We all know that mobile apps can make us more productive, connect us with friends and family, entertain us, inform us and tie us to the world. But apps can do something more important than that — mobile apps save lives in the workplace.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Many of the deaths and accidents could have been prevented if proper safety procedures were implemented and if dangerous situations had been mitigated before someone was killed or injured. We know this because we’re seeing a lot of our customers and prospects building or planning to build safety apps in oil and gas, construction, utilities, mining and manufacturing, some of the most dangerous industries in the world.
How do these safety apps work? Here’s one example. In the electric utility industry, there are proper procedures for creating a safe workplace. The procedures detail the safest sequence of steps, for example, to repair a transformer or to work on high-voltage equipment. A mobile app running on a phone makes it easier for workers to follow the rules — and that means saving lives. The same kind of app can be used in mining, manufacturing and many other potentially dangerous industries.
We have a customer in the oil and gas industry who uses Alpha Anywhere to build many mobile apps. The very first one they built using Alpha Anywhere was a safety app. The company has 10,000 employees in more than 100 countries and has a standardized form to report safety issues. Before creating the mobile app, employees would fill out a paper form about a safety issue and put it in a box. Every few days the forms would be sent to a central location for data entry and only then would steps be taken to fix the problem. That meant that safety issues could linger for days, putting workers at risk.
Using the Alpha Anywhere-created mobile app, all that has changed. When workers see a potential safety problem, they fill out a form on their phone. The form synchronizes with a server, and steps can then be immediately taken to fix the problem. The difference between action being taken in the paper system and app-based system is measured in multiple days. Depending on the nature of the safety issue, this could make a critical difference.
Alpha Anywhere is ideal for developing these kinds of safety apps, because of its mobile optimized forms capabilities. Within minutes you can build a form-based app to enhance worker safety. The forms include a robust offline forms capability, so workers in any industry, including mining, oil, and others that use remote field service workers, can even use it without an Internet connection. Developing safety apps is so important to us that we have included a safety and health app in our Sample App Gallery.