A Dozen Ways to Improve Workplace Safety…with Apps

There’s an app for almost everything, right? Well, workplace safety is no exception. Many smartphone and tablet applications exist that can make life on the job site easier and safer, even for employees working at a location far from headquarters.

Need to look up information about hazardous chemicals? There’s an app for that. Need to know what safety precautions you should be taking given the current heat index? There’s an app for that, too. Let’s take a look at a dozen apps—for iPhones, iPads and Androids—that workers are using to improve safety at work.


1. LiftRight

Lifting seems like a simple task, but it actually leads to many workplace injuries. The LiftRight app by EMC Insurance Companies provides information about how to lift safely and even tracks past lifts. The app uses the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Lifting Equation and can calculate recommended weight limits and lifting indexes.

The iTunes store suggests familiarizing yourself with how the NIOSH Lifting Equation works to get the best results. You can find more information about the equation at the NIOSH website. 

Available through iTunes and Google Play. 

2. Wellnomics Stretches

Sometimes it’s worth stopping to stretch at work, and Wellnomics Stretches can help workers stretch key muscles. The app is designed specifically for employees who do a lot of computer work, but the stretches would be beneficial for anyone who does repetitive tasks for extended periods.

The app includes videos that demonstrate how to perform 25 different stretches, and users can select from three modes: normal, past injury and injury rehabilitation. 

Available through iTunes and Google Play.

ladder angle
Photo: NIOSH

3. ILO Ergonomic Checkpoints 

This app, created by the United Nations’ International Labour Organization, allows users to create customized checklists for ergonomic checkpoints at work. These checklists are interactive—users can go through the lists on the job—and can include illustrations and detailed descriptions. This app makes it possible to improve workplace safety in ways specific to your worksite.

Available through iTunes.

4. NIOSH Ladder Safety

NIOSH offers a ladder safety app that helps workers use extension ladders safely. The app uses visual and sound signals to help the user position a ladder at an appropriate angle, which can prevent needless accidents. The app also provides reference materials to assist people in choosing, inspecting and using ladders. 

Available through iTunes and Google Play.

5. OSHA Heat Safety Tool

OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool can provide much needed information to outdoor workers during hot summer months. Users can input the temperature and humidity level to find out the heat index, and the app will suggest what types of precautions like drinking fluids and scheduling breaks need to be taken at that level of heat exposure. The app also provides information about the signs of heat illnesses and what to do in an emergency.

Available through iTunes and Google Play.

Photo: OSHA

6. First Aid by the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross’ first aid app is very popular and can help with anything from treating insect bites to dealing with severe weather. This app offers videos, animations and step-by-step instructions for treating various injuries and illnesses, so it makes a great addition to a job site, especially if employees are away from headquarters. Content is preloaded in the app, so even without good reception users can access the information they need.

Available through iTunes and Google Play.

7. iConstructSafe

Construction workers receive training about how to perform tasks safely on the job, but it’s easy to forget proper procedures over time, especially if a task is performed infrequently. iConstructSafe is an app that can help solve this problem. It offers two-minute videos designed to quickly remind workers about safety precautions. Videos cover how to use tools, prevent falls, wear PPE and related topics. The videos come loaded in the app, so no Internet connection is required to watch them. 

Available through iTunes.

8. OSHA Safety

Need to consult safety regulations on the job site? This app from OSHA is ideal for safety managers who may need to reference specific requirements on a regular basis. The app contains the full text of OSHA regulations for General Industry (Part 1910) and the organization’s official interpretations of regulations. It also doesn’t require Internet access to use.

Available through iTunes.

9. NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards

Another handy reference guide is the NIOSH’s Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, which is an app containing a searchable index of chemicals. Users can look for information about specific chemicals, browse chemicals and learn about emergency response procedures. The app, which does not require Internet access, also keeps track of chemicals you’ve searched before so you can easily find them next time you need information.

Available through iTunes.

10. NFPA 101

Similar to OSHA’s safety app, the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) app serves as a reference tool for requirements related to fire protection. Users can search by keyword or browse chapters of NFPA guidelines to make sure their workplaces are compliant with NFPA codes.

Available through iTunes.

11. EHS Audit Mobile

If your facility performs regular audits, this may be the app for you. EHS Audit Mobile provides more than 1000 downloadable inspection forms and over 200 OSHA audit protocols to help your team perform audits. Using the app, everyone can collaborate and see results and reports (in Word, Excel or PDF format).

Detailed information can be recorded about problems found during audits, too. Notes for colleagues, scores, photos and audio can all be included, and the app can help keep track of issues over time.

Available through iTunes.

12. Safety John

For workplaces that ask employees to keep an eye out for potential hazards, this app can help facilitate the process. Safety John allows users to create hazard reports (with attached photos or videos, if desired) and send them to others via email. The app can also make near miss reporting simple.

Available through iTunes.

Creative Safety Supply

Stay Safe, With and Without Technology

Plenty of apps exist to help make work a little easier and safer, and the ones listed in this post are just a sampling of them. If you or your employees find them useful, they are worth using at your worksite.

Some employees may not have smartphones or prefer not to use technology, though, so in many cases you’ll need to decide whether using these apps (and training employees in how to use them) is worth the time and effort. If your workplace has a cell phone or technology policy, you may also need to adapt it to allow for the use of apps.

Whatever the case may be, make decisions that will make the workplace safer and make employees feel the most comfortable.

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