ROI 101: How Field iD saves customers time and money

By Jason Chan on January 27th, 2015 @ 8:45 pm

Many companies that have lockout/tagout (LOTO) and compliance processes in place don’t really understand the costs associated with them. They might understand what their pain points are, but they don’t know how to best tackle those problems in a cost-effective way. As a result, they do what they’ve been doing for a long time and never really examine what it’s costing them.

In addition to managing the lockout-tagout process, Field iD is an effective tool that can cut down the hours it takes to do inspections and audits. What’s the cost of providing that sort of solution? Well, what’s the cost of a person’s life that could be saved? Not to mention the dollars associated with a compliance breach in terms of legality. On top of that, there would be workers’ compensation costs if someone was injured on the job. In addition to all the time that Field iD can save its clients, the product fundamentally improves safety.

Most times when people come to Field iD looking for a compliance or LOTO solution it’s after something negative has happened that finally makes the green light go off in their head. Another common occurrence is that they tried something else in the past and it didn’t meet their needs. Cost is a factor in most cases, but we focus on the value Field iD provides.

Why is the ROI of Field iD so high? There are several reasons:

  1. It saves time. The way Field iD automates laborious processes means it takes less time to do the same work. In addition, safety is improved, saving companies the possibilities of dealing with a costly accident on the job.
  1. It’s easy to train employees on the technology and it’s fully customizable. That means it takes less time to train people to inspect things the right way. There are also built-in assurances that employees won’t miss critical steps in compliance or LOTO processes.
  1. You save time when you don’t have to pull paper records. Using Field iD means you don’t have to look for the paper reports when it’s required during an inspection. You can get the records needed from any Internet-connected device.
  1. You have visibility into your equipment anywhere and at any time. It doesn’t matter if the safety manager is across the country or it’s two in the morning.

Return on investment is something that every smart company focuses on, but it can be a tricky puzzle to solve. With Field iD the benefits are obvious. You save time and improve safety, and what’s more important than that for safety managers? Increase safety and decrease your costs.



Master Lock Field iD @ Acklands-Grainger WORKS 2015

By Jason Chan on January 23rd, 2015 @ 3:01 pm

From February 4-5, the Vancouver Convention Center will be hosting one of the most exciting and all-inclusive industry expos in North America. The Acklands-Grainger WORKS Expo is a must-attend convention for anyone in the industrial sector looking for the newest developments in efficiency and safety.

At Acklands-Grainger WORKS, you can discover thousands of products and services, meet industry experts, and sit in on educational seminars to learn about new industrial trends and tips for running a better business. Acklands-Grainger is a trade-show first, so they’ve placed a big emphasis on bringing you the most cutting-edge products and game-changing services from the top innovators in industry so you can have actionable ideas from the moment you arrive.

If you’re at all interested in making your workplace safer and more efficient, then Acklands-Grainger is exactly where you should go. You’ll discover, connect, and build a network of new associates that can help make 2015 a better year for your business.

Because Acklands-Grainger is focused on products and services, Field iD will be attending to exhibit our safety inspection and compliance management software to the masses. 2014 was a great year for us, and many businesses have benefited from Field iD’s intuitive approach to safety, but we know there are more people out there that can use Field iD to keep their workers safer than ever before.

If you’re interested in attending the Acklands-Grainger WORKS 2015 Trade Show, visit http://acklandsgraingerWORKS.com/home.html (you can sign in as a guest). Though there’s no floor-plan yet, the coordinators are promising an attendance of over 250 supplier partners in attendance, and that means your attendance will be worth every penny. Visit us at the Master Lock booth #1312.  Sign up today to be eligible for our show special for a FREE iPad.  Click here for more details.

Categories: Safety Management


Investing in Safety: 2015 Oil and Your Bottom Line

By Jason Chan on January 21st, 2015 @ 7:24 pm

Oil prices are dropping drastically and though some argue that several economies could be hurt by the volatility, the opportunities that many can receive are outweighing any negative effects.

