By Raico Lamela, Manager, Academic Laboratories and Jason Wood, Technologist, School of Applied Science and Computing
Academic laboratories are required to meet workplace standards to keep workers and students safe. The prevention of safety incidents depends on a well-designed plan that identifies, manages, and controls all the risks in the laboratory. To comply with those standards means that the laboratory organization demonstrates with documented evidence the implementation and control of those risks.
SLC laboratories started their digital transformation a year ago with the implementation of a Laboratory Compliance app to manage records related to Safety and Operation in its academic laboratories.
The application was developed using the Power Apps platform and connected to the SharePoint list where all the records can be stored and retrieved when needed. The apps can be used to review inspection records "in situ," add a new inspection record, and update an existing record if required.
With the application and further development of this app the academic laboratories are able to:
- Reduce the environmental footprint by using a paperless alternative to the collection and access of laboratory compliance records;
- Improve communication with the EH&S team and the Joint Health and Safety Committee during internal audits, and
- Improve safety compliance by ensuring all stations are inspected at the required time.
Organizations are moving to a more efficient and environmentally friendly way to collect and analyze data. Wireless data transfer, development apps, portable notebooks, phones, computers, and laptops are the tools needed today for the management team to run operations and processes even remotely. For a successful digital transformation, a collective effort is required from all parties involved in the process. Developers, users, and managers must act in concert to produce a reliable product that meets the requirements of the management system. This is becoming a vital aspect for the continual transformation of the organization.