Can Voice Memos Improve Near-Miss Reporting?

March 1, 2021

In this blog post, we explore what voice memos are and how they can be used to engage workers, capture near-miss reports and improve safety programs.

What is a voice memo?

In the center of the MākuSafe wearable device is a button that workers can push (it must be intentionally held down, so it’s not accidental) and speak into to record a 15-second voice recording. This recording is then uploaded into the MākuSmart dashboard in real-time and provides both a playable audio and file and written transcript form for the safety manager to review.

How are voice memos used?

Workers can use the voice memo feature to quickly inform safety management of a potential hazard, supplies needed, a problem observed or report a near miss. Here are some of the scenarios in which workers have recorded a voice memo:

A worker noticed the floor was very slippery in a specific area and recorded a memo noting the location for the safety manager. The safety manager investigated the floor and discovered the wrong paint had been used, creating a potential slip/fall hazard. The floor was repainted correctly, thus avoiding a potential incident.

A worker used the voice memo feature to record a message to recommend the addition of padding to a machine in which a coworker had previously hurt her arm. The safety manager received the memo and worked with the employees to implement a process improvement, The company estimate they saved approximately $1,500 in injury costs, but “the impact on a positive safety culture is priceless.”

Can voice memos be used to improve near-miss reporting?

Yes! In fact, using voice memos in combination with the automated motion data capture of the MākuSafe wearable safety device can help track and report more near-misses than ever thought possible. If a worker slips, falls, pushes or pulls too hard, resulting in an injury, it will likely be reported to the safety manager. If the worker is wearing a MākuSafe device, the sensors in the device will capture the motion data and alert the safety manager. However, what if the worker “almost” falls or “almost” slips? In many cases, these “almost-incidents” go unreported and allow hazards to persist until an actual injury occurs. The voice-memo feature provides a way for a worker to quickly and conveniently notify the safety team of potential hazard BEFORE a worker is harmed and a claim is filed.

Are there other benefits of voice memos?

Glad you asked. Yes! The voice memo feature in the wearable safety device is a helpful communication tool between workers and safety managers. It encourages proactive communication about current or potential hazards in an organization, thereby fostering a culture of safety and “people-first.”

How can I learn more?

Do you think your organization is capturing enough near-misses? If not, let’s talk about how MākuSafe’s wearable technology may be able to help. Schedule a demo with us to get an inside look at how companies like yours are automating near-miss capture and keeping workers safer.