Forget dogs and diamonds — smartphones are everyone’s nonhuman best friends these days. As more and more of us use our iPhones, Androids, and Blackberries to check emails, view websites, and text our kids and friends, many are using smartphone apps for other purposes: weather reports, news, and — safety. So here are 10 great apps that make your smartphone a powerful safety accessory.

Too Loud?

The title of the app is a question, but the Too Loud? app gives answers to keep your hearing healthy. This app is especially useful for those who work in busy, noise-filled environments such as heavy industrial and manufacturing facilities. By using color to indicate noise levels, Too Loud? uses colors to let you know at a glance if noise levels have reached an unhealthy level.
Available for: iPhone/iPad/iPod     Rating: 4+     Price: .99

OSHA Heat Safety Tool
Help your workers beat the heat with OSHA’s heat safety tool. This app uses available weather data to protect those who work long hours in hot conditions. With OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool your iPhone, Android, or Blackberry will display the heat and safety risk to outdoor workers with reminders to drink enough fluids, schedule breaks, and know what to do in an emergency.
Available for: iPhone/Android/Blackberry     Rating: 3+     Price: Free

Online-MSDS provides instant access to the leading database of safety data sheets. Save an unlimited number of SDSs to your personal “binder,” helping you respond quickly to any hazardous material emergency. Share complete SDSs by fax, email, text, Twitter, or Facebook.
Available for: iPhone/iPad/Android     Rating: 4+     Price: Free

EHS Audit and Inspection Tool—Environmental, Health, Safety and Quality
EHS Audit provides more than 500 templates and checklists for a broad range of inspections, including OSHA, ISO, crane inspection, and even Canadian compliance standards. You can capture photos, video, and audio; customize templates; generate reports in PDF, Word, Excel, and CSV; and even sync your reports to WikiChecklists for team collaboration.
Available for: iPhone/iPad     Rating: 4+     Price: $29.99

Dangerous Goods Manual
This app helps you identify hazardous materials and provides ERI (emergency response intervention) cards on initial actions for fire crews. With Kemler numbers, Hazchem emergency action codes, packaging groups, transport category and tunnel codes, this app also includes classification and labeling summaries, including GHS. No Internet connection needed.
Available for: Android     Rating: 4+     Price: Free

PhoneGuard Premium
Available by subscription, PhoneGuard gives you a year of protection from your own temptation to be a distracted driver. By sensing when the car is moving, PhoneGuard prohibits texting, emailing, and web browsing, while still allowing emergency calls like 911. Separate controls for override, auto-reply, and speed control are also provided. For some, this app could quite literally be a lifesaver.
Available for: Android     (Unrated)     Price: $19.99

NIOSH Lifting Calculator
The National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed its “Lifting Equation” to find ergonomic solutions to lifting strains. This app performs NIOSH’s calculation in both metric and standard measurements and represents the effort of certified professional ergonomists. You can evaluate existing and proposed lifting conditions to determine the recommended weight limit (RWL) for a specific job or task.
Available for: iPhone/iPad     Rating: 4+     Price: $2.99

Adobe Ideas®
Adobe Ideas is known for being a digital sketchbook. Why then, would we recommend Adobe for workplace safety? This app allows you to caption and “scribble” on photos so that management or service personnel can see what areas need work and what areas are in good order. You’ll save time and money, and there will be no doubt as to the order and efficiency in your facility.
Available for: iPhone/Android     Rating: 4+     Price: $9.99

Crane Operator Hand Signals
Crane Operator Hand Signals (from Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association) gives users instant access to all necessary crane hand signals in both English and Spanish. Every signal included is compliant with OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks Standard and shown graphically so operators can quickly reference the appropriate signal for each command. This app has already been downloaded 7,000 times.
Available for: iPhone/Android/Blackberry     Rating: 4     Price: Free

Pocket First Aid & CPR from the American Heart Association
Featuring 34 videos, 46 clear illustrations, and informative articles, this app gives step-by-step instructions for many first-aid procedures as well as CPR. You can also manage personal medical information for several people and use the first aid kit checklist to ensure your kit is fully stocked with all necessary supplies.
Available for: iPhone/Android     Rating: 4     Price: $1.99