It’s no secret that the price of oil is absolutely plummeting that has resulted in some strange economical anomalies. Because the price of oil is lower than they’ve been in years– thus leaving less net earnings for those companies selling energy — consumers are receiving a big boost of buying power, leading to an economic boom. It’s a strange effect to have, surely, but it’s leading to some great opportunities for many businesses being positively impacted.

At Field iD, we think that companies should be using these new economic developments to bolster their bottom line. After all — if you spend less on oil and spend less elsewhere, your bottom line will be higher than ever before. We’re not saying we’re economical whiz-kids, but we do know that workplace injuries can hurt your bottom line and prevention is a great way to save money down the line.

An Unheard-of Opportunity

When was the last time you were told (and it was proven) that current oil prices would have the effect of receiving a massive tax break? Oh, you don’t remember? Neither do we. This kind of extreme drop — one that has lasted longer than we’d expected — is an opportunity we never thought we’d get.

That means that now, with our businesses using more affordable energy, we can invest more in our workers — the people who matter most. Thousands of dollars in oil savings means that you can stay ahead of the curve with new and upgraded equipment for things like fall prevention and lockout/tagout. You can also boost your workforce’s safety procedures with new training seminars.

The situation we’re in right now is a win-win. We never want to see our workers injured on the job, but sometimes it’s too difficult to prevent that. Accidents happen. After all that our workers have done for us, it’s time to give back to them by giving them the safety they deserve.

For our businesses, that means that we’ll be able to expect fewer injuries, thus incurring less cost for the bottom-line. Investing in safety also helps us invest in our net earnings, meaning that we’ll have a stable way to ensure no surprise costs come up due to tragic accidents and mounting hospital bills.

It might also be time to invest in some management tools, ones that will make your business even easier to run than ever before. Managing all of the safety regulations, inspections, and equipment can be difficult without the proper tools. New equipment and training is great, but if you can’t be consistent with it, great safety numbers might still be out of reach. With Field iD, you can easily manage all of your safety needs in one cloud-connected platform. We take pride in our software, and we think you’ll absolutely love how Field iD makes safety management easy and efficient.

Remember that, as business owners, we’re the first line in defense for our workers. We’re here to help them do their jobs and assure that, when they clock out, they felt that their safety was our top priority. Don’t lose sight of your workers safety and your business will flourish in this new economic boom.

Categories: Safety Management


The importance of lockout-tagout (LOTO) in the oil and gas sector

By Jason Chan on January 19th, 2015 @ 8:31 pm

For companies that operate potentially dangerous machinery, having LOTO procedures in place is critically important to worker safety. Failure to properly lock out equipment and control its hazardous energy before servicing that equipment can quickly lead to injury or death.

Few industries carry a higher risk of injury than the oil and gas sector, yet LOTO can sometimes be an oversight that isn’t granted the attention it requires to keep workers safe. On the whole, being reactive in the safety world is a dangerous, costly mistake, and the oil and gas sector is no exception.

Waiting until an accident happens to improve a process or to invest in a program — whether it is fall arrest, confined space, arc flash or LOTO — means that the company is actually waiting for a death or injury to address the issues.

On the safety front, a recent survey from Dräger found that 69 percent of frontline workers and 62 percent of safety managers in the oil and gas sector feel their current or previous employers often considered their safety, as well as provided the necessary training and equipment.

