Monday, September 23, 2013

There’s an App for That!

Ever wonder if there was an easier way to find those pesky problem areas in your city?  There’s an app for that.  There are a number of apps designed to aid Public Works in tracking the areas that need repairs and/or attention.

How does it work?
The most popular app is SeeClickFix  The city would need to establish a portal with SeeClickFix, and then notify their residents of the availability.  The residents would have to download the app on their smart phone and report any issues to the Public Works Department.

What do the citizens report?
The citizens can report anything from downed trees or graffiti to potholes or sidewalk cracks via this app.

Why do we need this?
With the diminishing resources we all deal with as a public entity, it is more important than ever to do more with less.  This creates more tasks for fewer people in less time, which then makes it more difficult for the Public Works Departments to identify all of the problem areas throughout the city.  The app can make the citizens their “eyes and ears”.

Not a fan of the app?
There are a number of additional apps available that provide the same service as SeeClickFix.  Here is a short, but certainly not comprehensive list of the available apps:




By: Tara A. Bursey

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Accessing vehicle for repairs or inspection - by Joe Ingebrand


 A previous blog focused on safety as it relates to getting in and out of equipment that is being operated, and reviewed the importance of using the “three points of contact” when entering and exiting the cab.

 Another area where cities experience slip/fall injuries is when equipment is being repaired or inspected.

You’ve probable done it yourself, climbed up on the dump box to see if the box is empty, or stood on a wheel to clean the windshield, both of these scenarios can and have led to slip/fall injuries.



Whether it’s in the shop, or in the street, climbing on and around equipment can be dangerous. Fortunately, improvements have been made by manufactures, designing better steps and walkways on equipment, and by cities utilize portable steps, wheel steps, built-in steps or ladders to access equipment.   


Here are a few ideas utilized by other Minnesota cities we have seen used throughout the state of Minnesota.  See if you can find any ideas that might work for you on existing equipment, or to consider when purchasing                                       equipment in the future. 

           



                 
Below: Step added to specialty equipment where needed: belly plow, snow blower attachment, or anti-slip material on a surface that is slippery.