively" is hindered.

This could happen for any number of reasons. Employees might be tired out because their schedules are too busy, they're sleeping poorly or they're working in unfavorable environments. Additionally, they might have jobs that are too demanding physically, mentally or emotionally. In any event, the hallmark of a good manager is to look out for all of these warning signs and prevent such issues if possible.

How employers can make things better

Fatigue is a very personal thing, and to an extent it's up to the employee to take care of themselves, but managers can definitely help by fine-tuning the work site safety checklist to better prevent fatigue.

Fatigue might be indicative of a larger medical issue.Fatigue might be indicative of a larger medical issue.

WebMD research indicates that sometimes, larger health problems are to blame for an employee's tiredness. Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, anemia, thyroid disease and sleep apnea are all examples of such conditions, and it may be necessary to screen for them. Additionally, lifestyle changes like exercise levels might help with avoiding excessive fatigue.

Track your progress with our mobile solution

Whatever method you use for curbing employee fatigue issues, it's important to monitor your progress and make sure your efforts are working. For this, you need the right safety software, and there's no better option than SiteApp, a mobile solution that gives you total control over the process.

One of SiteApp's key features is its new and improved capacity for safety documentation. The app makes it easy to create jobs, fill them out and log your progress in a way that all stakeholders can view. It creates an entirely new level of collaborative capability for your staff.

Effective documentation is a key part of coordinating work safety

If you're really passionate about keeping the employees at your work site healthy and safe, there's one thing you'll need to prove it – a mountain of paperwork. Enforcing safety standards is all about completing training courses, inspections and audits. All of these procedures require a great deal of documentation to verify they've gone smoothly.

Now's the time to adopt an efficient, streamlined framework for storing safety documents.

Therefore, a key question for your organisation is how you'll handle all these documents. In the old days, companies simply had physical filing cabinets on the premises with thousands of pages of documents housed inside them. In 2016, however, that won't do. Now's the time to adopt an efficient, streamlined framework for storing, accessing and sharing your company's essential safety documents.

Why efficient documentation is important

When you put a great deal of effort into health and safety at work, you're bound to see the paperwork pile up. According to Health and Safety Handbook, audits, inspections and reviews are just a few of the common processes that often lead to this phenomenon. To keep the pile under control, it makes sense to have a more efficient process.

Going paperless can have myriad positive effects. For starters, it should drive continuous improvement by helping you quickly and painless assess your progress at any time. It also makes it easy to manage both up and down by showing your employees and higher-level bosses tangible evidence of your commitment to safety. When your documentation is more efficient, everyone has something to gain.

Preparing your documents for sharing and use

When implementing a paperless process for safety documentation, one key consideration is the intended audience, according to WorkSafe New Zealand. In other words, who will read the documents you're digitising? Is it supervisors, managers, trainers or other staff members? What files and formats will they prefer?

Going mobile makes it easier for everyone to find the info they need.Going mobile makes it easier for everyone to find the info they need.

Additionally, it's important to think about the specific uses and applications for your personnel. People might need to find documentation for something either on a work site, or during a meeting or training course. In any event, your documents need to be available to people in the right settings.

Use an app that gives you total control

It might seem difficult to coordinate documents in a way that works for everyone, but here's a universal truth. When you have a mobile solution that's adaptable to everyone's needs, you're extremely likely to succeed. That, incidentally, is exactly what you get from SiteApp.

We offer safety software that gives you the capability to improve documentation, share information freely and invite everyone in your company to collaborate, creating a safer and more efficient workplace in the process. Forget about the piles of papers – going mobile is the future. Our product can lead you forward.

Why cloud computing is ideal for your company’s safety data

One of the most challenging aspects of handling workplace safety is the sheer volume of data you're dealing with. Every location you operate in and project you undertake brings a new stockpile of information – training materials, compliance documents, insurance info and so on. The bigger and more complex your business becomes, the more you have to deal with.

It makes sense to invest in better resources for governing all your data and handling it properly.

With this in mind, it makes sense to invest in better resources for governing all that data and handling it properly. You want your information to be safe, secure, readily accessible and easy for employees to work with.

These days, that means using the cloud.

