The new issue of iPhoneLife magazine highlights Elm’s use of iPads for environmental, health and safety audits in a short feature.
Unfortunately, the article indicates we use them for energy audits, which is not the case. We have contacted the editor to inform them of their error.
Interestingly enough, the current issue also reviews various notetaking apps for anyone interested in reading up on the subject.
Posted in Auditing, EHS, Governance, H&S, Health & Safety, HSE, sustainability
Tagged compliance management, EHS, EHS Auditing, Environment, environmental, environmental compliance, Health & Safety, internal audit, iPad, risk management
Elm is featured in today’s issue of the on-line news source Mashable for our innovative use of the iPad for HSE auditing. The article can be read here.
With a reported 30+ million monthly pageviews and an Alexa ranking under 250, Mashable ranks as one of the world’s largest websites. The website has a large following on many social networks. As of February 2011, it has over 2 million Twitter followers and over 425,000 fans on Facebook.
Posted in Auditing, Compliance, EHS, Environment, H&S, Health & Safety, HSE, sustainability
Tagged audit, audits, EHS, Environment, environmental, HSE, internal audit, iPad, Mashable, sustainability, technology
Join us for an upcoming webinar Friday, February 25 about using the iPad in HSE audits. We will present an overview of our experiences in using the device on actual audits over the past 6 months.
Included in the presentation will be a discussion of
- evaluating its potential use and fit within organizations/existing audit processes;
- benefits and limitations; and
- a detailed step-by-step simulation of an audit using Elm’s selected application (smartNotes), including actual screen shots.
The hour-long presentation will be followed by an open question and answer period.
Click here for a full description. There will be a morning session and an afternoon session. Click here for the afternoon session.
We hope you can participate.
Posted in Auditing, Compliance, EHS, Environment, H&S, Health & Safety, Risk, sustainability
Tagged audit, auditing, EHS, Environment, HSE, iPad, protocol, Safety
Following a successful implementation of the iPad for HSE auditing, Elm is today rolling out environmental compliance audit protocol modules for field testing this week.
“We believe this is the first formal environmental audit protocol implemented in the iPad form factor,” said Lawrence Heim, Director of Elm’s Georgia operations and the firm’s lead for iPad service development.
The protocols are reflective of a traditional paper-based format proven in the field over a number of years. Modules selected for field testing are waste generation, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (“EPCRA”) and ozone depleting substances.
“In our view, this as a potentially dramatic step forward in HSE auditing. While version one does not automatically generate audit findings or reports, it has other significant strengths in addition to the benefits already seen by Elm from iPad implementation,” Heim said.
Elm highlights the following features:
- Flexibility. The protocol can be used in a manner matching auditors’ own personal styles in collecting audit data. Handwritten notes are captured in any format, including different “ink” colors, “highlighters”, and line weighting. While the initial protocol version is based on Elm’s standard audit process, other custom formats can be developed virtually without limitation.
- Adaptability. Elm’s iPad HSE protocol can be used alongside existing audit systems for initial data capture and organization prior to entering the information into less user friendly, highly structured audit systems. Also, the resulting PDF file can be attached into other HSE audit systems as supporting documentation.
- Merging related documents into the protocol. Documents such as state regulations, permits, plans, applications, agency correspondence and enforcement agreements can be incorporated into the protocol itself without effort of retyping, restructuring or reformatting. Once the appropriate document is merged, auditors are able to write notes and highlight text directly in the document. Further, by using a cellphone camera, additional documents can be captured and merged into the protocol in a few minutes while on-site.
- Languages. The iPad application in which the protocol was created can drastically reduce the need to translate audit protocols and related documents between languages. Audit documents are captured in their source format and original language, eliminating language translation costs/errors and allowing auditors to use their local language.
“We fully expect a successful test, with only minor changes to Version 1 being necessary. Additional environmental compliance modules are already in initial stages, awaiting our assessment of the field trials. Health and safety modules will be developed soon after,” Heim stated.
