HealthESGMay 13, 2020

Promote safe behaviors through mobile self-assessments – safetip #210

Our latest Safetip is about promoting safe behaviors through self-assessment checklists on mobile devices.

Focus on Behaviors

If you ask people “what helps to improve safety the most”, you’ll get many different answers.

The usual suspects will include safety culture, a safety and health management system (e.g. ISO 45001), hazard and risk assessment, leadership commitment, etc.

The need to focus on behaviors would also be mentioned. Identifying and encouraging the right behaviors help to reduce risks of injuries. Not to mention that the elimination of unsafe or at-risk behaviors strengthens a safety culture.

Leverage Mobile Technology

Safe behaviors can be encouraged through training. But training has a limited effect. People don’t remember everything, and eventually they may forget what they were thought.

Also, there are many different workplace contexts and situations. Some “generic” behaviors may be applicable across the board (e.g. read instructions), but there are also behaviors that are specific (e.g. wearing hearing protection when working at a mine where blasts occur).

In addition, even though some training is better than none, reminding workers of proper behaviors, right before an activity takes place, provides “in-the-moment” and contextual guidance. This is where mobile technology can help.

Many workers carry smartphones or tablets. They can be used to deploy checklists through a mobile app. Before a worker starts a shift or a specific activity, the checklist would allow him to self-asses for the right behaviors.

Some Examples

For example, before handling a chemical, a worker would go through a checklist in the mobile app that would ask her if she consulted the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of the chemical, and if she’s wearing the PPE specified in the SDS.

Also, before operating a forklift, the mobile app checklist would ask a worker whether he performed a quick, on-the-spot inspection of the forklift, and whether he made sure that the alleys where the forklift will be used are unobstructed.

In another example that’s very pertinent to the present, the mobile app would ask a worker to verify whether she’s maintaining social distance and washing hands frequently to reduce risks of COVID-19 infection. This type of self-assessment is already performed by some members of the Enablon community. Check out our white paper on managing COVID-19 risks and impacts to learn more.

When self-assessments are performed many times, right behaviors eventually become habits. Repetition is the best education.

Our Safetips share safety tips or best practices that contribute to safety excellence. Visit our blog regularly for new Safetips!

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