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6 Things to Consider Before Buying Equipment Management Software

If you’re trying to decide whether using fleet management software is the right move, you’re not alone. Buying equipment management software can mean spending a nice chunk of change and asking your team to change the way they work. On the other hand, managing your fleet digitally can help increase productivity and make your employers happier.

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XL Industrial Services: Safety Culture Shift After Six Months

When XL Industrial Services, Inc. implemented HCSS Safety, the company’s main goal was to eliminate some frustrating paperwork issues.

But within six months of implementation, Ryan Pollack, the XL’s Health, Safety, and Environmental Manager, said the software has completely changed the mechanical, electrical, and coating contractor’s safety culture.

“This application has helped us manage safety to a degree I couldn’t comprehend when we were going through implementation,” Pollack said. “The ability to address real-time issues from hundreds or thousands of miles away has turned us from reactive to proactive in less than six months. Our folks have really taken their use of the mobile app to another level, and our employee engagement for safety activities is better than I’ve seen anywhere I’ve ever worked.”

Learn more about HCSS Safety here.

XL Industrial Services, based in La Porte, Ind., bought HCSS Safety in June 2015 because they needed better reporting of safety information from the field and easier data analysis.

Pollack said they were receiving all safety information on paper, but with an average of 15 different jobs running at once across the country, he would get huge packets of information at the end of each month.

“If we have five equipment inspections and do a JHA and a toolbox talk daily, that is seven pieces of paper for one day on one job,” Pollack said. “Multiply that by six days a week times four or five weeks on one job, and you’re talking thousands of pieces of paper. To be frank, all we were doing was throwing that the safety paperwork in the job file.”

But within weeks of getting his field workers up and running on HCSS Safety’s mobile application, which can be used on smartphones or tablets, Pollack said he was getting information he never even received on the paper reports.

“In six months we got three near misses reported – which is three more than we’d had in the previous five years – and close to 1600 inspections submitted,” he said. “Of those inspections, we had 80 items identified, safety issues reported, and corrective actions assigned and all closed out in about eight days.”

Learn how to improve your safety culture here.

The software and application have continued to provide a significant return on investment for XL. The company even won the Indiana Department of Labor’s Governor’s Workplace Safety Award earlier this year for its innovative approach to safety management.

It’s the first safety award XL has received, and Pollack credits that to HCSS Safety.

“There are not many 65-employee companies that have safety managers, and a large part of my job is being out in the field and also shoring up administrative safety items,” he said. “To be proactive is huge. Previously, if we were having an equipment issue, by the time I was able to identify the issue, that equipment had been off the job for two weeks. Now I can work directly with the equipment manager and know how many inspections to expect on a weekly basis.”

XL has a weekly safety audit during which the foremen identify issues in the field. HCSS Safety allows them to document those issues and helps Pollack follow up on the information.

It also helps them stay in compliance with OSHA regulations and customer requirements.

“Every job requires a third-party inspection, and rather than having to give them all this paperwork, now we simply send it to them by email,” Pollack said. “The field guys love it because they don’t have to manage paperwork – all they do is drag the attachment into their email and send it.”

XL heavily uses the skills and certifications features because of those third-party inspections.

Whenever a new employee is sent to a job site, the customer automatically wants to verify their training. The foreman can simply pull up the employee’s certifications on the HCSS Safety app and either show the inspector on the spot or export and email the PDF.

Pollack said the app has changed XL’s safety culture in every way, allowing the company to be more proactive despite working in 30 states.

“Before, we were basically chasing our tails,” Pollack said. “Now there is so much data coming in on a daily basis that if I want to pop in and see how a foreman is doing, I can almost audit the job site without actually being there.”

Pollack encourages his employees to find issues in the field and report them using the app. He said the ability to have leading indicators reported and issues fixed on the same day is jaw-dropping.

“When you’re finding issues to fix, it shows customers that you’re engaged in the safety process,” Pollack said. “When they have a tool like HCSS Safety to be able to report that info and relay it back to the customer, that’s what the customer wants to see. Those are leading indicators. If we’re finding things in the field, we’re preventing issues from happening.”

And the ability to showcase XL’s safety culture to potential clients is extremely important to Pollack.

“We’ve been using it in business development opportunities, and it has certainly made a difference,” he said. “To be able to use the HCSS app and show them what we’re doing and how we pull information is great. Since July of last year, we had 1579 equipment and 139 job site inspections, and our guys in the field are doing those. It’s more or less a way to show current and potential new customers what our culture is like.”

“Our guys are saying now, ‘Safety is cool,’” Pollack said. “That’s the comment I get from the field. Our safety culture is being driven by our employees using the software.”

Find out how to make your safety program world class

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I Might Actually Like Running, Thanks to HCSS

April 19, 2016
HCSS /

The tank top I wore during my last leg of the 2016 Texas Independence Relay sums up my general feelings toward this sport: I HATE RUNNING. But in order to truly understand the significance (and humor) of that outfit choice, I should probably provide some background to set the scene.

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XL Industrial Services Wins Indiana Safety Award with HCSS Safety

April 14, 2016
Safety /

XL Industrial Services, Inc. credits one thing to its recent big safety award victory.

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Construction Industry Challenging OSHA's New Silica Rule

April 13, 2016
Safety /
osha /
agc /

The construction industry has taken a stand against a one of the most long-awaited and controversial Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules to be released in years.

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The Safety Risks of Construction Theft

March 17, 2016
Safety /

At a construction site in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in September, security camera footage shows a man in a hooded sweatshirt and jeans calmly walking up to a Bobcat steer-sled, entering the vehicle and starting the engine. After maneuvering the equipment onto a tractor-trailer, owner and landscaper Mark Hoppe was now about $30,000 poorer, according to local news station WISN. While police claimed they had a suspect in mind, the ordeal had turned into "an insurance nightmare" for Hoppe, who had taken precautions to protect the equipment, such as setting up cameras and fencing.

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5 Simple Steps for Managing Single Bid Items on Multiple Job Sites

March 7, 2016
HeavyBid /

If you're an estimator who deals with the Department of Transportation (DOT), chances are you've had to manage dozens of single bid items at different job sites. You also know that the DOT’s single bid item structure makes calculating job value difficult for most estimators.

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Immigrant Workers Face Disproportionate Safety Risk

March 3, 2016
Safety /

A recent feature story from the New York Times went in-depth on the safety and health strugglesof New York City's construction industry, which has wide implications for construction workers around the country. In "Safety Lapses and Deaths Amid a Building Boom in New York," reporter David Chen details disturbingly similar trends in incident reports and lawsuits involving construction deaths in the city for the past two years. In diving deeper into these official statements, with the help of hundreds of interviews, Chen found a persistent culture of safety ignorance among industry leaders.

"Time and again, in thousands of pages of safety reports, handwritten notes, crude drawings, lawsuits and other documents, as well as interviews with the workers' relatives and friends, the same issues emerged," Chen wrote. "In many of the projects, a premium was placed on speed, causing workers to take dangerous shortcuts."

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Construction Work Among Highest Risk for Injury

March 1, 2016
Safety /

One of the latest annual reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has troubling news for the construction industry. In the latest installment of the report on "Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work," the BLS found that construction laborers were among the top 10 occupations for the highest injury and illness rates. This provides specific and unquestionable data that demonstrates how important construction safety systems are on the job..

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Work Shortage May Be Slowing

February 25, 2016

Recent data suggests the much-discussed worker shortage may be in the process of easing pressure on the quickly booming construction industry. The question, however, is if this is a sign of good things to come or just a temporary, yet unsustainable boost.

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