70,000+ Attend AHR 2019 in Atlanta

The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), which began in 1931, has grown into the event of the year for the HVACR industry. AHR 2019 was just held in Atlanta, Georgia. A lot has changed since the show was last held there 18 years ago. This years expo drew more than 70,000 attendees and more than 2,100 exhibitors, and hosted industry professionals from every state in America and 165 countries worldwide.

The AHR Expo provides a unique forum for the entire HVACR community to come together and share new products, technologies, and ideas. Everyone from major manufacturers to innovative new start-ups attended, and exhibitors showcased and demonstrated a variety of the latest HVACR-related products. More than 70 free, one- and two-hour sessions were presented by experts from prominent industry-leading organizations. Sessions were designed to allow for easy integration of valuable education time into attendees’ overall Show agendas.

This year FIELDBOSS was excited to unveil Version 3.0 of its HVAC contractor management software at The Software Center. The show was a huge success, and we thank everyone from around the world who stopped by the booth. We look forward to seeing you all at the AHR Expo in Orlando next year!

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HVAC Salaries Continue to Rise

Skilled trades professionals continue to earn high wages, according to The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) 2018 Construction Craft Salary Survey. More than 130 industrial and commercial construction companies across the U.S., representing over 350,000 employees, participated in the survey. The most significant pay increase was for HVAC technicians as HVAC salaries continue to rise.

Of the 32 construction positions surveyed, average annual salaries ranged from $47,700 to $92,500. Project supervisors and program managers topped the list, earning over $88,000 and $92,500 respectively. Professions earning more than $65,000 include boilermaker, mobile crane operator, tower crane operator, millwright, industrial electrician, power line worker, pipe welder, instrumentation technician, and combo welder. Additionally, seven more craft areas made more than $60,000 per year.

The most significant pay increase was for HVAC technician, up 20 percent from previous years. Since NCCER’s previous survey of 2015 salaries, the average annual pay for HVAC technicians has increased the most (20%), from $52,026 in 2015 to $62,472 in 2018.

The HVACR industry is stable and thriving, HVAC technician salaries continue to rise, there are jobs to be filled and HVACR companies are busy. This is truly an exciting time to be a part of the HVACR industry.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world.  Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter  for all the latest news.

Read here to find out how the HVACR industry is tackling the labour shortage.

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6 Ways Your Field Service Business is Stronger with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and FIELDBOSS

Dynamics 365 and FIELDBOSSFIELDBOSS was built for the Microsoft Cloud and within Microsoft Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications that empowers your service organization to transform and evolve. This solution connects CRM and ERP capabilities with custom-made applications that work together seamlessly as one connected system. The result is a powerful tool that will increase productivity, cut costs, streamline processes, meet customer needs and capture new opportunities.

Here are 6 Ways Your Field Service Business is Stronger with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and FIELDBOSS:

1.      End-to-End Field Service Management
An end-to-end field service software solution is vital to the success of any field service operation. Given the increased complexity of the field service industry and constantly evolving best-practices, field service operations that don’t use a comprehensive software solution are out-performed by competitors that do.

FIELDBOSS stands out because it is a complete end-to-end solution that allows our system to show important metrics such as profit on a work order in real-time. From customer relationship management, to field dispatch resources, to accounting, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) – our end-to-end, seamless integration provides an unprecedented level of clarity that, when combined with other FIELDBOSS tools, drives new opportunities and new levels of service.

2.      Connected Interactions
FIELDBOSS empowers technicians with a 360-degree view of customers and real-time guidance to improve resolution time and earn customer trust. By using the common data model in Microsoft Dynamics 365, all core information such as customer and product data is saved in one central place. Access to this data is available in real-time across multiple applications within the Dynamics 365 suite.

3.      Integration to Outlook and Other Microsoft Technologies
Since Microsoft has many common technologies that businesses already employ such as MS Outlook, Office and Exchange, they’re the clear winner in integrating those technologies with Dynamics 365. Even though some organizations choose to work with other platforms, most of them are still working with MS Outlook, Office and Exchange. These organizations will find integration to be more challenging and limiting in terms of functionality.

4.      Development and Flexibility
One reason we chose to build FIELDBOSS within Microsoft Dynamics 365 is for development. The Microsoft Dynamics platform employs common, universal web standards such as Java, .Net and HTML. This means that field service businesses have the advantage of developing their own customizations based on their individual needs without having to rely on a single or specific type of programming language. And, if they don’t have the capabilities in-house to handle these customizations, there is an extensive network of trusted, experienced partners (like Rimrock Corporation) that can effectively handle their needs.

