Spreadsheets vs mobile apps for safety reporting

1 December 2019 · SaferMe team

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Spreadsheets vs mobile apps for safety reporting

What is the best and most cost-efficient way to manage digital safety reporting for processes such as observations, hazards, near-misses, accidents, toolbox talks, inspections and audits? Are mobile safety apps worth the investment? Or can spreadsheets achieve what you need?

Many of our customers come to us with these questions. They’ve ‘digitized’ safety reporting using spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, and wonder if it is worth switching to a specialised mobile EHS software solution. What is the difference?

The Answer (short version)

Straight up: it’s not even close. A spreadsheet solution is only marginally better than paper (arguably worse in some contexts), while a well-designed safety app delivers many tangible benefits. But SaferMe sells mobile safety apps – which makes me completely biased. So, here’s a more pedagogical explanation:

The key to why quality safety apps are far superior than spreadsheets is the difference between just “digitizing” a process (putting it into a digital format) versus using digital technology to transform the process so it becomes more efficient, engaging and valuable for all stakeholders. Spreadsheets will allow you to achieve only the digital format; while a safety app can make the process of reporting and analyzing data much more efficient. Choose the world’s smartest safety app – SaferMe – and you’ll also be able to mobilize safety data and keep your people proactively safer with the app too.

No matter how hard you try, that’s something you’ll never manage with Excel!

One of our clients said it best: “I could not sleep at night knowing that we had information stuck in an Excel spreadsheet that, if shared, could have prevented an injury or death.” (James Knapp, EHS Director, OSPRI)

Curious to understand more? Request a free personal demo.

Four things Smart Mobile Safety Apps will do for you that spreadsheets won’t

1. Engagement
Research shows that engaged workers are seven times less likely to have a lost-time injury than engaged peers, which is why driving engagement is a major focus for EHS leaders. Mobile apps which are quick and easy to use, and which engage users with proactive alerts will help drive engagement and data up, and incidents down.

2. Time Savings
Allowing staff to report safety observations, near-misses, inspections and more on the go, in a user-friendly interface, saves your workers time and helps lower the barrier to participating with safety initiatives. Spreadsheets lack user-friendliness, and generally require a worker to record data while on site, and then later spend more time entering it into the spreadsheet format.

3. Real-time Data Insights
Want to know what’s happening with your team now, rather than after the end of the week or month? Mobile safety platforms like SaferMe give you the ability to track safety report data and user engagement data in real-time. Have workers read the safety alerts they’ve been sent? You’ll be able to follow important metrics like this with a smart safety platform.

4. Keep Users Safer
Using spreadsheets, or what we call “dumb” mobile safety apps sends safety data into a void. It will end up in a database of an administrator, and action may or may not be taken as a result. The timeframes for this can vary. A smart mobile safety app on the other hand will share data with other users based on the relevance of the information in real-time. This data can even come from third parties. The data could be anything from a near-miss report, an alert to a hazard, or real-time data from third parties such as lightning strike or severe weather warnings. This means the safety app is working to keep your people safer.

Would you like to see how the apps work in practice? Register your details here for a free no-obligations demo.

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