The Challenge

EPCOR Utilities Inc. (EPCOR) provides clean water and safe, reliable electricity across Alberta, British Columbia Saskatchewan, and the U.S. southwest. With a team of over 2700, many of whom work in the field, workplace safety is a top priority.

As mobile technologies become more prevalent and offer exciting new opportunities for business, EPCOR enlisted DevFacto to conduct an Ideation Workshop and uncover opportunities to employ mobility within their organization. After identifying five potential value-adding applications, EPCOR prioritized the “Safe Work Plan” as the initial application to develop.

For field workers, Safe Work Plans must be created and followed each day to identify safety challenges and mitigate risks on the job. Originally, Safe Work Plans were filled out by every crew at the beginning of their day on a paper form. These forms collect information on where the crew is working, what hazards are present, what controls are available to mitigate risks, and who is present on the worksite during the day. These forms are manually completed and given to the site foreman for review, then filed for future reference.

As with most paper-based processes in the field, these paper forms would sometimes get damaged or lost, were challenging to fill out in outdoor environments, and could be difficult to recall for review if not properly stored. Additionally, the paper-based format made it difficult to recognize and track trends in hazards, controls, and incidents across crews or job sites – powerful analytical information for providing a safe and effective workplace.

The Solution

EPCOR and DevFacto collaborated to develop a Windows app to replace the paper-based Safe Work Plan process.

The app features secure sign-on for crew leads when they arrive at the work site and is followed by a personalized list of tasks and safety checks. From pre-day equipment checklists and role-assignments, to the recording of muster points and the tracking of visitors and absentees, the app provides quick and easy access to vast resources and tools.

Once the plan has been completed, reviewed, and approved by all crew members, it is electronically submitted directly to the Foreman for review and filing.

A native app for Windows devices, Safe Work Plan is available to EPCOR crews on tablets such as the Motion R12 – a ruggedized and highly mobile tablet which travels with the crew to their worksite.

Transitioning the safe work planning process from paper to mobile has had a vast impact at EPCOR. Mobile access to safe planning resources combined with a user-friendly design makes completion of the Safe Work Plan easy to do, and shifts focus to safety discussions and less on the administrative paperwork.

Additionally, real-time data is sent from crew tablets within seconds, giving managers and foremen immediate insight into what is happening in the field.

Ultimately, the improved efficiency and effectiveness of the Safe Work Plan process has resulted in what matters most to EPCOR – better safety for crew members.

  • Improved Safety

    Access to analytics and trends will ultimately provide insight for proactive safety management.

  • Improved Efficiency

    Plans are created faster and shared with managers and foremen within seconds.

  • Increased Effectiveness

    A user-centric design makes completion of the Safe Work Plan easy to do, with more focus on the safety discussion, and less focus on the administrative paperwork.

Safe Work Plan Features

Accurate Personnel List

Crew leads can add members and assign roles such as lead, spotter, and first aid. Leads can add/remove units, contractors and visitors, noting arrivals and departures to ensure emergency preparedness.

Location

The geolocation tools associated with their mobile device enable crews to record detailed work site location and muster points.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

A checklist of all standard PPE. If not using one of these items, crew members must document why.

Everyday Hazards

A listing of standard hazards that a crew may face on a daily basis. Crew leads are prompted to uncheck any un-related hazards, and add controls to mitigate these risks.

Situational Hazards and Controls

Identify situational hazards and add custom hazards based on the task at hand. Add controls to mitigate these risks.

“DevFacto delivers great quality and a high level of expertise in the mobility field.”

– Ian MacNeill Director, Application Services, EPCOR

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