But here’s the thing. That leaves a large number of workers who don’t feel employers considered their safety, or provided the right training and equipment. There are many reasons as to why, but LOTO is near the top of the list. So why don’t all oil and gas companies put enough emphasis on LOTO? There are several reasons:

  • Oil and gas plants have a large amount of machinery in operation, and sometimes it is from European manufacturers. As a result, LOTO processes can be more complex, and thus safety and compliance managers avoid putting them in place.
  • Some traditional LOTO equipment can cause environmental problems such as arcing and sparking in hazardous areas. Some types of metals are very sensitive to byproducts from processing oil and gas.
  • Workers don’t know how to handle specific LOTO process. For example, some lockout devices are difficult to operate and time consuming to implement, but the S3081 is not by comparison. The more complicated the lockout tends to be, the greater chance for avoidance as workers explore shortcuts.
  • Some safety and compliance managers assume workers already know the proper procedures without a formal LOTO process or structured training. Many times employees with a lot of experience in the field have never had to use lockout products, along with companies that do not have management enforcing the use of the lockout devices.

Oil and gas companies ready to implement or improve LOTO procedures can now use Field iD’s technology to help automate processes and ultimately increase safety and compliance. Managers can access and update Field ID’s Lock Out Tag Out module at any time, from any location using the Web, smartphones and tablets. This is of specific benefit to the oil and gas sector, where machinery is in remote locations.

Categories: Lock Out Tag Out


Preparing for OSHA’s 2015 Changes

By Jason Chan on January 12th, 2015 @ 8:08 pm

2015 is finally here and OSHA has new plans to make your workplace safer and more efficient. It’s absolutely crucial to prepare for the coming year, so we’re bringing you the most up-to-date information we could find about what’s coming over the next twelve months.

Increased Inspections

The first and most important part of OSHA’s 2015 plans is the health inspection roll out. OSHA has decided to answer to the rising health concerns in 2014 by preparing for more health inspections in every industry. That means that this year, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and do your part to ensure your workplace is up to their standards.

Remember that OSHA’s inspections are in place to ensure that your workplace is safe for everyone involved, and enforcement of these rules should always be a priority. The best way to prepare for inspections is to always have your workplace running safely. If you need more information and tips about enforcing these standards and keeping your workplace running smoothly, check out our variety of articles on workplace safety and enforcement.

New Standards

Along with the inspections roll out, OSHA is developing and enforcing a handful of new rules and standards to come into effect in 2015. Though many of these rules are still in their approval process, it’s important to stay informed about when they’re enforceable, so we’ll be posting up information as soon as we get word of it.

The first of the new rules is actually an update to OSHA’s crucial injury reporting rule. The update came into effect on January 1, 2015 and is already being enforced.

The updated injury reporting rule states that:

  • All work-related fatalities must be reported within 8 hours of their occurrence.
  • Work-related inpatient hospitalization, amputations, or losses of an eye must be reported within 24 hours of occurrence.

Even those industries which were exempt to these reporting rules before must now abide by these new rules in cases of fatality or severe injury. Injuries can still be reported by contacting OSHA via phone, but they’re also preparing a new online reporting tool to make reporting faster and easier than ever.  More information about the online reporting tool can be found at this link:

https://www.osha.gov/report_online/index.html

OSHA has many other standards planned for the rest of the year, but we’re awaiting more concrete information to keep you well informed. Each of these new standards will be getting their own coverage as the year goes on, and we’ll keep providing you detailed articles and helpful tips along the way.

There’s a big and exciting year ahead of us, and that’s a good reason to start it off safely.  Don’t forget to stay tuned to the Field iD blog all year long for first-watch news about the newest OSHA standards and more excellent safety tips and tutorials.

Categories: OSHA


3 Steps to Avoiding OSHA and LOTO Violations in the Food Industry

By Jason Chan on January 6th, 2015 @ 8:53 pm

Whether you work on the restaurant side or the manufacturing side of the food industry, you’re no doubt familiar with the challenges that come with maintaining a safe environment. To prevent contamination and injury, equipment must be meticulously serviced and inspected and procedures must be carefully followed and documented to make sure no steps are missed.

Much of this revolves around following lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures. For instance, when equipment is locked out for service, failing to use the right tools to detect contamination can quickly lead to a disaster. Or consider the case of an employee who services equipment but fails to lock out the power source – risking amputation or even death if the machine starts up again.

