Lakeside Industries’ Safety Reporting App Shines
BY Mike O’Neil
Editor’s Note: Lakeside Industries Inc. was recognized by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) as a 2018 finalist in the Operational Excellence Award in Asphalt Operations Safety Innovation. AsphaltPro magazine is proud to sponsor the industry’s safety award and to share this article, which outlines the features and benefits of the company’s multi-functional safety app.
Lakeside Industries Inc. first learned of the HSEQ App at a monthly safety directors forum of the Associated General Contractors Association of Washington in 2017. HSEQ is an acronym for health, safety, environmental and quality and reflects the major operational functions served by this app.
The original HSEQ app is a six function, quick reporting app that works on iPhone, Android and Windows platforms. This app was originally developed in Norway by Mellora, a company that was established in 2012 with the vision to develop mobile tools to provide a quick, easy way to submit safety messages and documents.
Independent safety consultant John Shervey of JW Shervey and Associates presented a free version of the app that was funded by the Washington State SHIP (Safety and Health Investment Projects) grant program. This free version was a simpler version with only three types of quick reports available: accidents, near misses, and good observations.
After seeing this presentation, it seemed obvious that this could be an answer to one of the most common issues brought up by field supervisors and foremen: how do we quickly report on every incident when we are often out in the field away from desks and computers? The implementation of a quick reporting app that could be used anywhere with any mobile device seemed like a solution to this problem.
Not only does the app provide our company with the required reporting, but it also works toward our company’s goal to be paperless. While brainstorming within our risk management and safety team, several quick reports were identified that could simplify the jobs of field leaders.
We began discussions with John Shervey and Mellora Managing Director Trond Hansen to develop our own app with more functions. These functions originally included:
● Near hits
● Incident reporting
● Job site inspections
● Safety observations
● Mechanics damage report
● Safety time out reporting
After the initial limited rollout was met with positive responses from the field, we decided this would also be an excellent way for our designated and trained silica competent persons to report their field observations and inspections to comply with the new Silica Rule. We requested Mellora to program two modifications to our app:
1. Add a function for silica competent person reports, and
2. Separate injury and incident reporting into two separate applications.
This brought our quick report options to a total of eight individual functions available to all users.
Our most common types of quick reports are job site inspections and silica competent person reports, both required weekly by each superintendent, and any reports of safe or unsafe behavior.
These quick reports provide a template response for company supervisors to the risk management and safety team. The report template provides pre-programmed drop downs and radio buttons for responses. Moreover, the templates allow both type text and voice to text functions to complete the reports. The app also allows the reporter an opportunity to include photos “live from the scene” or selected from a photo library to embed into their report.
There are multiple aggregated and summary data reports available to the designated HDEQ administrators. For example, exhibit #3 shows a summary of reports by month, and exhibit #4 displays a summary of all reports by type of report by division. Both reports are useful for the risk management and safety team to track ongoing progress in reporting. Early on in the implementation these reports highlighted the relative success of the adoption of the HSEQ app as a field reporting tool.
Another great feature of the report is the “quick report” tool, which allows the administrator to have predetermined recipients for each type of report and enables the sender to add others to the report. For example, all injury reports are automatically sent not only to the risk management and safety department for notification and investigation, but also to the employees who manage the medical treatment and return to work aspects of a potential workers compensation claim.
One of the requirements in our incident and injury reporting is for the supervisor to identify two or three contributing factors and two or three prevention steps. It is our belief that our field workers and leaders, when given the direction and opportunity, often have the best, most implementable solutions to safety-related challenges.
Overall, the HSEQ app has provided a paperless solution to the company’s most common safety reporting needs. The app increased both the accuracy and timeliness of reports, but also being readily accessible to our field leaders, we get more reporting of all issues in real time.
Exhibit #5 highlights the significant improvement in the timeliness of our field reports since implementing the HSEQ App. This allows the risk management and safety team to respond more quickly to all injuries and incidents.
The reports provide us data that gives us the opportunity to address situations early and find solutions that can be communicated to other divisions throughout the company. Using the prevention steps, contributing factors and photos, we are able to create risk management best practice communications or safety alerts that can be sent to all of our crews and reviewed at toolbox talks. This also provides them with a library of reference material.
The app has provided a quick, efficient and accurate means for communication between the risk management and safety team, divisional management and field operations. Providing incident reporting, investigation and analytic data helps to improve the safety and health environment for our crews throughout the organization.
Mike O’Neil has worked for Lakeside Industries Inc. for 34 years. He has been the company’s long-term Safety and Casualty Claims Director. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Loss Control Management from Central Washington University. Mike is active in the Associated General Contractors of Washington and he serves as an Emeritus Director for the Washington Governor’s Safety and Health Advisory Board, and is an active member on the Construction Safety Day Planning Committees.