Ensuring on-the-job safety for field workers is an integral part of an organization’s daily routine, however, managing safety poses many unique challenges for companies who deploy mobile field workers. The hazards that these workers face are expansive and protecting them requires going beyond safety regulation compliance. Field service workers often work alone, on other companies’ premises and in hazardous conditions or remote environments with little, if any, supervision or access to assistance which makes them vulnerable should something go wrong. Reducing these risks for employees is a critical issue for all organizations and one that should not be taken lightly. Safety breaches can be costly to companies, damage their reputation and even worse, lead to serious harm or even a fatality so it’s important that real-time safety monitoring solutions are in place to protect your most valuable asset, your employees.
“In 2016 there was a total of 5,190 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States, more than 99 a week or more than 14 deaths every day.” Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor
Harnessing technology to ensure mobile worker safety
Field service management features and tools such as optimized scheduling and mobile solutions can help to significantly reduce safety risks for employees and contractors, ease the burden of running an effective safety program and provide peace of mind.
Enables dispatchers, schedulers and technicians to focus on safety before a technician is even sent to a job site, by basing job assignments on a technician’s skill set. Optimized scheduling allows:
- Gaps in training or equipment to be more easily assessed, which helps identify areas for continued improvement.
- Parameters to be set in place to minimize a technician’s exposure to risk, by lessening travel time, double checking safety compliance, or restricting time at high-risk sites.
- Bridge building between departments, giving more meaning to tasks while at the same time making them easier to perform.
While proper training in safety procedures remains crucial, providing mobile workers with the right tools to request and receive help in an emergency is critical to avoid negative outcomes. Mobile solutions provide:
- a direct line between dispatchers and technicians while technicians are in the field; customized apps allow for accelerated check-ins and reporting of emergencies.
- Increased visibility in the field: high-risk jobs can be more closely watched; workers are not alone in the field, dispatchers are kept up-to-date and have more control to help when needed.
- reminders and automated compliance checks which address additional gaps needed in training or qualifications.
Constant connection is more than a help line when needed, it provides peace of mind for workers in the field, and shows both them and everyone else in the organization that they are valued. Access to real-time information integrated into daily work life results in a better overall awareness of safety, as well as its impact on the business. While the quantifiable financial benefits may be a large incentive for some, the culture that improved safety builds will garner a lasting impact that goes beyond an organization’s bottom line. Employees are not only being told their organization cares about their safety and well-being, but are also being shown by investment in technology and practices that will keep them safe, making them loyal brand ambassadors for their employers.
Want to learn more about mitigating risks in your service organization? Download our latest whitepaper: Field service excellence: mitigating service risk in a mission-critical environment, for more information.