Posted in Auditing, Compliance, EHS, H&S, Health & Safety, HSE, Safety
Tagged audit, auditing, EHS, Environment, environmental, environmental compliance, EPA, H&S, HSE, internal audit, internal controls, iPad, OSHA, protocol, Safety
We recently announced our trial of and results from using an iPad for EHS auditing. These articles were intentionally short and provided summary information.
We were subsequently contacted by the Editor of EHS Journal to provide a more detailed article for their respected publication. That article is now available.
We invite you to read it.
Posted in Auditing, Compliance, EHS, H&S, Health & Safety, HSE, risk assessment
Tagged audit, auditing, compliance management, EHS, Environment, environmental, environmental compliance, environmental risk, health and safety, HSE, internal audit, iPad, risk management, Safety
Elm has completed its initial field trail of the iPad for EHS auditing.
Lawrence Heim of Elm’s Georgia office:
In our week-long test of the iPad in an actual client audit setting, we used many of the features available in our selected data collection application. There were other relevant features that we did not use this time, but expect to in the future. To sum it up, the iPad and our selected application performed flawlessly.
- Data capture – over 50 pages of handwritten notes in this case – was efficient and error-free.
- We were able to create charts, tables and diagrams, as well as use a “highlighter pen” feature.
- The user-defined data tagging function worked extremely well to quickly identify matters needing further information or clarification. That feature also allowed quick, easy access to – and certainty in locating – findings in the notes. Data tags clearly indicated finding summary information for further convenience.
- Exporting the notes was rapid and seamless. The resulting file can be viewed/emailed to the client in PDF form as well as other formats if needed.
I believe that our use of the iPad created a time efficiency of between 15% – 20% on this particular field trial. I anticipate that we will see even greater savings as we become more experienced in using the available features the device and app offer. Any company seriously seeking ways to improve on-site audit efficiency and reducing errors/omissions should evaluate the iPad.
As a result of this successful trial, Elm will be adopting iPad use more broadly across the company before the end of 2010.
If you are interested in having us demonstrate the iPad’s power in an upcoming EHS audit at one of your sites, please contact us.
Posted in Auditing, EHS, H&S, Health & Safety, HSE, risk assessment, risk management
Tagged audit, compliance management, EHS, Environment, environmental, environmental compliance, environmental risk, internal audit, internal controls, iPad, risk assessment, risk management, risk profile
Today The Elm Consulting Group International, LLC announced that it is testing out the iPad and certain applications for use in EHS audits.
Elm supports many clients with EHS audit processes, so we must be flexible in audit approaches. Some clients have internally-designed audit tools that Elm uses in those instances. Other companies have automated reporting, but are not confined in their data collection processes. Our iPad use is likely to be of most benefit to those clients who do not have an existing computer-based EHS audit protocol/risk assessment systems.
Rob Bray, Managing Director in Elm’s California office:
We are optimistic that the data capture technologies in the iPad’s small and unique package will prove beneficial in the field. These technologies include:
- the ability to easily and quickly scan documents and annotate within those documents;
- voice note capture and automated transcription;
- handwriting capture and transcription;
- advanced note-taking applications; and
- where appropriate, photo capture and annotation.
Elm expects to utilize all of these features to manage, organize and consolidate audit/assessment data. Certain applications will allow almost immediate access to specific information or notes that support each audit finding. Finally, all data gathered – including auditor notes and even recorded interviews – can be aggregated into a single electronic document that can be emailed to clients for their records.
“We fully anticipate seeing increased efficiency and accuracy in the EHS audit process. And our clients should be able to eliminate some costs for hardcopy audit data management – including paper, copying, off-site storage and archiving costs,” said Lawrence Heim, Director in Elm’s Georgia office.
Posted in Auditing, EHS, risk assessment
Tagged audit, EHS, environmental compliance, internal audit, iPad, OSHA, risk assessment, technology, working papers