Geo-Spatial Data: Innovations That Improve Weather Hazard Warnings And Incident Reports
Smartphone usage has become ubiquitous in the decade since Apple launched the iPhone. Subsequently, business uptake of what was initially a consumer technology, offered by providers such as Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi, has enabled frontline employees to access information from enterprise software through mobile apps while away from their desks. Nowhere has the advent of business mobile apps been more useful than in the empowerment of EHS activities through real-time reporting of incidents or utilizing employees’ phones’ GPS-tracking to see proximity to hazards and provide safety warnings.
SaferMe, an EHS software vendor, takes advantage of expanding mobile capabilities through an application available to frontline employees on desktop, mobile and tablet devices. Founded in 2012 as ThunderMaps, the firm changed its name to SaferMe in August 2018 to appeal to a broader safety management market. Currently, SaferMe has 30 employees based across its headquarters in New Zealand and offices in Australia, Sweden and Texas, USA. The firm tailors the application interface for each client and thereby provides branded personalized software for its customers AngloGold Ashanti, European Commission, MetService, Veolia and Vodafone.
WeatherHalo, SaferMe’s latest feature, provides users with personalized real-time lightning alerts on their mobile devices. By integrating WeatherMet data, SaferMe enables users to see both their location and nearby storm developments on a map. Other features offered by SaferMe include GIS map-pins that show the location of each team member, and Safety Bubble, a feature that provides offline alert capabilities. When an employee manually enters a safety hazard, the app will generate a local signal from the phone that pushes an alert to nearby offline devices. The app also enables offline reports and pre-downloading of safety data. This aligns with the Verdantix 2018 EHS global survey findings, where 66% of the 411 respondents view this capability as ‘important’ and ‘very important’ in influencing their selection of one EHS software over another.
The use of mobiles within EHS software has caused a virtuous cycle of real-time safety management. Now capabilities such as data integration, geo-spatial incident reports and even offline safety alerts through mobile devices can reduce downtime and create ‘on-the-go’ warnings for frontline workers vis- à-vis hazardous weather events. This paves the way for further integration with other safety data sources, such as information about fires from the fire service or dangerous animals from the postal service. The greater availability of data will further enhance the safety of frontline workers.