How farmers can get OnSide with health and safety

Ryan Higgs

iStart technology and business

Health and safety 300x200

New health and safety system for farmers to launch next year…

A first for New Zealand, a new app called OnSide has been designed by farmers, for farmers and helps them stay abreast of developments in health and safety, alleviating the overhead and administration associated with regulatory compliance.

OnSide’s technology partner Jade Software and said it has worked in collaboration to turn inventive thinking about farm health and safety into a reliable, easy-to-use app. Jade chief innovation officer, John Ascroft said OnSide identified a gap in the market to provide farmers with an easy, practical way to mitigate health and safety risks and improve productivity.

“They came to us with a great idea and their experience in agriculture and passion for health and safety, combined with our innovation and technology, have led to the product.”

OnSide combines web and mobile apps to keep farmers and their visitor’s safe at work. Available on a subscription basis, the software equips users to develop their own health and safety plan by working through a pre-populated list of risks overlaid on a satellite map of the farm property.

Contractors and visitors are prompted to sign in on a smart phone when they cross a virtual ‘geo-fence’ onto the farm, provided with access to the risks and requested to review and acknowledge them before signing in. Risks can be updated by the farmer and visitors will need to sign out when they leave. All information will be stored in the cloud avoiding the need for mountains of paperwork.

The system makes the management of health and safety on a farm easy and effective, getting farmers ready for the new Health and Safety at Work Act which comes into force in April 2016.

“There is no other online system like this for the rural community to manage their health and safety needs. Other apps and systems have been tweaked from different industries. The difference with OnSide is that it has been built by farmers for farmers,” said OnSide CEO Ryan Higgs

He added that the objective is to capture the key elements of a safety plan to help farmers when scrutiny around health and safety compliance is going to ramp up.

Higgs said OnSide evaluated a number of potential technology partners to develop the product. “Jade’s longstanding track record of software innovation, and the team’s ability to quickly adopt our vision and present a compelling end-to-end solution, sold us on the partnership. We look forward to launching the product to market early next year.”

View the article here.

Posted by Ryan Higgs

Ryan has a science and farming background and has held various innovation roles in the dairy sector. Ryan’s interest is in developing a practical tool that makes rural health and safety management easy.

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