5.      Real-time Customer Data
For an organization determined to create superior customer engagement, end-to-end integration offers another strong competitive advantage. Enhanced visibility and control of customer information to field technicians on site can ensure that warranty repairs are properly made, non-warranty repairs are invoiced, and new warranty upsell opportunities are taken advantage of. Dynamics 365 and FIELDBOSS will ensure that customer data is shared and synched in real-time across the organization to be of optimal use to sales, marketing, and customer service.

6.      Future Proofing Your Business
No organization invests more in research and development than Microsoft. Our approach when developing FIELDBOSS was to leverage the best technology and functionality platform available . So while Microsoft’s focus is on R&D and innovation, we can focus on solving industry problems and staying ahead of industry trends. The result is that FIELDBOSS customers are always future proofing their businesses, reducing technological risk and protecting the company valuation.

FIELDBOSS and Microsoft Dynamics 365 deliver a powerful combination of business management software with field service management.  Contact us to find out how FIELDBOSS can help boost productivity and profitability, as well as improve customer service.

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Global HFC Phasedown Begins

Global HFC PhasedownThis might be the biggest New Years resolution ever as 197 countries around the world have resolved to scale back the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, a game-changing climate treaty, entered into force as the calendar turned to 2019 and with it, the global HFC phasedown begins on some of the most potent greenhouse gases on Earth.

The three nations making up North America – Canada, the U.S. and Mexico – are each at different stages in reducing their HFC consumption as 2019 begins.

Canada, having ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in 2017, started cutting HFC consumption as of January 1 by 10% and will move to 85% by 2036.

The Canadian plan also puts caps on the GWP of gases that can be used in specific applications. Starting on January 1, 2020, stand-alone commercial refrigeration systems will be limited to 1,400 and 1,500 GWPS for medium- and low-temperature units, respectively, while centralized refrigeration systems and condensing units will be held to a 2,200 GWP refrigerant.

Much of the Canadian regulation focuses on imports since HFCs are usually imported into Canada in bulk for use in the manufacturing, servicing and maintenance of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, and in the manufacturing of foam-blowing products.

Mexico voted to accept the Kigali Amendment in September 2018.  As a developing country, it will freeze average production/consumption in 2024 at the baseline, which is the average production/consumption of HFCs in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

67 countries have ratified the Kigali Amendment, including the European Union, Japan, Canada, and Australia, as well many developing nations, and the United Nations said it expects more to join in the coming weeks. Notably absent are China and the U.S., the two biggest manufacturers and users of HFCs.

While China is expected to sign on, it doesn’t seem like the U.S. is in any rush to do the same despite widespread industry support for ratification.  Just last year, 13 Republican senators asked the White House to send it to the Senate for ratification. The refrigerant industry supports ratification and even published a white paper showing it could result in an additional 33,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs and $12.5 billion in additional economic output to both replace HFCs and destroy the climate-warming chemicals. The industry has also suggested that China could get a leg up on the U.S. if it ratifies the treaty before the U.S. and begins manufacturing and distributing HFC-free refrigerators and air conditioners to the world.

Even if the amendment doesn’t make it to the US Senate for ratification, the U.S. still has some pathways forward to not fall totally behind. Individual states have begun to lead the way with California at the front of the pack. California has already banned HFCs in new air conditioners and refrigerators and a handful of other states, such as New York, Connecticut and Maryland, have followed suit. As well, 17 Governors from various states have formed the Climate Alliance. Aside from upholding the goals laid out in the now defunct Paris Climate Accord, they have targeted other climate and environmental changes and regulations including HFC refrigerants.

The U.S. may end up with a piecemeal of states that phase down HFCs but if enough states jump on board then manufacturers will be forced to use lower GWP alternative refrigerants.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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How the Midterm Election Results Effect the HVAC Industry

The November midterm elections saw the Democrats take the House of Representatives and the Republicans maintain their majority in the Senate. How do the midterm election results effect the HVAC industry?

Several issues important to contractors and the HVAC industry will remain up for negotiation (or renegotiation) in the upcoming session of Congress. The 115th Congress brought some exciting gains that industry representatives are eager to lock-in through bipartisan legislation. New regulations are at an all-time low and for each new regulation created, 22 have been eliminated.