Cloud is soaring in popularity

When it comes to workplace safety documentation, there's no better way to store and safeguard your data than to keep it in the cloud. Nowadays, just about everyone is doing it. According to IBISWorld research, the market for data storage services in Australia alone is now making revenues of $2 billion annually.

The cloud is a huge reason for this. Companies have turned to the cloud because it's made it easy to control storage space and costs, scaling up and down based on the business' changing needs – a key capability in a dynamic business world.

Transitioning to one cloud solution

If your company is like most, you probably have an extensive work site safety checklist with a long series of tasks and challenges on it. Ideally, it would be good to move the entire list to the cloud, rather than rely on a process that's siloed and piecemeal.

Bring all your data together with one unified cloud.Bring all your data together with one unified cloud.

According to PCWorld, everything about your workflow will change dramatically once you have a single cloud solution you can trust. You can start to move everything relevant to your company and its safety concerns under one roof – new email attachments, old files, mobile downloads and so on. The cloud, when used right, should become one centralised hub for all of your business' pertinent information.

A mobile app can change everything

The best way to improve safety at your company is to attack it with a twofold strategy – the cloud, and mobile. This is where SiteApp comes in, as it's a workplace safety app that will make it easy for your employees and their managers to track safety data using tablets, not clipboards and papers.

Because SiteApp includes storage in the cloud, your internal workflows will be easier than ever. We have an innovative system that allows all your documentation to be stored conveniently and securely. When it comes to keeping your people safe and documenting it, this is the next level.

Excessive noise can be harmful to your employees’ health

When most people think of hazards that threaten work site safety, they most commonly think of physical elements they can actually see. A malfunctioning machine or a piece of falling debris, for example, is something that presents a clear and tangible danger to workers' health. It's worth noting, however, that not all safety risks are visible ones.

Not all safety risks are visible ones. Sound can be an invisible killer.

Sound can be an invisible killer. If you have people working in an unusually noisy area, such as a mine or a construction site, there's the potential for the excessive volume to do major damage to their hearing and even cause additional health complications. As a manager of such a site, it's imperative you do something about this often overlooked, yet important problem.

The impact of a noisy work site

Not every threat to work site safety is something as dramatic as a vehicle crash or a falling projectile. Slowly but surely, noise pollution can prove just as dangerous to your employees. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Service at the Department of Labour, prolonged exposure to excessive noise can cause hearing loss in the form of a temporary threshold shift (TTS). Eventually, a TTS can turn into a serious condition like tinnitus.

Some individuals are more prone to such ailments than others. It's important to keep an eye on the wellness of your employees and take action to help them if they're vulnerable.

Attending to the problem responsibly

If you operate a work site where noise is a serious risk, it's probably advisable to compile a long work site safety checklist that's full of strategies for helping employees cope.

Sometimes, you just can't take the noise anymore.Sometimes, you just can't take the noise anymore.

This should begin with doing your research – finding out just how much noise your site has and statistically how damaging it's likely to be. From there, you can determine how much you need the volume levels to decrease and you can begin to brainstorm workflow adjustments that will help.

You may also want to consider investing in training courses for coping with noise issues and protective equipment that people can wear. Additionally, it's always good to follow up regularly and check on your progress.

Document your progress with SiteApp

If you need a better way of keeping an eye on your employees' health risks, including noise pollution and more, it might be time to invest in top-quality safety software. Fortunately, that's exactly what SiteApp is.

Among the many features you get with SiteApp, one is a new and improved process for safety documentation. You can easily report data on people's health, store it in the cloud and access it whenever, wherever. Try our app today and find out for yourself.

Asbestos is still a common hazard at some New Zealand work sites

Seeing a construction job through from beginning to end is a complicated process that requires contributions from many talented people. Everyone from design and construction experts to specialists like plumbers and electricians must be involved for any project to go smoothly. Unfortunately, some of these key players will face health risks along the way. One of them is asbestos poisoning.

Asbestos, a mineral fiber found in rocks and soils, is frequently found in building materials.

