Paper forms are unwieldy and unreliable, and when it comes to safety-related inspections, paper is waaaaaay tooooo slooooooooooooooooooooooow. If you can’t achieve the quality and speed you want to see in your inspections, the paper forms you’re using are probably to blame.
Thankfully, there’s an alternative safety inspection tool that outclasses paper in almost every way: mobile forms. Mobile forms are the cure for everything you hate about paper, and then some. So, aside from a dramatic reduction in paper cuts, what are the three big benefits of dropping paper and switching to mobile forms? Accessibility, Reliability, and Speed.
When an inspector has a question about a question in a form or isn’t sure what the right procedure for a process is, they’ll probably need to look it up in a reference guide. If they don’t have their safety inspection bible on hand, they might end up just giving an incomplete response or incorrectly following procedural standards.
Mobile forms can contain detailed information about every procedure an inspector might perform, right in the form for easy reference. The information they need will always be on hand so each inspector is able to perform their job in perfect compliance with company or other safety standards.
Another thing mobile forms can do that paper can’t? Validate data. When you’re working from a mobile device, forms can automatically incorporate timestamps and GPS data to show when and where the inspection occurred. You can also upload photos directly to the form to back up information with visual evidence. You just can’t get that level of accountability from paper.
Mobile forms also have in-field validation to make sure users are entering the right type of information for each question. They can check that a recorded temperature is within a valid range, prevent text from being entered into numerical questions, and ensure that inspectors can’t submit a form without answering all required questions.
Plus, with digital forms inspectors won’t have to worry about accidentally misplacing their paperwork. All their forms are digitally auto-saved, meaning no more wasted time spent searching for documents or performing the same inspection all over again.
Relying on paper forms to communicate information and get things done is just slowing down your safety operations. When using paper forms, you don’t actually have a way to relay your observations. As a result, inspectors have to copy data over to some other platform in order to record and share it. That’s an organizational nightmare — one that can result in double data entry and make way for all sorts of miscommunication errors.
Recording information directly into a tablet or smartphone cuts out the middle steps in the inspection process, so the data you input can be sent out directly to the people who need to see it. If a follow-up task is required, one can be automatically assigned to the correct person.
You won’t have to wait weeks or months to act on the results of an inspection. Instead, inspectors can record information fast, then let the application do the work of reassigning tasks.
The Better Way
Paper just isn’t the right tool for safety inspections anymore. Mobile forms can make inspection information more accessible, ensure accountability and accuracy, and help your team find and fix problems quickly. The faster and more thorough your inspections are, the safer your organization will be.