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Obstacles to safety and health in field organizations

October 9, 2020

Field organizations face a unique set of challenges: From inclement weather to communication lag, all kinds of obstacles can delay your teams from getting the job done. 

But more importantly, those obstacles can also pose a threat to their safety and health.

Your mobile teams encounter many issues in their day-to-day lives — some predictable, others unforeseeable. Because they’re out in the field, it’s critical to have tools and solutions in place that enable them to react quickly in order to protect themselves.  

The first step to ensuring the safety and health of your field teams is understanding the most common obstacles they face:

  • Geography: Geographically dispersed field teams face a number of pretty obvious challenges. Communication — if possible at all — is slow, which leaves your employees vulnerable when they’re working on their own. It’s not like working in an office, where they can simply ask their neighbor for a hand; they’re on their own until they can reach someone for help. And if they’re working in a remote area where there’s no WiFi or cellular signal, they’re out of luck.  
  • Experience (or lack thereof): According to the National Safety Council, employees in their first month in a job have more than three times the risk for a significant injury than those who have been on the job for a year or more(1). And that risk is amplified when they’re working outdoors or in an unpredictable environment. A lack of experience can result in dangerous and costly mistakes, whether it’s because they don’t recognize a hazardous situation that a more seasoned technician would, or simply because it’s their first winter on the job and aren’t used to working in wet or icy conditions. 
  • Unusual circumstances: In field work (as in most aspects of life), things are okay most of the time. But now and then, inevitably, unusual or unexpected situations arise. How do your teams handle the unexpected? In an office, it’s easy to call someone over and say, “Does this look off to you? What would you do in this situation?” But when they’re working in the field, their options are to take their best guess, or reach out for guidance — and hope that it arrives in time. 

Fortunately, mobile technology can make overcoming these obstacles a lot easier for modern field teams. Watch our webinar, Overcoming Obstacles to Safety and Health in Field Organizations, where we explore solutions and discover some simple ways to protect your mobile teams. 

  1. https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/14053-new-workers-higher-risk