With September being National Preparedness Month, now is a good time to look at ways to boost employee safety in field service. When it comes to workplace safety, field service organizations face unique challenges. Many of your workers are mobile and exposed to different situations than your employees who work in your facilities encounter. For example, field technicians frequently work alone on non-employer properties—under hazardous conditions or in remote locations—making them more vulnerable to risk. Best practices, integrated with a mobile workforce management solution, can help your organization to protect mobile workers while on the job.
Analyze, Communicate, and Educate
Creating a workplace safety plan and making it part of your business strategy can help improve decision making and reduce the likelihood of incidents and worker injury:
- Conduct a Job Safety Analysis
While you have a good understanding of the safety issues faced by your mobile workforce, your employees offer direct insights into specific safety risks on the job. Ask your field technicians for input and then leverage their knowledge and experience to better assess the risks they face. Involving your workers encourages them to always keep safety top of mind, which is important because some hazards may be hidden.
- Communicate Safety Policies and Procedures in Writing
Develop written safety guidelines that detail your processes and expectations and make them easily accessible to your workforce on all digital channels. By clearly defining and communicating your policies, you’ll establish a culture of responsibility and accountability across the organization, better manage your risk, and have documentation readily available if an incident occurs.
- Educate Workers
Provide practical training exercises, such as “what-if” scenarios, along with written resources and interactive online tools. Educating employees helps them understand why safe practices are necessary and how they can use them to help minimize or eliminate incidents. Be sure to make safety training part of your onboarding process for new employees and conduct regular review sessions with your team.
The safest work environments occur when employees across the organization work together to communicate and adhere to the safety standards set in place.
Harness Mobile Technology
While proper training in safety procedures is critical, integrating a mobile workforce management solution into your strategy can further boost worker safety through increased visibility and robust functionality. For example:
- GPS capabilities pinpoint where your workers are located at any time
- Geo-fencing sets boundaries around areas and sends automatic alerts if a mobile device or vehicle crosses over a boundary line
- Real-time, direct communication between technicians and dispatchers ensure every moment of every interaction is going smoothly
- Resource radars show available help, parts, or equipment in the area
- High-risk jobs can be monitored closely with more frequent check-ins
- Panic buttons alert dispatchers in real time at a touch
- Alerts can be pre-configured to automatically send if a worker has not checked in for a length of time
Having mobile technology in place can help ensure that your field technicians receive assistance quickly in case of an emergency and provides everyone in the organization with peace of mind.
Safety First and Beyond
All employers are responsible for creating a working environment that helps keep their employees physically safe. Incorporating a mobile workforce management solution into your organization’s safety plan results in a better overall awareness of safety and makes employees feel more valued—increasing employee engagement and loyalty, boosting your brand, and allowing you and your field technicians to focus on the business of service delivery.