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TELUS Business

IoT: automating and simplifying jobsite safety

Tech Trends · Aug 21, 2017

Workplace safety is one of the few areas of business still dominated by paper forms and processes. TELUS IoT Marketplace partner eCompliance is dedicated to changing that. On its website, eCompliance states that its mission is to eliminate 1 million workplace incidents. It aims to do this by simplifying and automating workplace and equipment safety inspections, and by enabling frontline workers themselves to take timely action to prevent and eliminate safety risks.

“The biggest problem with paper-based workplace inspections is the time it takes,” Josh LeBrun, President and Chief Operating Officer of eCompliance told me. “Whether inspections are done by site supervisors or the employees themselves, the paper has to be handed over to a site manager, who then has to transfer it to another location such as head office, where the data has to be entered manually. By the time it becomes available for use in decision-making, the information is stale.” Another problem is that one organization can have multiple jobsites that operate differently, making it difficult to compare data across sites.

Actionable information, available faster

Using eCompliance, supervisors and workers can easily complete standardized and customized inspection forms on mobile devices. Workers can also instantly report safety risks, such as tripping hazards, unsafe wiring and more. eCompliance’s Safety Intelligence platform transforms all data from the field into a range of charts and reports that allow the EHS team to see areas of risk and opportunity. “We’re also moving to a method of predictive analytics that will help teams predict and prevent risks before they happen,” Josh said.

Not surprisingly, eCompliance is the fastest-growing safety software company in the world. I asked Josh to tell me about the company and how he became involved in it. “The company has been around since 2006,” he told me. “It started with two products: a software product that allowed health and safety auditors or consultants to audit the safety practices of companies on behalf of governments, and a series of online training courses for employees, generally in the Southern Alberta energy industry.”

Together with current CEO Adrian Bartha, Josh acquired eCompliance in 2012. “Their health and safety software product was really innovative and we had the idea of building onto it to enable any company to gather information from the field or the shop floor and make it available to their EHS teams in a way that would allow them to better prioritize their time and mitigate the highest risk.” Now, with the eCompliance solution in their hands, safety inspectors and workers can inspect worksites and equipment to common standards. They can also add their own observations of jobsite hazards, with photographs and videos, helping to prevent incidents and injuries.

Faster equipment inspections too

In 2017, eCompliance acquired FieldID, a company that was focused on using IoT and RFID technology to inspect assets and equipment in the field. This was a perfect complement to eCompliance’s focus on safety inspections. Thanks to partnerships with manufacturers who are now building RFID chips into their equipment, the eCompliance mobile app can automatically bring up the appropriate inspection forms when an inspector approaches an asset.

eCompliance’s partnership with TELUS is also paying dividends, allowing the company to reach a wider audience. “We can come together as two companies to help customers identify their risks,” Josh explained. At the same time, because TELUS’ high speed wireless networks provide coverage to 99% of Canada’s population, eCompliance can offer its solution for use in worksites across a large part of the country.

Custom configuration to suit every business need

I asked Josh to describe the typical onboarding process. “eCompliance is ready to use out of the box,” he said. “Each customer uses the same base system, and we have a set of best practice inspection forms that they can configure to reflect how they do business. They can also configure their own unique forms based on their needs. During the onboarding process, we provide them with all the configuration necessary.”

Continued growth

After its acquisition and change in direction in 2012, eCompliance has grown by 100% year over year and today, it is the largest provider of cloud-based safety solutions in North America. “We provide software to over 500 companies, from small organizations to the largest construction company in the world,” Josh told me. “It’s been a great story for us and we continue to grow at very high double digit rates on an annual basis.”

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Authored by:
Jonatan Lacroix