Tag: safety inspection

3 cool real-world applications of NFC

It is truly impressive how Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is transforming the way we do things. By touching a device against an NFC tag or tapping two devices together, this technology allows the exchange of small amounts of data, according to BBC News.

Readers of Modern Safety may be familiar with its applications in the safety field. Correct identification of an employee, harness, vehicle or facility is the first step in any inspection. With NFC technology, the potential is there to scan or tap from identification right into a safety inspection using a smartphone.

And there’s more than that. Some recent applications of this technology are really cool. We’re sharing our top three today.  Read More

OSHA’s directive to improve maritime safety

OSHA has recently released a revised directive with guidance on policies and procedures for implementing inspection programs to reduce hazards in longshoring operations and at marine terminals – otherwise known as the marine cargo handling industry. The directive also ensures consistent enforcement of OSHA’s marine cargo handling industry standards.

Having recently blogged about improvements in maritime safety and news in the industry, we thought this update was worth sharing here on Modern Safety. What’s the need for a revised directive? It may be in the numbers…   Read More

Pipeline safety – when neglect leads to action

Pipeline safety

Pipeline safety issues turn up in the news every so often, and when they do, we sometimes share our thoughts here on Modern Safety. When it comes to pipeline inspection management, it’s unsettling to learn that 356 “significant” accidents occurred in the U.S. over a five year period ending in 2010. And Canadian facts are also alarming.

Major pipeline oil spills in Alberta have raised serious concerns for the residents about the lack of oversight of over 300,000 kilometres of oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing the province. A coalition of 54 community, environmental, First Nations, and landowner groups concerned with the pipeline safety in the province released a second open letter to Alison Redford, Alberta Premier, calling on her to hold an independent review of pipelines and a review of Alberta’s pipeline safety rules.

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Food Safety Data is Online – Louisiana is Ahead of the Curve

It seems that online, publicly available safety inspection data is a hot topic on our blog lately.  I originally wrote on the topic related to amusement park safety data, and then Somen had a great post yesterday on infrastructure and bridge inspections in Montreal.  This is such a hot topic, we have even coined a term for this: “safety transparency”.  Well, I don’t like to be one to beat a topic to death but I could not resist writing about Louisiana’s forward thinking with regards to food safety and restaurant inspections.

The website that is managed by the Department of Health and Hospital launched this week (www.eatsafe.la.gov) and it provides inspection information on everything from hospitals to grocery stores and restaurants.  Basically, if they serve food in Louisiana, there will be information on this website.  I tried out the site very quickly and found it to be intuitive and extremely simple to use.  You basically type in the name of the restaurant and are instantly able to view inspection results.  Field ID team members have a long standing tradition of eating crawfish and BBQ when we visit Louisiana.  Since I don’t know any restaurants by name, I simply typed in “BBQ” and sure enough I received some results.  Amazing.

The website boasts some impressive stats:

“There are nearly 34,000 food establishments that have permits in the state of Louisiana. Of the food establishments that have permits in Louisiana, there are:
– 16,747 Restaurants
– 7,140 Markets
– 4,854 Lounges/bars
– 1,077 Meat markets
– 518 Seafood Markets
– 2,351 Daycare and Residential Food Preparation
– 690 Bakeries
– 400 Mobile Food Vendors
– 220 Seasonal/Temporary Permits”

I can guarantee that with restaurants knowing this information is available online their food safety practices will improve.  I will certainly be using this site the next time I am headed out for a crawfish boil or plate of brisket in one of my favorite places to eat, Louisiana.

Public Safety Inspection Records for Amusement Parks – Should they be Mandatory?

Roller Coaster SafetyOn July 10th there was a tragic accident at a Darien Lake Theme Park where an Iraq war veteran was fatally thrown from a steel roller coaster.  As a result of this accident many are calling for publicly available safety inspection records of amusement parks.  Since that accident, a local news agency has attempted to obtain safety inspection records for the ride.

Making safety inspections available online to the public would most certainly ensure that these inspections are never missed.  It may seem like some extra work, but if this process is automated every inspection can be recorded much quicker than with pen and paper.

There are other examples of publicly available safety records and I think it offers massive benefits to consumer confidence and public safety.  The City of Toronto has an excellent example of how public safety inspection records can work with their beach water quality reports.  The city tests our beaches every single day (in the summer months) and posts the results on their website.  I am confident in getting into the water on Toronto beaches because of these records.  These safety inspections directly improve Toronto tourism and can have a direct impact on the revenue for the city.

Intrinsically Safe Devices and how they Increase Safety

Intrinsically Safe Logo

In field service a rugged mobile device is a key investment. But what if your environment is hazardous? What then? To meet this need there are devices that meet standards to prevent combustion.  These devices are termed as Intrinsically Safe. What this means is that these devices are especially designed and tested to ensure they do not initiate an explosion due to arcing contacts or high surface temperature of equipment.

The most common classification that intrinsically devices in North America fall into are Class 1 Div 1 and Class 2 Div 2. Devices in these classes are protected against causing ignition in an environment where ignitable gases, vapors or liquids are present.