TAXES
Legislatively, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that passed last December made huge improvements to policies affecting HVACR distributors, without which the industry would not be thriving the way it is. This year, the amount families can protect from the estate and gift tax was doubled to nearly $12 million per family and $24 million per couple. Additionally, individual tax rates were cut, a new small business deduction of 20 percent was created, 529 savings plans were expanded, the child tax credit was increased, and the standard deduction was doubled. The expensing of HVAC equipment became a first-year write-down versus the 39-year schedule that previously existed. With a new majority in the House, Democrats may want to revisit the particulars, which could involve the threshold’s dollar amount or its duration at this level. Industry representatives will encourage lawmakers to maintain the current version and extend its timeframe.
It is not expected that the HEAT Act — which allows immediate tax deduction expensing for commercial HVAC equipment purchases — will be revisited in the upcoming session. However, it would become a top priority for ACCA should it come under pressure.

TRADE & TARIFFS
Trade continues to be an important priority for the HVACR industry. The signing of USMCA, which keeps most of NAFTA intact, was a huge step to start the 116th Congress. Based on input from industry members, HARDI wrote to the US government with concern over tariffs and highlighted the importance of their trading relationships to the industry. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross responded that he had received the concerns and was working hard to solve the trade divide between Canada, Mexico and the US. HARDI, ACCA and the rest of the industry will continue to push Congress and the administration to support free trade.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR OVERTIME RULE
The Department of Labor overtime rule could be coming back into play next year. During the Obama Administration the Department of Labor increased the minimum salary threshold for overtime pay by over 100 percent. The wage increase was unsustainable for employers from across the nation. Thankfully, the regulation was struck down by the courts. DOL plans to reissue the regulation next year with a more realistic wage threshold.

EFFICIENCIES AND STANDARDS
Although the continued debate over equipment performance continues, the common interest continues to be better performance. Democrats are expected to pursue higher minimum efficiencies for HVAC equipment, some of which were established during the Obama administration and since rolled back. Meanwhile, ACCA maintains that it is equally effective and less expensive to pursue greater realized efficiencies and to “not focus on the box”.

Various interests could overlap legislatively in the form of increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Energy Star program. In particular, ACCA would like to see a boost in support for Energy Star’s Verified HVAC Installation (ESVI) program. Contractors who participate in the ESVI program earn accreditation from a third-party organization and can then offer customers added assurance with an ESVI certificate that verifies their new equipment was installed correctly.

AHR is hopeful that in the next Congress they will tackle reforms to modernize the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA). EPCA requires DOE to review and, when necessary, implement or revise minimum energy conservation standards. EPCA established a six-year review cycle. Many business leaders complain that the six-year cycle demands almost constant changes in plants and equipment because as managers prepare for the new standards, they quickly confront the next round of review, and, yet again, new investments that, over time, only yield smaller and smaller gains in efficiency.

EDUCATION
Both parties agree on improving education in the trades. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act for the 21st Century Act was signed by the president this summer. One of the most pressing issues for the industry as a whole is having enough qualified professionals to install and service machines. This bill provided nearly $2 billion to high school and technical school programs across the country.

LOOKING AHEAD
It will be interesting to see how much change can be affected with the change in House majority. The president will likely make deals with Democrats in the House where possible, which means that 2019 may yield some meaningful results for HVAC contractors and consumers alike. ACCA made this statement: “The HVAC industry is the backbone of our economy, responsible for keeping our food fresh, our IT and data centers operational, making modern medicine possible, providing essential comfort and healthy air to hundreds of millions of Americans, and employing millions of skilled workers. It is essential that policy makers understand the essential role that contractors play in our economy. ACCA looks forward to working with the new Congress, the Trump administration, and policy makers across the country on workforce development programs, reducing regulatory burdens, and expanding tax reform.”

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Women in HVACR: A Growing Trend

During a time when the HVAC industry is struggling to find enough qualified service technicians and installers, women, without a doubt, represent the largest underutilized resource available to the industry. As of 2017, women made up nearly 47 percent of the U.S. labor force. In HVACR, however, that number is significantly lower. Of the 448,000 Americans employed in 2017 as HVACR mechanics and installers, just 2 percent of those were women, according to the U.S. BLS. However, while the HVACR industry has traditionally been male-dominated, women are starting to have their own successes as both owners and technicians.

Women in HVACR Trends

Just 10 years ago, it was fairly rare to see a female working on industrial air conditioning and exceedingly rare for one to own their own contracting business. But times are changing.