Workers often think, “it won’t happen to me”– but the reality is, accidents happen all the time. Violation of Lock Out Tag Out rules was the most common OSHA violation in the food industry in 2012-2013, resulting in penalties in excess of $894,000. In fact, 28 fatalities and 227 serious injuries in the food manufacturing industry were related to LOTO procedures between 2003 and 2013, with the largest number being in meatpacking and poultry processing.

Horrible as the threat of injury is, it’s not the only concern facing the food industry. LOTO violations can also lead to OSHA fines, increases to worker compensation premiums and consumers who flee to competitor brands. That doesn’t even include product recalls, plant shutdowns and a damaged brand reputation, which can all deal a catastrophic blow to your company’s bottom line. So how can workers tackle these challenges?

  1. The first step: making safety a priority. All too often, small businesses that lack defined LOTO procedures are tempted to take shortcuts on the floor. Larger companies might deal with closer regulatory scrutiny, but the pressure to maintain a fast pace can sometimes push them into a quick but risky fix. LOTO compliance must be a top metric, with teams held accountable.
  2. To actually make that happen, businesses must automate and define their LOTO processes. The proper steps must be clear, with all guesswork eliminated, to prevent injuries and contamination. That way, even employees with minimal training can complete the procedures correctly.
  3. A critical part of this is having the right tools. Let’s be honest: human error is never going to be eliminated, not entirely. Using the right tools and technology are the closest thing we have to ensuring our processes keep people, products and profits safe. For instance, Field iD takes you step by step to make sure you have the right equipment in place and that workers comply with the process from beginning to end. We also have specific LOTO tags that are metal detectable, in the event one gets lost or falls into food processing. Those are just a few examples of how smart tools can prevent disasters.

Because in the end, that’s what good Lockout Tagout procedures are all about. Instead of suffering the consequences of an OSHA violation, your business can achieve a new level of safety and compliance — one that ultimately protects your company, your workforce and your customers.

Categories: Lock Out Tag Out | OSHA


How to know when you are ready for a lockout-tagout (LOTO) program

By Jason Chan on January 2nd, 2015 @ 2:41 pm

It’s no secret in the industrial and manufacturing sector that lockout-tagout procedures are crucial to the well being of employees and their safety. However, it’s also a sad reality that a huge number of companies fail to have any sort of formal LOTO policies/procedures in place, and simply believe that the way they are operating and servicing their equipment today is “safe enough.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, up to 80 percent of injuries related to servicing and maintenance of equipment and assets can be attributed to failing to follow simple LOTO procedures. LOTO continues to consistently make OSHA’s list of most frequently cited violations, with the Administration citing 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year that could have been prevented by following LOTO procedures.

With those statistics in mind, how can companies determine if they’re ready for a formal LOTO program? It’s not complicated. Any time a company large or small, has energized machinery (powered by electricity, pneumatics, hydraulics and even gravity) there needs to be a lockout procedure in place. Even if the company hires a third-party contractor/consultant to handle any maintenance or shut downs, the hiring company is responsible to have the third party sign off on all safety processes and procedures.

Now that you know when a company should have LOTO procedures in place, the fact still remains that at two similar companies, one may have a program in place while the other doesn’t. Why is that the case? Often times it comes down to a lack of knowledge — companies simply don’t know they have to have a program in place. Laws and regulations can also vary by country and even by state/province, so confusion can arise about how formal (if any) the LOTO process needs to be.

Of course in the U.S. there are strict Department of Labor regulations enforced by OSHA in regards to LOTO. However, it can get confusing beyond the USA, as many places have very little to no directive in regards to what needs to be done to comply with safety standards.

Training for any sort of new process or technology can be a challenge within a company, so when you implement LOTO procedures there are a few things to remember. Make sure to physically walk through the process with employees who work on the machines every day. In addition, take pictures before and after servicing equipment and include them within any software solution you use, such as Field iD.

