Energy Queensland: Leveraging an app to encourage better safety
Energy Queensland (EQL) provides the connection and supply of electricity to 2.3 million customers across Queensland, through their ‘poles and wires’ businesses Energex and Ergon Energy Network.
In the past two years, EQL has invested heavily in iOS devices for its Field Force of more than 4000 employees. The goal was to leverage this investment to help with productivity and, more importantly, increase safety in the field.
EQL partnered with Telstra & Concentrix Catalyst to address the following problem statement: “how might we leverage this technology to encourage a better safety conversation before, during & after work is performed in the field.”
When it came time to review the current HazChat process, EQL wanted to understand how technology could be used to enable more efficient and engaging safety conversations. Working with Concentrix Catalyst allowed EQL to adopt a user-centered system design, that let the users drive the design & outcome of the App.
Built using Swift and XCode, this was EQL’s first foray into building a native iOS app (iOS 13) to leverage the investment they have made in iPads and iPhones throughout the organization. As part of the build, EQL explored many contemporary technologies and used Amazon Web Services (AWS) Amplify, to provide the functionality to complement the front-end user interface.
The new iOS native HazChat app shifts the focus from paper-based record keeping to a collaborative visual story that helps field workgroups maintain meaningful and effective safety conversations based upon EQL’s “Safety is Defence” principles.
The app enables crews the flexibility to enter information in the way that most appeals to them. Crews can choose to use images, photos, drawings, text, or voice-to-text entry. This information is then displayed in a dashboard view on the iPad and used during the safety conversations on site.
The incorporation of Apple PencilKit as part of the HazChat app has allowed dynamic recording of hazards and controls while onsite to provide better context in the safety discussion. The ability to draw on top of an image and point out key items or create a diagram that can be referenced later in other jobs is invaluable.