Today, more women are entering the field, thanks to advocacy, personal encouragement, and mentoring, and increasing numbers of girls pursuing the STEM fields early on in their academic career. Recruitment efforts within the industry are also gaining steam, thanks to organizations like Women in HVACR, a national organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in the industry. Women in HVACR provides support, mentorship, scholarships, and helps women break into the industry. Through the organization, they connect with schools and help to make the HVAC industry less of a mystery while encouraging women to consider it as a career choice.

Meanwhile, HVAC companies themselves are trying to assist women in making the transition by hosting career fairs, awarding scholarships, and helping to support women new to the field. Additionally, many trades schools, local and federal governments, and private institutions are helping to make it easier for women to train for jobs in AC maintenance, industrial air conditioning, and more.

Some other trends the industry is seeing is more daughters taking over family-owned HVACR businesses passed down from their fathers. Additionally, there is a growing rate of professional positions being filled by females; More women in every position, at every level, from manufacturing to service providers, and from wholesalers to educators. There has also been an increase in women in the HVACR programs at technical schools.

As more women take the helm of major HVAC contracting companies, they are presenting themselves as positive role models for other women and proving that the job isn’t “just for men.”

The Industry Needs Women

The HVAC industry is projected to grow significantly in the next few years. Continued industry growth combined with the estimated retirement of a large percentage of older HVAC employees means the industry needs women to survive. The industry will need about 115,000 new workers trained and ready to work by 2022 just to meet the expected demand of this aging industry. Attracting women into the industry will help fill the need for HVAC professionals. This starts at the high school level, informing students of the opportunities available with a two-year trade degree as opposed to a four-year college degree.

An Untapped Resource

One HVAC company said one of the biggest changes to her business was hiring female technicians. The majority of her customers are women because usually the men are gone and the moms are at home. Women relate to women and in some cases, feel safer having a female technician in the home. The company says that now a lot of their competitors are continuously trying to recruit the female techs.

 

Not every challenge of being a woman in a primarily male industry has been lifted, but the HVACR industry continues to further open its doors to women seeking a stable, well-paying career. With the increasing open-mindedness and equality, career opportunities, ownership abilities, and established support systems in place, more women are starting to take notice and consider the HVACR industry as a career. As the skilled trades shortage grows larger each day, it’s imperative to begin changing the perception of a woman’s ability to excel in the trade professions. For HVACR businesses to continue to grow they need to find enough quality employees for the future. Owners must look outside the industry’s preconceived idea of what a service technician looks like. It is exciting to see this transformation beginning to take place and to see more women getting involved and succeeding in the HVACR world.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Big Changes Coming in January to Section 608 of the Clean Air Act

The HVACR industry is constantly changing whether it be through new technology advancements or mandatory phase outs on Ozone and high GWP refrigerants. The most extensive changes to HVAC/R regulations in 2 decades go into effect in less than 2 weeks. On January 1, 2019 big changes are coming to Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, the law that regulates stationary refrigeration practices.

Originally when the leak rate changes were introduced they were thought to be applied to CFC, HCFC, and HFC refrigerants. While this is still the case today, the EPA did announce last month that they were considering removing the leak regulations on HFC refrigerants. This proposed rule was able to be commented on by the public and a ruling from the EPA is expected shortly. Until then, it’s safe to assume these changes to 608 are affecting both HFCs and CFC/HCFC refrigerants.

The 2019 changes will overhaul leak rate thresholds and the consequences for exceeding them. To avoid hefty fines and repercussions, detailed tracking, reporting and monitoring of refrigeration equipment will be required.

Here’s what you need to know about 2019 leak rate thresholds:

The new lower leak rate thresholds for all ozone-depleting substances and substitute cooling fluids are:

  • 30% for industrial process refrigeration (previously 35%)
  • 20% for commercial refrigeration (previously 35%)
  • 10% for comfort cooling (previously 15%)
  • 10% for other units (previously 15%)

 

If a commercial or industrial process refrigeration unit exceeds its leak rate threshold, it must be repaired and will be subject to the following series of inspections:

  • Equipment with more than 500 lbs. of refrigerant requires quarterly inspections by a certified technician until the asset has remained below the leak rate threshold for four successive quarters.
  • Equipment with 50 to 500 lbs. of refrigerant requires annual inspections by a certified technician until the asset has remained below the leak rate threshold for one year.

 

If a comfort cooling unit exceeds its leak rate threshold, it must be repaired and will be subject to the following series of inspections:

  • If a comfort cooling unit with 50 or more lbs. of refrigerant exceeds its leak rate threshold, following repair, it must be inspected annually by a certified technician until the leak rate has remained below 10% for one year.