The obvious takeaway here is to get a Lock Out Tag Out program in place even if you’re not 100 percent sure you need one. New technology, such as Field iD, streamlines the LOTO process and helps increase compliance. From there you’re off and running. As a result, your company will be a safer place for your employees to work.



How to avoid safety violations in the retail industry

By Jason Chan on December 15th, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

To shoppers, retail stores seem like safe, innocuous places. You stroll up and down the aisles and probably never think of what it takes to pack all that merchandise safely in a store that hundreds or maybe thousands of people pass through each day.

But if you’ve ever worked in a retail setting, you probably have a better idea of what it takes to create the well-oiled machine that is a busy store. There are countless moving parts and safety can be easily overlooked. Some companies are better than others when it comes to worker and shopper safety in the retail space, but there are common problems seen in many

These problems are the sort of thing that can cost a company dearly when it comes to OSHA violations and potential worker injuries. Let’s run down a few highly noted infractions:

  • Not having functional or up-to-date first aid kits and fire extinguishers.
  • Blocked walkways and/or unsafe storage of boxes.
  • Improperly placed merchandisers that could lead to a possible accident between consumers or employees.
  • Unsecured gas tanks for balloons.
  • Blocked electrical outlets or exits.

The larger and busier the retailer, the more emphasis is required to be placed on workplace safety by management. Take discount retailer Dollar Tree for example.  Dollar Tree had racked up $866,000 in fines for safety violations in the past year. Many of them can be avoided with the right technology in your corner.

With Field iD, users can create custom checklists so that these safety violations outlined above can be avoided. For example, imagine you’re inspecting the aisles within a store. Field iD users can create a step-by-step process to make sure everything is compliant. Safety managers can check off things like “Are there boxes on the floor?,” or “Do the aisles have a five-foot wide clearance for customers to pass?”

If something fails to pass an inspection, it’s recorded and corrective actions can be taken immediately. And just as important, Field iD will assure that the safety and compliance checks are in fact taking place because the process is time-stamped when you begin. In addition, GPS can be utilized to ensure that checks are happening where they are supposed to.

With Field iD, you can inspect and audit anything and everything. And the big advantage is that all the results are instantly visible to store managers and whoever else needs to see them.

In addition to general inspection and compliance, Field iD also gives store managers a better way to lockout tagout (LOTO) potentially dangerous equipment and machinery. On-the-job injuries related to forklifts are common, and many of those could be avoided through the use of Field iD’s LOTO technology. The same goes for other energy sources in retail settings, such as water valves, gas valves and electrical panels.

While the safety issues that face retailers might not be on the same scale as mining or heavy manufacturing, that doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly. By using the latest safety compliance management and inspection technology, retailers can assure their employees are as safe as they can be.



High Voltage: Electrical Control and Safety

By Jason Chan on December 10th, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

From light shocks to burns to fatal injuries, electrical equipment can cause a variety of issues on the work site. Though electrical hazards are usually demarcated clearly and employees are well-trained, electricity is a subject that demands attention to detail and a respect of machinery – that’s why we’re taking the time to cover the basics and some oft-overlooked steps to preventing shock.

            We can’t stress the importance of proper grounding enough. Metal objects, whether electrical boxes, conduits, or machinery, should always be grounded properly and tested often. An improperly grounded box can shock someone trying to gain access by screwdriver, and improperly grounded metal can send dangerous currents through all objects it contacts. That means that grounding can prevent massive networks of currents from forming through any machinery it touches, thus reducing danger all around the worksite.

Electrical Emergencies

Without consistent inspections of electrical equipment, there’s no way to tell how safe the wiring will be. In order to prevent the emergencies in the first place, make sure you have a system and schedule for keeping equipment running smoothly. In the worst-case scenario, wiring has either been installed faulty or eventually become faulty, and that means that extremely hazardous currents will be running in all the wrong places.

