Audit and verify on the iPad or iPhone
Tablet computers and smart phones are not appropriate work tools for every professional or for every task; it really depends on what you do for a living. But for auditors and safety inspectors who are constantly on the go, new generations of tablet devices are becoming essential work tools, especially Apple’s iPad and iPhone. Savvy auditors find plenty of ways to get more out of these devices than browsing the Internet and compiling photo slide-shows.
While tablets have been around for a while, the Microsoft Windows based stylus devices lacked the intuitive interfaces that Apple has perfected. Using them was little better than a pen and paper, but when you can touch the screen, use your fingers and quickly navigate through information – the device makes your job a whole lot easier and faster.
An essential part of safety inspections is frequency and consistency. When you inspect regularly you are far more likely to instil a safe working culture in your workplace. Any tool that helps you inspect more often is a step in the right direction, but inspections alone are not the solution, you need to follow up on your findings. This can be as simple as email reminders and Microsoft Word reports.
In addition to the great form factor of the devices, there are a growing number of features and apps that are very useful to the auditor and inspector who spends significant time on the shop floor. Here are a few of the features you can use:
● Tablets, the iPad and iPhone in particular, support a wide range of data capture; you can take quick notes, photos, video and audio related to findings.
● Typing your notes or using a drop-down menu of common notes directly on the iPad increases the efficiency of your audits.
● It’s easy to collect data and export it into Word and Excel Documents.
● There are many affordable applications for various tasks and new apps are continually created.
● Simple to pull up legislation, corporate standards and other documents you need on site.
● Easy to involve multiple auditors who can collaborate on one audit.
To take advantage of this, a number of auditing and inspections software has been created and offered. Our favourite (since we made it), is the EHSQ Reporter which allows you to use over 300 free checklists or upload your own.
For each item on the list, you can take notes, audio, photos, video and more and then quickly generate Microsoft Word and Excel reports. To learn more about the tool, take a look at the site here for health and safety audits on the ipad and iphone.
Tablet computers can be very useful devices in all forms of site auditing, particularly when used to document audit activities and prepare reports. The key is to not only embed the device and software in your normal workflow, but to leverage its data capture capabilities to make your job easier, more efficient, and more powerful.
About the author
Jonathan Brun is the co-founder of Nimonik.ca, a web based service to help you track EHS Legislation in North America and audit in the field with your iPad and iPhone. A former EHS consultant, Jonathan has extensive experience helping clients stay compliant to laws, regulations, ISO standards and corporate directives.
Nimonik inc. offers the iPad and iPhone app for performing audits. More information on the top-selling App for audits and verifications is available here.