 

Staying Compliant
The equipment owner is required to provide specific documentation on servicing, leak rates, repairs and more for units that exceed their threshold. In addition to regular inspections, the equipment owner must demonstrate through leak rate calculations that the unit has been successfully repaired. Leak rates must be calculated initially with a verification test before refrigerant is added, as well as once the unit has returned to normal operating conditions.

The fines associated with violating any Section 608 rule can total $37,500 per day, plus expensive repair and replacement costs.

The best way to remain compliant with Section 608 is to use an HVAC service management software. With the stringency of the new requirements, calculating and reporting on paper or using a hodgepodge of disparate software products could leave you vulnerable to serious consequences.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Tariff Relief on the Horizon?

Tariff reliefThe United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), or as Justin Trudeau calls it CUSMA or the new NAFTA, may have been signed, but steel and aluminum tariffs remain in place. These tariffs have a significant affect on the HVAC and refrigeration industries. So is there tariff relief on the horizon?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged U.S. President Donald Trump to drop his steel and aluminum tariffs on Canadian imports during the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) in Argentina.Trudeau said the tariffs remain a major obstacle to U.S. and Canadian prosperity, even under the new USMCA deal that both leaders signed with Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto.

While at the signing in Buenos Aires, Trudeau stated “We will not rest while those barriers remain. Canada will be as relentless in meeting this challenge as we were in updating NAFTA.”

According to one Canadian company that sells vents, ducts, grills, pipe fittings and studs in both countries and operates manufacturing plants in Missouri and New Brunswick, it’s been a very difficult year. Steve Finlay, VP Canadian Sales for Imperial Manufacturing Group stated “We’ve had two price increases passed along to our customer base this year, which is unprecedented. Our US operation has no choice but to import certain products. And they got hit with the 25% tariff.”

Canada buys more American steel than any other country in the world, accounting for almost 50% of US exports. In 2017, about US $14 billion of steel was traded between Canada and the United States. Canada and the U.S. share a highly integrated aluminum market with combined trade of more than US $11.4 billion annually. About 84% of Canada’s primary aluminum production is exported to the United States, where it is used as an important input for further processing into products for US domestic and export markets.

The tariffs have been driving up the cost of furnaces, air conditioning units, water heaters etc. Buyers are now paying more for raw material, whether they are importing it with the tariff or from local sources. The hope is that now that the USMCA is signed, the parties can find a way to agree to remove the tariffs. It is anticipated that they will be reduced or eliminated, but when this will happen is anybody’s guess.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world.  Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter  for all the latest news.

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New Release: FIELDBOSS 3.0 for HVAC Contractors

FIELDBOSS 3.0 is now available for new and existing HVAC customers!

With version 3.0 FIELDBOSS customers are now able to manage progress billing for construction projects and inventory stock levels within the system much more efficiently.

In addition to the two major functionality improvements, version 3.0 adds new features and performance enhancements that continue to streamline HVAC contractor business processes.

FIELDBOSS 3.0 for HVAC, key enhancements include:

Progress Billing

New to FIELDBOSS HVAC, Progress Billing allows project ‘phases’ to be tracked and billed as work on the phase progresses, with the system automatically managing retainage (holdback) for phases in accordance with AIA standards. This new feature also allows an ‘Application for Payment’ to be generated and sent to the customer, which can be adjusted at any time.

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New Inventory Functionality

FIELDBOSS 3.0 introduces support for inventory management integrated with Dynamics GP. New functionality allows customers to view stock levels at warehouse locations directly in Dynamics 365, and mark inventory items as allocated once the Work Order is created. Once an item is out of stock, users can receive a warning when placing a Work Order for these items.

Wage Categories

Version 3.0 extends the innovative functionality released in previous versions to further optimize the Service Activity feature by providing the ability to ensure compliance with ‘Prevailing Wages’ as required by law and/or contractual agreement. When a Time Card is completed, FIELDBOSS will use the appropriate “burdened cost” for job costing purposes. This feature is an optional extension of Labor Rate tables and can be setup and used only if needed for a specific Work Order or Project.

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Field Requests

Version 3.0 includes the ability to create a ‘Field Request’. This can be used by technicians in the field to create and track requests for services, parts, or other information on their mobile device. This request is routed to the office, which then tracks the request to completion. This feature provides the back office the ability to more effectively queue, prioritize, act and follow up on requests from the field.

