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'Safety selfies' snap their way to workplace improvement

30 Aug 16

Health and safety is becoming less of a bore and more interactive, thanks to an app developer who is encouraging workplaces to use selfies as an engagement tool.

ThunderMaps, a mobile reporting app developer for workplace health and safety, has developed the app to better engage resistive employees.

Managers have been finding that some employees are finding it difficult to adopt workplace culture change after the Health and Safety Work Act was enacted this year.

“This problem led us to ask if we could use the ability to share photos inside our HSE application, to drive engagement from the bottom-up within a company? The answer came from the realising that people love to be social and show-off. We then developed an app that helps people show-off that they are being safe at work," says Clint Van Marrewijk, ThunderMaps chief executive.

ThunderMaps says that selfies were the answer, and was first adopted by Auckland-based client Active Roofing. The company used 'safety selfies' to do real-time risk reporting with 'the push of a button'.

The software also allows for comment followups if safety issues look out of place.

“The forms are collecting the same info as we did before, with the addition of time and location being automatically recorded, so we know the information is accurate. But the photos are fantastic. If there is something wrong on a site my guys can send a photo showing what they are working with, and we can come up with solutions to make the site safer," says Kate Rose O'Neill, business development manager at Active Roofing.

Staff engage with one another through the reports, which O'Neill says has been a hit with the staff.

“Amazing. It’s perfect. They will send me message saying – did you like my photo? And I’m like yes, but improve your high viz," she explains.

The old system of 'ticking boxes' was also ineffective at solving incident resolution, while ThunderMaps' new software allows for fast followups that the company hopes will change workplace culture.

“Safety selfies are a great way to get a workplace team having fun and actively participating in being safe – especially when first making the move to more modern mobile reporting. Just because health and safety is a serious subject, doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun and engaging,” Van Marrewijk concludes.

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