Keeping your field service team safe: 4 best practices

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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!

For organisations with highly complex field workflow