While some of the mobile apps we download end up doing little but take up space on our phones or tablets, others are revolutionising the way we live and work.
Right now, there are a great many mobile apps that are proving particularly useful for those working in the construction industry – supporting people by making every-day tasks simpler, improving efficiency in working practices and raising professional standards higher than ever before. In this week’s blog, we’ve got a rundown of just some of the apps available.
Seven apps you might find useful
There are two things about the world of mobile apps which make pulling together any list like this problematic. Firstly there’s so much choice and secondly it’s such a fast-changing environment that by the time you make a choice, it might well have been eclipsed by a newer innovation!
In spite of these difficulties, we’re going to give it a go so, in no particular order, here’s our selection of seven mobile apps that construction workers may find useful:
1. DEWALT® Mobile Pro™
Download this app to access an array of powerful and convenient features for everyday use on the job. It contains a construction calculator for solving complex maths on-site and comes with nine free add-ons. With integrated reference materials (help, examples, illustrations etc) and access to hundreds of additional calculations/ trade-specific add-ons, the app can be easily customised to your needs. Another benefit is that it can help you to store and share past calculations via email to other team members.
2. Bubble Level & Inclinometer
This app basically turns your mobile phone into an accurate laser level and inclinometer tool. As well as helping you to determine if a plane or a surface is in a perfectly horizontal (at level) or vertical (plumb) position, the app also features an instrument that’s used to measure the angles of the slope with elevation and depression of an object (known as an inclinometer or clinometer).
Construction work demands a significant financial investment in tools and equipment. Using ShareMyToolbox is a good way of keeping track and managing your inventory so as to protect your tools from misplacement, theft and accidental duplication.
With this app, you can create a list of your tools and equipment using images and a spreadsheet; receive automatic notifications as to when tools will require calibration, maintenance, or testing; and give your team the ability to use their phones to look up and locate which tools are available at any given time.
4. iAuditor by Safety Culture
As an inspection management tool, iAuditor by Safety Culture lets your team create checklists, create and share custom reports, assign follow-ups and collaborate across working teams – all from one easy-to-use app.
With the help of the app’s instant analytics, it can also help you to more easily spot problems like frequently failed items or incomplete inspections, thereby identifying areas for improvement and helping to reduce the chances of accidents. All members of your team can also be given the freedom to report issues and problems to the appropriate people without delay.
Fieldwire connects your entire field team, from the project manager to each specialty contractor’s foreman, on one construction management platform. Through this app, anyone can view their drawings/ documents, make mark-ups, schedule work, send instant messages, manage walkthroughs and track their snagging list while they are in the field.
With the aid of this app (which uses augmented reality techniques), you can quickly take measurements and create floor layouts on your mobile device. With just one click, all the information can be exported to different formats like PDF, PNG, or DXF and shared with other team members.
Drawing up room plans in square metres or feet, CamToPlan works particularly well for quick surface calculations and for visualising the floor, furniture, baseboards, or walls of the room.
7. St John Ambulance First Aid
Even with top-notch health and safety procedures in place, accidents still occur on a building site, including those that prove fatal.
St John Ambulance is determined that no one should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it. That’s why their app includes the latest first aid advice and protocols for dealing with emergency situations, all presented in ways that are simple to follow, with illustrated guides and voiced instructions.
The app doesn’t replace the benefits of undertaking a first aid course and is not as detailed as a full first aid manual. However, in the event of an emergency, it will help you to know what to do to in those crucial moments when basic knowledge of first aid can make all the difference.
What are you using?
This small list of mobile apps represents just a tiny fraction of all the mobile tool and resources now available for the construction sector and, as the technology continues to progress, no doubt there will be many more innovations coming to the market soon.
Among the mix of free and paid-for apps currently available, is there something you’ve found especially useful for your work? If so, let us know by sharing your views on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.
Feature image: Sawat Banyenngam/Shutterstock.com
* The products featured in this article are just some of the many mobile apps available to support the construction industry. Sheriff Construction Ltd cannot and does not officially recommend or endorse any specific products and would advise anyone seeking mobile solutions to research the market thoroughly and seek professional help where necessary.