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Major Update to Maintenance Contracts 

FIELDBOSS 3.0 introduces significant changes to the way Maintenance Contracts are created and managed, as well as how Maintenance Invoices are generated. In 3.0, a single Maintenance Contract can be used for many different billing cycles, including: monthly, annual, three-year and five-year on the same invoice. Additionally, a new view has been added to quickly identify contracts that are due for annual “escalations”. Maintenance invoices can now be generated for the current month or can be generated in advance for dates in the “next month”.

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There are more updates and enhancements included in these releases that are not highlighted in this blog post. And as always, we have also implemented several smaller improvements and fixes.

If you are a current customer looking to upgrade, or would just like some more information on FIELDBOSS 3.0, please contact us .

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OSHA Releases Top 10 Safety Violations for 2018

OSHA announced its Top 10 list of most cited violations for 2018.  Although this annual list of the most frequently cited violations almost always features the same categories, the individual rankings do shift a bit. It’s concerning to note that the total number of violations went up in all nine categories this year except for the eye and face protection category (No. 10), which is new to the list.

 

OSHA TOP 10 SAFETY VIOLATIONS 2018

  1. Fall Protection
  2. Hazardous Communication
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Respiratory Protection
  5. Lockout/Tagout
  6. Ladders
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements
  9. Machine Guarding
  10. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment -Eye and Face Protection

 

The goal is to inform the public of the most commonly cited safety violations and allow employers to focus their efforts on those standards to make workplaces safer for employees.

Some Common reasons why companies get cited for safety violations:

  • Outdated tools and methods compromise your EHS processes.
  • No collaboration between the field and office.
  • Information collected on paper can be lost, incomplete, inaccurate or unreadable.
  • You can’t manage what you don’t track.

 

Here are 5 ways an end-to-end field service software can improve field service safety:

1.      Collect Data Not Paperwork

Paper-based forms may get lost, or contain illegible handwriting and incorrect calculations. Vital data may not be communicated effectively – if at all.

An end-to-end field service software solution will ensure:

  • Forms are filled out quickly, with accurate, legible information.
  • Consistent answers from pre-populated fields via drop-down menus
  • Calculations are automatic, and critical information cannot be skipped over due to mandatory form fields.
  • Techs can take photos to highlight safety concerns; collect signatures on site to sign off on inspections.
  • Reports are automatically shared across back-office systems and staff.

 

2.      Provide your field teams with up-to-date information

Your teams may not always have the information they need readily available in the field, particularly if they’re relying on manual, paper based processes. Unless your teams regularly stop by the office, it can be difficult to share updated job site information, dispatch the latest health and safety forms, or inform field workers about new regulations.

An end-to-end field service software solution will ensure:

  • Your field team always have the most up-to-date mobile forms.
  • Real-time data – view and select price/part lists in easy-to-pick dropdown menus.
  • New employees get up to speed quickly by offering links to tips, how-to-videos, and regulation handbooks – directly in the form.
  • Enhanced collaboration you need between the field and office.

 

3.      Deliver data when and where it’s needed

Paper-based processes are vulnerable to communication bottlenecks, as forms have to be faxed, scanned, or physically transported to the office, which can slow down processes that are critical to resolving safety issues.

An end-to-end field service software solution will ensure:

  • Communication bottlenecks are eliminated. Field techs can submit critical EHS data to the office with the touch of a button, empowering you to quickly resolve  compliance issues

 

4.      Integrate with back-office system

It’s not enough to be compliant. You have to show that you’re compliant. Your safety data and reports have to be easily accessible to both internal stakeholders and industry regulators. This is difficult and time-consuming if your forms are stashed away in filing cabinets across different offices.

An end-to-end field service software solution will ensure:

  • Your field and your office are completely integrated and data is synched in real-time.
  • Your admin staff will no longer  need to spend much of their days transcribing data from paper to your back-office system.

 

5.      Gain greater visibility with analytics

Keeping  your field service team safe requires you to be proactive. Safety-conscious organizations use analytics tools to leverage their historical health and safety data to help predict and prevent future incidents that could have serious corporate and human consequences. Analytics tools present your real-time data in easy-to-read dashboards and reports, revealing critical information to help prevent violations.

An end-to-end field service software solution will:

  • Track the number of incidents per region, office, and/or team.
  • Identify the best and worst performing sites and teams.
  • Share top performers to establish best practices across the organization.
  • Identify problem areas that require special attention to improve your health and safety compliance  scores

 

FIELDBOSS contractor management software can help you to ensure the greatest level of safety for the public and your technicians by giving you the tools you need to stay compliant, avoid headaches, and keep your team informed. Contact us for a free demo or for more information.

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