Mobile applications give instant access to sheet metal safety standards

Three applications serve as quick reference guides on smartphones, tablets

FAIRFAX, Va. – Applications on smartphones and tablet computers make life easier, especially when information is needed on the fly. Safety is a main concern of the unionized sheet metal and air conditioning industry, and having safety guides available on quick reference only makes it easier for workers to adhere to safety standards. This summer, the Sheet Metal Occupational Institute Health Trust (SMOHIT) released three mobile applications aimed at increasing safety on the job site.

The three apps – Sound Advice, Flex and Stretch, and Hoisting and Rigging – serve as mobile guides and are available on smartphones, iPads and Android tablet computers. The subject of each application came in part from membership demand and important safety concerns.

“All of our members work out in the field. They have to make decisions right away, and they don’t have access to a computer,” said Charles Austin, staff industrial hygienist for SMOHIT. “We know our members use smartphones. They don’t have to worry about looking it up in a book. They have it right at hand.”

Sound Advice allows members to determine hearing loss based on age and tool used on the job. Flex and Stretch relates to SMOHIT’s focus on overall wellness and gives workers stretches and exercises to do to help reduce injury on the job. Hoisting and Rigging is a guide to hand signals and answers questions many workers have on the subject.

“On the job, if they have to know a signal, they have no way to refer to it,” Austin said. “As we talked to more and more members out in the field, they thought having mobile apps was a good idea.”

Although three applications were released this summer, there are a remaining seven applications in the works for future release.

“The programs selected reflect personal health issues as well as reference materials for compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) crane and derrick standard,” said Gary Batykefer, administrative director of SMOHIT. “SMOHIT strives to stay on the cutting edge of technology with information dissemination to our industry with respect to safety resources and information. This gives us a new way to communicate to all interested parties.”

The Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust (SMOHIT) was founded in 1986 to address the impact of decades-long asbestos exposure on those working in the sheet metal industry. To date, more than 55,000 sheet metal workers have been screened as part of its ongoing Asbestos Screening Program.

SMOHIT has since expanded its mission to include health and safety training products, health and safety training curriculum, and health and safety services. SMOHIT works directly with the International Training Institute (ITI) to offer the training programs.

For more information on SMOHIT visit www.smohit.org or call 703-739-7130.

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