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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.

February 7, 2019

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Safety app

Civil engineers launch in-house health and safety app

A construction and civil engineering firm has launched a smartphone app to help its workers access health and safety documents at all times.

Hollingsworth Group appThe Hollingsworth Group, based in Flintshire, has developed a password-protected app, which gives all employees instant access to their own health and safety certification and that of any plant machinery they are operating.

The app was the brainchild of Managing Director, Paul Hollingsworth and developed with the support of Holywell-based creative agency Daydream Designs.

Mr Hollingsworth said his staff can be asked to produce relevant health and safety paperwork at any time during on-the-spot inspections.

These could be from either company they are working for or from a representative of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

“We have an incredibly loyal and longstanding team, with many of them having been with us for many years, and it has always been vitally important to us that we take their health and safety very seriously,” said Mr Hollingsworth.

“It’s the same for the high-profile clients we work for. They need to be able to trust that if they bring us on site for a job, be it big or small, that we are aware of our legal responsibilities and we have systems in place to prove that we treat health and safety with the upmost priority.

“The relevant paperwork which lists the up-to-date qualifications of our employees and the relevant certification for any machinery they are using is always with employees when they are doing jobs for our clients, whether this is in an on-site office or in a van, if the job is smaller,” added the Managing Director.

“But I was driving in to work one day, thinking about if there was a way this information could be stored virtually, on our smart phones.

“We all carry our phones around with us, almost all of the time. I thought it might be a way to back up the actual paperwork and potentially prevent staff having to stop what they were doing and go back to a site office to find it in the event of an on- the-spot inspection, which can happen at any time, whether it is on site for one of our clients or on our own premises.

“It seemed to me a good way to send out the message that we take health and safety very seriously and are keen to prove this by having the information as readily accessible as possible.

“As far as I am aware, I don’t know of any other company storing their heath and safety data in this way and it has been extremely well received by many of our high-profile clients who view it as cutting-edge stuff.”

The company employs around 60 people and specializes in construction, civil engineering and property development.

Rob Saunders, Daydream Designs Director and Co-Founder, said: “Our aim is to continue to add information to it such as a direct link to the HSE website which may benefit users.

“We will continue to work with Paul and his own health and safety managers to develop it as a wide-ranging resource which helps his staff stay safe on the job.

“We are also ensuring that they are given a free rein and can update the information themselves. Health and safety information and documentation can need to be changed on a regular basis and while we will always be there to give support and advice, it makes a lot of sense for them to be able to make changes on a day-to-day basis themselves.”

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