Asbestos, a mineral fiber found in rocks and soils, is frequently found in building materials, especially older ones that were originally manufactured before 2000. Workers and their managers should be keenly aware of the risks they face when it comes to asbestos and how they can protect against them.

What are the risks involved?

To some, asbestos poisoning might be a mostly overlooked aspect of work site safety, but according to WorkSafe New Zealand, there are still plenty of labourers affected by it. For example, anyone who works within the fabric of a building – including electricians, joiners, plumbers, and heating and ventilation engineers – might be at risk even in 2016.

More than 170 people die in New Zealand each year from diseases related to asbestos exposure. No one wants their employees to be part of that statistic, which is why taking measures for workplace safety is so important.

What managers can do to help

It's difficult to protect against every single possible threat to workplace safety, but where asbestos is concerned, one thing managers can do is take a long, hard look at their work site safety checklist.

A good manager is looking out for people's safety.A good manager is looking out for people's safety.

According to Total Safety, such a list should include two key priorities – communication and equipment. Companies should be very clear with employees about the potential for asbestos on their work sites, and furthermore, they should be given gear such as respirators and eyewear that will safeguard them. With these two elements in place, the asbestos threat can be mitigated significantly.

Get the right safety app

If you really want to make asbestos safety a priority in your workplace, it never hurts to have the right technology to put this plan into motion. This is a job for SiteApp – a workplace safety app that helps you put the word out about health and safety for all employees.

Thanks to the app's real-time reporting capabilities, you'll be able to quickly identify issues such as potential asbestos and deal with them right away. Never again will you need to worry about safety risks lingering, unaddressed. You now have the technology to find them and snuff them out.

Motivating your team is a key part of successful work

When you're managing a business in a field like construction or manufacturing, which depend on a great deal of physical labour, your job is all about efficiency. You have a limited amount of time and manpower, and you want to push your employees to achieve as much as they can, as quickly as possible.

People are not robots. Sometimes they will need a little bit of motivation to achieve at a high level.

Unfortunately, people are not robots. They aren't always going to be perfectly efficient, and sometimes they will need a little bit of motivation to achieve at a high level. For managers and other business leaders, finding a way to motivate is a key challenge.

It's possible that technology can help with this. 

What keeps employees motivated?

Many business leaders see workplace compliance as the most important part of human resources, but the truth is that motivating your teams to succeed is just as important. According to Inc. Magazine, there are a few ways to do this.

One is to offer people opportunities for self-development. If your workers have a chance to gain new skills and tackle interesting projects, they're more likely to stay engaged. Additionally, giving them chances to collaborate with their co-workers should build morale. Both individual and team successes should help increase employees' engagement and passion for their jobs.

Technology driving employee engagement

Increasingly, there's been a noticeable trend of companies using technology to improve engagement among their ranks, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. The organisation found that when employees use mobile solutions for sharing information, they can bond over everything from efficiency of production to work site safety.

Good management is all about keeping your workers happy.Good management is all about keeping your workers happy.

While a reliable mobile app isn't exactly a replacement for a good boss, it can certainly be effective for taking a solid workplace culture and making it even better. If employees are happy, and they use mobile apps to share those good vibes, it can only mean positive things for the organisation as a whole.

SiteApp offers many key benefits

One of the best ways to build employee morale is to implement a safety app that allows people to work together at keeping each other healthy and focused on their work. This is where SiteApp comes in – it's a powerful tool that gives companies and their bosses complete control over not just their work, but their levels of motivation.

There are plenty of ways to manage teams of labourers, but there's nothing quite like the efficient, paperless workflow that SiteApp makes possible. Try our product today and discover how it can transform your business.

Geolocation is a key benefit of using mobile technology today

Mobile technology has come a long way in just a short period of time. In the beginning, we had cell phones, but they were very limited in their capabilities – we merely used them for placing calls and sending the occasional text. Now, everyone carries sophisticated devices in their pockets that are basically computers. This brings many benefits – one of them is geolocation.

A mobile device today isn't just a phone – it's a map, a compass and a navigation system.

A mobile device today isn't just a phone – it's a map, a compass and a navigation system. It's always tracking your location, helping you find your direction and get around in the world. This benefits countless individuals daily.

