West Kent Housing Association has a developed a dedicated asbestos register ‘app’ for its BlackBerry smartphones using software from NDL. The awiMX platform from NDL enabled West Kent to develop the app in just one week using its existing in-house IT resources.
Many of West Kent’s properties were built in the 1970s and 80s, with asbestos commonly used for insulation and fire protection. Having compiled an asbestos register, West Kent is legally obliged to inform all field staff of the presence of asbestos in any of the properties they might be working on.
When a tenant calls the West Kent call centre during office hours to request a repair, a job ticket is given to a field worker along with the asbestos register for the property, but for out-of-hours calls, West Kent had no practical means of providing the asbestos register to the on-call workers.
Peter Brightwell, systems analyst, West Kent Housing Association, said, “We considered giving them a printed copy of the entire asbestos register, but the document would have been a foot thick.”
Having recently installed BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express for Microsoft Exchange and given BlackBerry smartphones to its 20 field workers, West Kent realised that it could also deploy and manage applications on the BlackBerry smartphones.
By using awiMX from NDL, one of BlackBerry’s alliance partners, Brightwell and his team were able to develop the asbestos register app, test it and roll it out in just two or three days, without the need to use or understand a Java development system as awiMX did it all for them.
Brightwell said, “There was a feeling of relief from the field workers that they didn’t have to cart around this huge amount of paper – they now have it all on their BlackBerrys.
“We told our main maintenance and repairs contractor that we have this app and that if they’re going to refresh their phones, we advised them to get BlackBerry smartphones so that they can use this application as well.”