A new app is leveraging the benefits of social media platforms in an effort to strengthen safety culture on worksites.
“There are billions of dollars of software and engineering being put into things like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and we want to leverage some of the benefits of that technology that has been developed for something as important as safety in the construction industry,” said Adrian Bartha, CEO of eCompliance.
“We’re combining the best of Field iD and eCompliance into one new app, eC Edge, which builds on the ideas and feedback from all of our customers but also takes the experience to the next level based on what we’ve learned from social media platforms and the newest technology.”
The company unveiled the eC Edge App, the newest addition to its product lineup, at its annual NXT 2019: The Future of EHS conference in San Diego, Calif. at the beginning of October. It offers a new way of encouraging collaboration on safety between people on the same worksite, Bartha noted.
“We started to figure out a secret sauce of what we saw was working for companies with the best safety performance across our client base and a lot of that had to do with the participation in the industry on the front line with supervisors and foremen,” he explained.
“We have been seeing the impact that positive encouragement is having on the younger generation and so we actually started creating a new app that is built almost like a social platform for safety to encourage and acknowledge safe behaviours, while at the same time better communicating things that could go wrong to prevent them.”
Conference attendees were given a first-hand look at the concept app and the opportunity to try it out. It will be given to select clients to test and provide feedback and the full version will be released to clients next year.
“We wanted to get the working prototype out there for people to see and touch because it’s one of these things where until you see it, it’s hard to describe…it’s like describing Instagram to someone five or six years ago,” said Bartha.
“It’s such a new thing we’re building that there is not really a precedent for it. That’s why we’re engaging with many stakeholders in our client base to build it with us. It’s almost like we’re building a new platform or new technology together.”
The product team was able to get feedback from users at the conference.
“A lot of the feedback we got is how do we strike a balance in the company when it comes to safety and communication and the privacy of the data for the company,” Bartha said. “From that feedback we decided to build in a lot of flexibility on how a company utilizes it because different companies have different communication cultures and we have to be respectful of that.”
The new app includes new features. The News Feed displays the workforce’s latest activity on site in real-time such as updates on hazards, who is arriving late, who worked the night shift and what each worker can expect upon arrival to the site.
Workers can also report a Hazard ID in 90 seconds or less. They can attach an image, categorize the hazard and assign a severity level ranging from low to extreme.
In an effort to bring positive reinforcement to the workplace, workers can recognize co-workers for going above and beyond with a “High Five.”
Users can also enable Push Notifications to receive important safety updates from their respective sites, which can be configured based on severity levels of reporting Hazard IDs and each user’s needs.
The Team Dashboard aims to make safety performance on the site more transparent by providing all team members, not just managers, direct information from the site.
“For any construction company this is something that anyone in their company would be able to just download like any other app and use it and they don’t need to be trained on it,” said Bartha. “Whether it’s a foreman who uses it or a labourer, if they are allowed to use phones on site, the experience will be very similar but what they would see in it would be different, it would be more reflective of their role and what is around them on their site or what needs to be pushed to them by their supervisors.”
Follow Angela Gismondi on Twitter @DCN_Angela.