For teams of workers, it can help them work collaboratively and handle sophisticated projects with the greatest of ease. This is just another in a long list of mobile technology's benefits.

"Checking in" is only the beginning

Perhaps in the early days, geolocation technology was used most often for rather frivolous tasks – for example, people would use it to "check in" at various establishments and network with their friends. According to RallyEngine, however, a lot has changed in recent years, and companies are getting serious about geolocation, using it for making employees more aware of their surroundings and increasing their efficiency.

A workplace safety app is one example of how companies can use geolocation solutions effectively. It's much easier to keep your teams safe if you're able to track their movements and keep tabs on their work.

Balancing capability with compliance

There are two sides to this coin. On one hand, geolocation can offer tremendous benefits for modern businesses. For example, as SMB World Asia noted, they can help with making work convenient, sharing information among teams and delivering personalised information to employees in specific locations.

Data security is a key priority in the modern high-tech era.Data security is a key priority in the modern high-tech era.

On the other hand, there are data security concerns to keep in mind, and this is a key aspect of workplace compliance that companies must be aware of. For enterprises with reasons to maintain confidentiality about where their projects or employees are located, it's important not to let this knowledge be compromised.

How SiteApp drives workplace efficiency

If you want to build an efficient staff using all the relevant data you can, there's no better way to do it than to rely on SiteApp. Not only can it help keep an eye on workers and monitor their health and productivity, but it is also great for everything from locating employees to improving their safety documentation.

Easy geolocation is just one facet that makes SiteApp a must-have for your business. Our technology can help with assessing work sites, planning projects and routing employees. Try it out today and see how your business can benefit.

Knowing your employees’ injury risks and preparing accordingly

One of your key responsibilities as a manager is to ensure your staff remains productive at all times. They've got to stay engaged, motivated and working hard because otherwise, your business is leaving money on the table. All of this comes with one key prerequisite – first, your workers must avoid injury.

Preventing injury is important for both the health of your people and the productivity of your company.

Injuries are more common than managers would like to admit, especially in settings that demand a lot of physical labour. Taking proactive steps to prevent them is important for both the health of your personnel and the productivity of your company. When you invest in injury prevention, you invest in a better future for everyone.

Knowing the injury landscape today

Before you can raise your company's standards for work site safety, you first have to know what exactly you're keeping people safe from. It helps to know what injuries are most common in the modern workplace and how to protect against them. According to Liberty Mutual data reported by EHS Today, the following incidents are most common:

  • Overexertion. People can hurt themselves through excessive lifting, pushing, pulling or carrying of objects.
  • Falling to a lower level. This often happens when workers are perched on roofs or sides of buildings.
  • Falling on the same level. This is less catastrophic, but can still cause injury.
  • Striking objects. Unfortunately, workers are often hit by tools and machinery that are accidentally dropped or thrown.
  • Bodily reaction. If an employee's body doesn't respond well to climbing, reaching, standing, sitting or bending, it can cause serious health troubles.

All told, the above five safety problems are responsible for 73 per cent of the total health burden that companies accrue. If you know how to protect against them, you'll be in business.

Figure out what causes injuries at your site.Figure out what causes injuries at your site.

Developing a clear action plan

Once you have full awareness of the risks your people are facing, you can start to take action. The first step is to look closely at your employees and their workflows and figure out exactly which injury risks are most applicable to your environment. Then, you can start to communicate to your employees the importance of being vigilant. You can also get to work on a safety documentation process that will keep you fully aware of any problems that arise.

One way to handle this documentation process is with a mobile safety app. That's what SiteApp is. Not only does our product help you document safety concerns, but it also includes real-time reporting capabilities that will help you communicate internally and discuss your staff's progress.

Can voice recognition technology speed up your safety reporting process?

Constantly monitoring the productivity and safety of your workplace involves gathering a lot of information and taking copious notes. You need to know at all times whether your employees are working hard, staying safe and just generally keeping operations moving along. In other words, you've got a lot of data to report.

Voice recognition technology is the superior method of keeping tabs on safety in your workplace.

One way to handle this burden is to spend all day typing – be it at a desktop PC, a tablet or what have you. That can work, but it can get pretty tiring, not to mention boring. What if there was a better way?