In an emergency where someone has been shocked, it’s important to call 911 right away. Depending on the voltage of the electrical hazard, different outcomes may occur. In the higher voltage ranges, people can suffer from severe burns or outright electrocution. In the lower anges, they might just suffer very minor burns or non-fatal shocks.  The fist thing to take note of in cases of shock is whether or not the victim is still in contact with the hazardous surface. Man times, victims can be “locked” into these contact-points via poor positioning or even paralysis by the shock.

If there is an electrical switch nearby that would be easy to deactivate, attempt to turn it off first. Turning off the contact (in most cases) will cut off the current and prevent further shock. If they are still in contact with the surface and the switch is too difficult to reach in a short amount of time, you should use a non-conductive material (like wood) to pull them away from the contact-point. The surface will still be hazardous, so you should never attempt to touch a shock victim with bare hands or other conductive materials. Also make it clear to anyone in the vicinity that the surface is still active and do your best to shut off the electricity as soon as possible.

One of the easiest ways to prevent deadly electrical emergencies is to properly documents dangerous areas and conduct regular inspections. By staying ahead of faulty parts, you can stay ahead of injuries. Lock Out Tag Out procedures are also another way to prevent anyone from activating electrical equipment during maintenance. Most of the time, preventative medicine is the best type when it comes to electrical currents.

Signage and labeling are another important part of the process, and any new worksite should be clearly labeled where any hazards are present. Informed workers are safe workers.



The Compliance Caveat: Managing Compliance for a Better Workplace Pt. 2

By admin on December 8th, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

If you haven’t read part one of this blog series, click here. You’ll learn some basic concepts that are important to keeping your workplace safe.

Records for Better Business

The biggest growing pain about workplace compliance is keeping exhaustive records. Making sure that you’ve got everything recorded either electronically or physically can be a tremendous task that takes up a lot (a lot) of time. There’s also the matter of proper scaling when work sites grow or shrink, understanding how much work it’s going to take each time.

The importance of records can’t be overstated. Properly recording injuries, inspection requirements, equipment usages, and other common work site needs is an absolute must to keeping a safe business free from down-the-line issues.

Reports

            The chain of command needs to be in the know. Reports and safety information are a constantly changing part of the workplace, and you need to have access to these things to guarantee great audits. Make sure that each machine and piece of equipment is properly reported on every time it’s in service, in use, or out of commission. Certifications have to be consistently updated to OSHA requirements to ensure that inspections go off without a hitch.

Asset Management

Assets like equipment need to be managed with extra care in the workplace. Any time workers use the equipment, it should be documented and “checked out” so that management knows where that piece of equipment is and how long it will be there. Another important aspect of asset management is the repair or retirement of that equipment. When equipment is used, it should be inspected for any obvious safety concerns.

Any asset that is in need of repair should NEVER be allowed for a check-out. Before this equipment is used on the work site, it should be deemed safe or replaced completely by new equipment.

An Intuitive Approach

            Paper can be a hassle, and even things like spreadsheets and shared documents are on their way out for industrial management. Because the work is getting more complicated and safety is a bigger concern, the tools we use should be prepared for the extra workload.

The good news is that there are plenty of compliance management tools out there to help you get your bearings. Software companies have been creating apps and software to help record-keeping and inspections go by without a hitch. The problem is that most of these software solutions only offer an isolated solution to record-keeping.

Field iD does things a little differently. Our mobile and desktop solution is an interconnected management platform that keeps everyone in the know, whether it’s management or Lock Out Tag Out authorized employees. With Field iD, you can keep to schedule on inspections, perform inspections with simple one-click commands, manage assets directly from your phone, and even publish reports to your network so compliance management is easier than ever.

It’s no wonder that over 10,000 companies are now using the Field iD technology to make their workplaces run like clockwork. If you’d like to check out what makes Field iD better than all the other apps out there, head over to http://www.fieldid.com/features to see a list of time-saving features that can get your business back on track.