As you might have guessed, intrinsically safe devices are going to cost you more, but you can’t put a price on safety. We have a lot of Field ID users using intrinsically safe devices to conduct audits and safety inspections in sensitive locations such as nuclear facilities and offshore oil rigs.  There are some devices that are built specifically for this purpose like the i.roc.  There are some manufacturers that will take an existing device (like the Motorola MC75A) and make it intrinsically safe.

No matter what your operating environment is there is a device available for you to use for your mobile inspections.

Happy Canada Day and Independence Day!

Well the summer is upon us and long weekends are here. On Friday, July 1st Canada had its Canada Day holiday. A little history on Canada Day:

Frequently referred to as “Canada’s birthday”, particularly in the popular press, the occasion marks the joining of the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada into a federation of four provinces (the Province of Canada being divided, in the process, into Ontario and Quebec) on July 1, 1867. Canada became a kingdom in its own right on that date, but the British Parliament kept limited rights of political control over the new country that were shed by stages over the years until the last vestiges were surrendered in 1982 when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian constitution.

Today, is Independence Day in the United States. A little history on Independence Day:

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.

As always Field ID is open for business. Our support team is ready to take your calls and we are hard at work testing our next Field ID release coming out in 2 weeks. We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable long weekend whatever you happen to be doing.

Source: http://www.wikipedia.org/

Field ID Knowledge Base

Many of you probably don’t know but we have a knowledge base with common answers to your questions about Field ID. Granted, up until now we haven’t had a ton of articles in there. However, with the recent addition of Tariq and Corey to the customer success team has meant that we now have time to get a ton of articles in there.

To view the knowledge base , click here.

Field ID Knowledge Base

Shortly the knowledge base will boast a series or articles addressing everything from how long until my handheld is delivered to what are Asset Type Groups. The nice thing about the knowledge base is that if you submit a ticket through our support system it will suggest articles that match your inquiry – as you type!  Our hope is that one of them will help you out.

Over the next week we are working hard to get more articles in there by reviewing old support tickets and entering any common questions or problems users have had.

Looking for something that isn’t in the knowledge base? Let’s us know!

Staying Safe at the Top of The CN Tower

I think I have only been to the CN Tower 3 times and I have lived in Toronto my entire life.  Once when I was young they had an attraction that was a space launch simulator.  It was a ride that made you feel like you were launching out of the CN tower and in to space.  The other time was just a class trip to look at the view.  Finally, I took my wife to the revolving restaurant a few years back.  Needless to say this Toronto landmark has been offering up different reasons to visit for years.  Never did I think they would have an attraction that a) was so scary and b) would make a good blog post on safety compliance.

Enter Edgewalk

The Toronto skyline has been defined by The CN Tower since 1976. For 34 years it was the worlds tallest free standing structure.  Now they are adding an attraction that allows you to walk outside this super tall tower clipped in to a fall protection system.  They call it the Edgewalk and it looks a little scary to me.  The CN Tower also has a glass floor which I have walked on.  I was a little bit nervous on the glass floor so i am not sure if I could do the Edgewalk.

How it Works

People who are brave enough to try out the Edgewalk experience will head out 116 storeys up in groups of 6 – 8.  You can walk along a platform while strapped into a fall arrest rail system. Apparently the entire walk can be wrapped up in about 30 minutes.

Fall Protection Inspections

The safety requirements for this type of attraction must be enormous.  To hang people out there for fun every single day must require some very detailed and focused safety staff.  These types of systems require a re-certification at least annually, but I suspect that daily inspections are also performed.  These fall protection inspections might have a bit more glory than those on the constructions site, but they are all equally important.

The entire experience is expected to cost about $175 and last about 2 – 3 hours from beginning to end.  If I end up doing it I will most certainly be writing a blog about it…but I don’t know, I might be too chicken.

A new Breed of Rugged Mobile Handhelds? Introducing the Casio G'z One Commando

Did Casio just come out with future of rugged mobile hand held computers?  They are certainly pushing the boundaries with the G’z One Commando.  I am not sure about that name, but this hand held looks incredible.

Very Rugged

There have been smartphones in the past that claim to be rugged, but all too often this means they are heavy, slow and somewhat dated.  Not the G’zOne Commando, it definitely appears to have the rugged part down.  This device has a MIL-STD-810G rating which pretty much means that it can stand up to almost anything.  I am not sure if this is available in intrinsically safe environments.  Mashable made a great video of this device taking a beating.


This hand held is running Android 2.2 with some customizations from Casio geared towards active people as well as the workforce that are in tough environments.  You will get the great user interface and speed of Android along with the ability to easily get your email and make phone calls.  For those who do not know Android is a smartphone operating system for phones and tablet devices made by Google.  There is currently not a Field ID application for Android, but we are really hoping to provide one sometime this year.   Android plus the GzOne Commando provide you with:

  • – GPS Mapping with Google Maps and Compass
  • – 3.6″ WVGA Touch Screen Display
  • – 5 mp Auto Focus Camera
  • – Pre-installed 8G microSD Card

Notably missing is NFC support, but hopefully this will be added in future as the technology matures. As much as we see Android taking over the commercial smartphone market, it has yet to really penetrate the rugged space. Hopefully the G’zOne Commando is a sign of things to come for safety inspections.