As a matter of fact, there is. Using voice recognition technology is the superior method of keeping tabs on safety in your workplace.

Machines type better than humans

For a long time, people were leery of tech gimmicks like voice recognition because they assumed they were buggy and less reliable than simply doing things the old-fashioned way. It appears, however, that this is no longer the case.

National Public Radio recently reported on a study by Chinese Internet provider Baidu, which found that voice recognition programs are now better typists than humans. Baidu Chief Scientist Andrew Ng told the news outlet that he didn't find this result surprising.

"Humanity was never designed to communicate by using our fingers to poke at a tiny little keyboard on a mobile phone," he said. "Speech has always been a much more natural way for humans to communicate with each other."

Incidentally, it could also be a powerful new method for handling safety documentation.

Adjusting your reporting strategy

Now that voice recognition technology is so reliable, it might be time for your company to adjust its approach to handling safety issues. You probably already have a detailed work site safety checklist in place – why bother to write down all your progress on paper when you can simply speak it?

Speaking into a mobile device requires a new approach.Speaking into a mobile device requires a new approach.

Fast Company notes that this can be done, but it may require that users adjust their speaking styles somewhat to account for the new technology. In other words, you may need to think before speaking, choose your words carefully and speak slowly and deliberately for the process to work.

SiteApp – the best of both worlds

SiteApp has a unique take on the modern-day workplace safety app. We want to empower your business to use real-time reporting technology and use only the latest, most accurate data to make decisions about your workplace's safety.

Now, though, we're also combining that with a "voice to type" feature that takes reporting to an entirely new level. Writing down notes is a long and tiring process. Why not abandon it? With SiteApp, you can get everything you're looking for – quick reporting, reliable data and a process that's as easy as simply opening your mouth to speak.

Regular inspections are vital for your workplace’s health and safety

Ensuring a safe and productive workplace is not a one-time thing. You can't merely prepare a list of safety rules, teach them on the first day and expect everyone to fall in line forever. Instead, every good manager knows to follow up continuously, ensuring that everyone keeps doing their part for a safe workplace in perpetuity.

It's important to keep a close watchful eye on your employees and their processes.

Part of this process is scheduling regular inspections. It's important to keep a close watchful eye on your employees and their processes, documenting all your findings as you go.

Get the full scope of work safety

If you want your business to have a comprehensive approach to work site safety, you'll have to cover a few different bases. According to the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, there are a variety of areas that need your attention:

  • General conditions – People should be able to navigate your workplace in areas that are clean, well-lit and clear of debris that might cause accidents. Stairs, rails and other walking areas must be in good condition.
  • Fire prevention – In case of fire, there should be safety precautions readily available. These should include extinguishers, sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, alarms and more.
  • Evacuation plans – If people ever need to exit your building in a hurry, there should be clear procedures in place. Exits should be well identified, lit and easy to use, with doors that are operable and reliable.

Really, this is just the beginning. A complete safety plan is a major undertaking.

Different types of inspections you might need

Ensuring that your company stays safe requires following up with regular inspections. As WorkSafe New Zealand noted, the inspection process comes in a few different forms.

Your workplace must be inspected closely.Your workplace must be inspected closely.

The assessment approach is a proactive one, in which inspectors examine your company's space and ensure that workplace compliance is in order and there are no unsafe practices in place. Investigation inspections are more reactive, taking place after an accident and being used to identify what went wrong. Likewise, response inspection consists of looking over data points on past safety events, identifying problems and recommending policy changes.

It may well be that the best approach to workplace inspection is one that melds all of the above. You can never be too thorough.

Use an app to manage the process

Because the safety inspection process is so rigorous, it's a good idea to have a high-tech solution available that can help you manage it. That's what we offer with SiteApp – a workplace safety app that gives you complete control over the entire process.

SiteApp is a major upgrade over other solutions in terms of safety documentation, making it easy to record the results of every inspection and store that data securely. It's also great for real-time reporting, meaning you can quickly forward relevant safety data to all other parties who need it. Workplace safety might be complicated, but using the right app can make it far simpler.