By Vogel Bros. Safety Department

According to, the first mobile phone call was made in 1973 on a device that offered a mere 30 minutes of talk time per 10-hour battery charge. What a difference 40+ years makes! So much of our world today revolves around technology, particularly our smart phones. Today, 95% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind, 77% of those are smart phones. Users spend an average of 1.8 hours each day on their smartphone, and mobile apps account for 90% of this time.*

When it comes to safety – at work or at home – mobile apps are a tool that can help everyone keep themselves and those around them safe. There are many different mobile apps designed to keep you safe – most are free. Below are some popular apps from reputable, national organizations. Share these with your co-workers, friends and family. And if you ever find yourself wondering how to carry out a task more safely, just remember…there’s probably an app for that.

Heat Safety Tool – OSHA: This free app allows you to calculate the heat index of where you’re at, and based on the heat index, displays a risk level to those outdoors. You can also get reminders about protective measures to take to protect you when you’re outside.

Severe Weather Alerts and Resources – FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency): With this free app, you can receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service; get safety reminders, tips to survive natural disasters, and create an emergency checklist; locate open shelters and contact FEMA; and upload and share disaster photos to help first responders.

First Aid – The American Red Cross: Accidents happen. The official American Red Cross – First Aid free app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at your fingertips. With videos, interactive quizzes, and simple step-by-step advice, it’s never been easier to know first aid. The Red Cross even has an app specifically for treating pet first aid, so you can care for your furry friends, too!

webPoisonControl – NCPC (National Capital Poison Center): In an effort to combat the many inaccuracies of poisoning-treatment information found on the internet, the NCPC has created this free mobile app. It uses seven steps to evaluate the danger level of the poisoning situation, and helps determine whether users should treat a poisoning incident at home, contact a poison control center, or go to the emergency room.

Ladder Safety – NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health): Ladder injuries don’t just happen on job sites, they also happen at home: hanging Christmas lights; changing light bulbs; cleaning gutters; etc. Some of the features of this free app include: an angel measuring tool to ensure you’re using extension ladders at the proper angle, a comprehensive checklist for ladder inspection, and rules for safe ladder use.