Free safety apps you can put to work on jobsites

Man using apps on his smartphone
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Editor's Note: This article was updated on April 29, 2024 with additional apps.

Being an effective safety manager means more than just holding your obligatory toolbox talk and annual safety training meetings. Developing a proactive approach to safety is not only vital to protecting your workers and the company’s interests at large, it also shows your crews you are genuinely concerned about their health and well being.

With that in mind, you should use any tool available you think would help in the drive to keep your employees safe. Did you know there are safety apps available? These are great options, because they’ll send reminders to your smartphone to take action when needed. Here are a few of our free favorites:

National Trench Safety Mobile App

Trench collapses are preventable, and this app helps keep underground construction and excavation companies in compliance with a variety of helpful resources, tools and reference materials. An excavation checklist assists the contractor’s Competent Person in managing the periodic excavation inspections required by OSHA. Contractors can also look up manufacturer’s tabulated data for shoring and shielding systems by serial number, item number and item description. The app also includes equipment recommendations for safely moving a trench safety equipment, OSHA soil, sloping and benching charts and OSHA excavation confined space and fall protection standards. The app is available on Apple and Android.

NIOSH Ladder Safety App

This app from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health targets the top cause of construction injuries—falls. The app has a range of helpful tools, including an angle of inclination indicator that helps workers to set an extension ladder at the appropriate 75.5-degree angle with visual, sound and vibration signals. An inspection tool provides an interactive checklist for mechanical inspection, and a proper usage tool presents the rules for safe ladder usage. The app is available for free in both English and Spanish versions for Apple and Android devices.

NIOSH Sound Level Meter App

Accurate within 2 dBA, the NIOSH Sound Level Meter app can measure workplace noise to determine if workers may experience hazardous noise exposure. The free app combines professional sound levels meters and noise dosimeters into one tool, as well as basic information on noise and hearing loss prevention. The app lets any employe test noise levels in their workplace to make informed decisions about noise exposure and prevent occupational hearing loss. The NIOSH Sound Level Meter app is only available for Apple.

OSHA Heat Safety Tool

As part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers, the Heat Safety Tool app enables supervisors and workers alike to calculate the heat index for their jobsite and assess the risk level. The app enables the user to set reminders for protective measures that need to be taken, such as drinking fluids and scheduling rest breaks. The app also includes helpful information on adjusting work operations and gradually building up the workload for new workers, as well as training your workers to monitor one another for signs and symptoms of heat related illness. The free app is available in English and Spanish for Apple and Android devices.

[Related Content: 29 "Cool" Gadgets and Gear for Working in the Heat]

Red Cross First Aid App

Featuring videos, interactive quizzes and step-by-step first aid device, the Red Cross app can help with a range of first aid emergencies as well as severe weather tips to help you prepare in the event of winter weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and more. The preloaded content means the user can access the safety information without reception or an internet connection, and the app is integrated with 911 in case there is a need to call for emergency medical services. The free app is available for Apple and Android devices.

Safety Culture (Formerly iAuditor)

SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) lets safety managers create checklists, conduct inspections, raise and resolve issues, manage assets, and train teams on the go. Paper checklists can be converted into mobile-ready inspection forms and reports can be shared instantly. The app can be used for safety inspections, quality control checks, work management and more. Free and paid versions are available for Apple and Android.

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