City of Port Adelaide Enfield – Job Start App

1. Summary of the project

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield has implemented an original and innovative take on the construction industry “take five” style of hazard check.

The Council’s IT team has designed and developed software that integrates with the corporate Asset Management System to provide a tablet/phone based Job Start App (JSA).
Implemented in late 2019, it has been embraced by the field teams. Participation is up; record keeping improved and communication and consultation of all site specific hazards is occurring. The previously used paper based records have been eliminated.

Most importantly, it promotes a safe workplace by giving field workers a simple and effective hazard check tool – used before each task commencement and throughout the work shift

2. Description of project

  • Use of Best Practice Asset Management Principles

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield uses an Asset Management system (AMS) to manage data regarding its Asset configuration, hierarchies, inspection results, condition data, work performed, cost data etc.

All work performed and expenses incurred are costed to assets through work orders. Every work order in the AMS has three mandatory attributes; an Asset that is the target of the work, an Activity (the type of work being performed) and the service to which the asset belongs.

Within the AMS, safety messages (in essence any document or URL) can be recorded against Assets or Activity. For example, a Safe Operating Procedure may exist for the activity of mowing and another for a specific instance a mower. There also maybe a specific safety message associated with the reserve being mowed.

The software leverages this capability by asking staff to enter the work order number they will action and the plant they will use. The software can then derive the safety messages to display to the crew.

This has eliminated the need to carry folders of paper with safety instructions. This principal can also applied to any document held in electronic format (e.g. instruction manuals, installation manuals).

The software also knows when a document has been versioned and will alert users that new versions exist.

The software provides the flexibility of recording any additional hazards (and control measures) which are identified during the work tasks.

  • Degree of originality and ingenuity of solution

The solution has been developed to deeply integrate with the corporate Asset Management System and records management system.

All work orders, activities, plant and equipment references are drawn from the AMS using their published Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The management of the safety messages occurs in the AMS and the App utilises custom built solutions to extract the messages and present them in a format to optimise performance.

Once a JSA is submitted, it is stored and indexed in Council’s corporate Records Management System along with any drawn images, photographic evidence that relate to the JSA.  

The solution supports electronic signatures (for both staff, contractors and visitors) and if the hazards identified are modified after all parties sign off; the signatures are invalidated and the JSA cannot be submitted.

The end users have become familiar with marking up electronic maps with traffic control and capture these using tools available on their tablets and store them against the JSA.

The transaction nature of the application provides the ability to implement controls that could not be implemented in paper based systems. For example; comparing timesheet data to JSA data in any period can determine if work is being done on assets with no JSA completed. In the previous system; determining compliance was extremely time consuming.

The software app is responsive to the multiple devices; PC, laptop, table or phone.

  • Program and project management

The approach that was used for these types of software projects is to drive out risk as early as possible.

Requirements are tested by early design and prototypes. These were socialised amongst key users and stakeholders before any significant investment in the software build. This approach paid dividends with a significant change to the requirement uncovered during this phase.

The process of ensuring the safety documents could be delivered from an internal system was tested using a ‘simulator’. A test harness that could accept activities, works orders and assets, find the documents and present them to the user.

A significant trial across multiple teams (across different asset classes) was undertaken to drive out any final issues. Items found were priorities and resolved.

Training was a significant part of the project and delivered over a number of weeks; team by team.

This project involved a number of people across the organisation; including the Information Technology team, People and Culture/WHS and Managers, Co-ordinators and Team Leaders from the City Assets Department.

Project Management was provided by the Information Technology team.

  • Benefit/Value of the project or service to the community or organisation

This solution has delivered a number of benefits the most significant relate to working safely.

  • Promotes a safe workplace by giving field workers a simple and effective hazard check tool – used before each task commencement, and throughout the work shift.
  • It encourages communication and consultation of all site specific hazards (and evidences this through sign-off).
  • Contractors and site visitors are informed of site specific hazards when signing in.
  • Supports analysis of hazards for incorporation back into the safety materials.

Management and accountability benefits

  • The transaction nature of the application provides the ability to implement controls that could not be implemented in paper based systems. For example; comparing timesheet data to JSA data in any period can determine if work is being done on assets with no JSA completed.
  • Ability to undertake analysis of hazards and patterns of hazards.

In addition, record keeping and evidence is significantly improved

  • Allows for photographic records of hazards and controls.
  • Allows for photographic recording of required site documentation like daily WZTM plan and site set up.
  • Record of plant and equipment used on site.
  • Time savings for the organisation no longer having to scan and register paper forms (approximately 1-2 hours a week).
  • Reduction in future records storage requirement – no longer having to file the paper originals.

3. Opinion as to specific contribution made by the nominated individual/team /organisation

This solution has come about as result of the improving maturity of the outside staff’s understanding of how information systems contribute to streamlining business processes.

When tablets were introduced to the outside workforce (approx. 190 staff) in 2014, the training load was greater than anticipated. The teams were keen but inexperienced and computer skills taken for granted in a modern workforce did not exist.

Within a relatively short time, they had not only adapted but were suggesting improvements and looking for ways to eliminate paper handing. The volume of safety related materials being distributed and maintained in paper format was a clear candidate.

The Information Technology team has a deep knowledge of the Asset Management System, the relationships between work activity and safety instructions and the relationships between specific assets and safety instructions. As a result they were able to design a job start application that fits seamlessly into the way staff plan and undertake their work.

The IT team also have a group of talented staff that can draw out requirements; design software and socialise those designs; develop a user interfaces that is simple to use and fit for purpose; develop and test quality software and undertake the training to make sure it is successfully implemented.

4. General comments

The App has been welcomed by the Council staff and is seen as a step forward. 

Quotes from Council Staff

“Thanks “IT” for another fantastic, innovative mobile solution for the City Assets Staff and Field Staff for being Open to Change, Cooperative, Understanding and willing to give the solution a go.

Well done everyone!”

– Michelle Arbon
Project Coordinator – Capital Works

“The field staff love it.”

– Tannelle Driver
WHS & Injury Management Team Leader

“I’ve found it (JSA) really good. The ability to add photos is great; providing evidence of the work done.  It gets rid of all the paper; which is always a good thing”

Ron Cox
Drainage and Linemarking Maintenance Worker

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