Manufacturing safety and compliance ain’t easy. Between training your employees, inspecting your facilities, holding safety meetings, responding to emergencies, recording injuries, maintaining machines and equipment, ensuring efficiency and consistent quality, and much, much more, there’s always work to be done.
Mobile apps can make it easy. These days, there are numerous mobile-ready manufacturing compliance and environment, health, and safety (EHS) software solutions built to streamline industrial operations of all sizes.
If you’re new to manufacturing compliance and EHS mobile apps, or are looking to add more digital tools to your repertoire, here’s what you need to know:
Why Mobile Apps? Because Manufacturing Safety and Compliance Are More Complicated Than Ever
Manufacturing is a historically dangerous industry. In fact, the number of people injured and killed in industrial accidents was a major impetus behind the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970, and the creation of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration in 1971.
In the decades since, employers have been able to significantly reduce their annual workplace injury and fatality rates, but accidents still occur with alarming frequency. It’s largely a problem of complexity. As the manufacturing industry continues to expand and diversify, so too do workforce health and safety concerns.
Consider the many kinds of health and safety risks manufacturing workers face today:
- malfunctioning equipment and machines
- back injuries
- hand injuries
- eye injuries
- broken bones
- hearing loss
- exposure to hazardous chemicals
- slips, trips, and falls
- vehicle collisions
- heat stress
- disease outbreaks
Frequently, these issues occur because workers aren’t trained or supervised properly, or because there are significant oversights and gaps in the organization’s safety program.
It’s not that employers are willfully neglecting the well-being of their employees, but that various economic and environmental realities often take precedence. Companies are under mounting pressure to save time, reduce labor costs, minimize waste, and maximize profit—all while scaling production to compete in a global market. It all needs to happen sustainably and in accordance with the needs of customers, vendors, shipping partners, and other stakeholders.
As a result, today’s manufacturing companies must contend with layers upon layers of technology, processes, and human behaviors. Employees need to be trained to operate highly specialized machines, managers need to ensure the work is being done properly and on time, and leadership needs to allocate limited resources effectively. It can be difficult to find where health and safety fits into the conversation, and yet—as any manufacturing EHS professional knows—health and safety are directly linked to profit and productivity.
And it isn’t just work itself that’s grown more complicated. As the industry has evolved, lawmakers have kept up by introducing more and more rules and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. Regulators such as OSHA enforce the laws by going after manufacturers with inspections, hefty penalties, and—in some cases—legal action.
At any given time, a company may face dozens of compliance concerns and uncertainties, dealing with questions such as the following:
- Are we doing everything we can to avoid the most common OSHA violations?
- Are all of our employees trained and up-to-date on current regulations?
- Are we managing and disposing of waste in line with the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules?
- Are we adhering to all relevant state and municipal-level statutes?
Safety and compliance problems can lead to serious penalties, as well as myriad indirect costs in terms of lost productivity, workers’ compensation expenses, workforce turnover, and more. Sometimes, accidents even result in litigation against the employer.
How Manufacturing Compliance and EHS Mobile Apps Help
It isn’t feasible to manage all the risks and concerns enumerated above by hand. You simply can’t rely on pens, paper, and manual systems to keep your people safe and compliant in a highly complex, constantly changing world.
That’s where mobile apps come in.
Manufacturing compliance and EHS mobile apps bring the power of workforce safety software to a convenient, easy-to-use format. With key safety and compliance tools within your reach at all times, you’ll stay ahead of the various risks that threaten workers’ safety and your organization’s bottom line.
Mobile apps allow safety and compliance managers to work where work actually happens. You can capture data on the fly, assign and track activities, coordinate training, pull up regulatory information, and complete many other essential tasks on the facility floor rather than at your desk.
With the right mobile apps, you don’t need to rifle through binders and spreadsheets. You don’t need to travel back and forth between your workstation and the shop all day. From OSHA logs to Safety Data Sheets to training courses, practically any EHS document and resource you and your team members need is available via phone or other mobile device.
Many mobile apps are cloud-based, meaning they’re accessible from any device, and available in both mobile and desktop versions. This makes it easy to stay connected and up-to-date on all safety and compliance matters from any location.
The best mobile apps empower you to automate and streamline your safety program. Depending on the app or apps you use, you can create and run workflows for various tasks, harness prebuilt inspection checklists (or configure your own), or convert existing documents into online templates. It all adds up to more reliable, consistent performance.
Key Benefits of Manufacturing Compliance and EHS Mobile Apps
- Convenience: Conduct audits and inspections, record and track incidents, and manage other EHS and compliance initiatives from anywhere, where and when it all happens.
- Time Savings: Reduce the time it takes to complete various EHS and compliance tasks.
- Greater Visibility: Access and monitor compliance data across multiple locations.
- Faster Response: Quickly review issues, assign preventive and corrective actions, and fill out paperwork to maximize accuracy and minimize the impact of issues.
- Consistency: Automated tools eliminate errors and gaps in safety and compliance.
5 of the Best Manufacturing Compliance and EHS Mobile Apps
There’s no shortage of manufacturing compliance and EHS mobile apps on the market today. Some are free, others require a one-time fee or paid subscription. Some offer all-in-one safety program management while others are specialized for a single function or specific task.
What are the best manufacturing mobile apps for your company and workforce? With so many options available, navigating the market and making a choice can be overwhelming.
Here are a few apps worth considering first:
1. Vera EHS
Automate manual processes, reduce injuries and risks, and manage safety in one comprehensive EHS software platform. Vera EHS includes everything you need to ensure manufacturing safety and compliance, with audit and inspection tools, quick and easy accident reporting, online training courses, recordkeeping, document capture, and more.
2. NIOSH PPE Tracker
Keep track of your inventory of goggles, respirators, and other personal protective equipment, so you can manage equipment burn rate, stay ahead of shortages, and restock as soon as you need to.
3. First Aid: American Red Cross
Get the information you need to provide life-saving support in the event of an accident, toxic exposure event, fire, or another manufacturing emergency.
4. MaintainX Work Orders
Greater efficiency means more time and energy to prioritize safety. Create work orders quickly, keep teams organized, track machines and equipment, and more with this mobile-first task management app.
This is another app that can support your safety program by improving overall efficiency. Get the real-time analytics your company needs to monitor production and manage the factory floor effectively. SensrTrx provides detailed insights into machine status, performance, availability, and downtime, with automated reporting and alerts.
Looking for more mobile EHS apps? Check out our list of 15 of the top apps for safety professionals.
Get Mobile Manufacturing EHS Software + Training and Consulting Tailored to Your Company
Reduce your total cost of risk, streamline operations, and achieve peace of mind with software and a mobile app tailored to your organization and workforce.
KPA helps manufacturers throughout the United States minimize risk and maximize profit. Our cloud-based, mobile-ready EHS and compliance platform empowers every member of your team to do their job faster and with minimal uncertainty. Our solution combines powerful safety software with award-winning training and on-demand expert consulting—all designed to meet the needs of today’s manufacturing companies.
Discover how easy manufacturing safety and compliance can be with KPA. Get a demo.