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Keeping your field service team safe: 4 best practices

As a field business owner, you often have to take the necessary risks to grow your company, but the safety of your technicians should never be compromised.

Apart from the work that needs to get done, your technicians should follow certain practices to ensure the best possible results, while keeping everyone at the site safe.

In this article, we’ll cover 4 best practices to ensure your technicians and customers’ safety at the job site. These practices are:

  1. Inspect the job site
  2. Make sure everyone on the site wears personal protective equipment
  3. Inform your customers about potential risks and disturbances
  4. Have standardised processes in place (Example: Solar installation)

1. Inspect the job site

Before your technicians start a new project, they should get their hands on all essential information beforehand. Whether that involves reading of contracts or looking at notes left by colleagues, your technicians should have a rough layout of the site and understand the scope of their work.

The first thing they should do, on-site, is a quick run through over the project area, and to an extent, the properties around it. This allows them to look for potential issues and risks.

2. Make sure everyone wears personal protective equipment

Your team lead should brief all team members about the tasks at hand and check that everyone has appropriate safety equipment for the job.

Personal protective equipment refers to anything used or worn to minimise risk to your installers’ health and safety. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Boots
  • Earplugs
  • Face masks
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Hard hats
  • High visibility clothing
  • Respirators
  • Safety harnesses
  • Safety shoes
  • Sunscreen

These regulations are not only limited to installers, but includes any other people on site, whether they are working there or not. This can be tricky in residential installations, with the homeowners often at home and curious about the work that’s being done on their property.

“Under regulation 47 of the model WHS Regulations, a person other than a worker is also required to wear any PPE that is required to be worn at that workplace. The PPE must be worn in accordance with any information, training or reasonable instruction provided by the PCBU. Source: Safe Work Australia

3. Inform your customers about potential risks and disturbances

Before your field technicians get started with the work on site, your team has the responsibility to brief the customer about the scope of the work, along with any disturbances and risks that might occur (e.g. noise, pollution, hazardous objects and tools etc.)

Ideally, walk the customer around the site and point out potential defects and/or damaged areas of the property. This protects your business from any misunderstandings after the project is completed e.g. damage liability that your technicians didn’t cause.

Your technician should use this opportunity to take photos of the ‘Before’ condition of the site. With Emvisage Field Work Flow Software, your technicians can upload photos and attach notes in the system that is accessible to you, your back-office team and other technicians. This gives your business hard copy evidence should any disputes arise.

4. Have standardised processes in place (solar installation example)

Your business should have a clear and thorough process for each task a technician is trained for. Standardised processes allow your team not only to avoid potential risks and hazards but also to get the job done faster and more efficiently as well.

If your field business installs solar panels on roofs, this is a rough process an installer will use:

  1. Solar installer will start by prepping the roof and making sure the shingles or tiles are properly attached.
  2. They will put in electrical wiring that will connect to the electrical panel and general power system.
  3. They will install racking to support the panels.
  4. Ensure the racking is level and safely attached, then place panels onto the racking.
  5. Connect inverters to the panels.
  6. Set up inverters to convert direct current (DC) energy into the alternating current (AC) energy.
  7. Install power meter
  8. Any miscellaneous installations to be installed last. Source: EnergySage.

In practice, your technicians will often have to deviate from standardised processes, as each and every project is unique and poses its own challenges and risks. However, a framework with pre-defined workflows is a must-have for ambitious field service businesses.

If your work and workflow are complicated, field service software like Emvisage can be game-changer for your business. Not only does free information flow help you keep your field technicians on top of things, but it will also lighten the load for your back-office team. The results of our customers like AGL and Tesla, as well as a range of smaller and mid-sized companies, speak volumes: 30-40% of back-office costs savings, 75% fewer emails, and reduced time spent on field paperwork by up to 50%. 

It’s time to benefit from the power of field service software! Request a personalised demo today and we’ll show you how!

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