Lifting Gear and Safety

Digitalising safety inspection reports

Enabling Lifting Gear & Safety engineers to quickly capture, store and sync important safety data without connectivity.

Digitalising safety inspection reports


Lifting Gear & Safety (LGS) specialise in the hire, sale and servicing of lifting, marine and safety equipment across England and Wales. Their highly trained engineers ensure that lifting equipment in the oil and gas, food processing, utilities and construction industries is safe and compliant. Their 30 engineers spread across 9 locations, completing over 5,000 inspections a day for over 400 clients.

The challenge

Some of LGS’s clients have over 12,000 pieces of equipment that need statutory inspections every 6 months. This information is held in a central database, accessible through an online portal. Their existing solution worked brilliantly on desktop, but as many inspection sites have little or no connectivity they needed a product that could work offline, safely storing the information until it could be synced. They knew that by saving the information on a device and then safely passing the data directly into their database they could improve accuracy, increase efficiencies and see cost savings too.

Accessibility for any new digital product is key, even more for LGS, ensuring the engineers felt confident using a new digital product would be pivotal to the success. The solution had to be simple, intuitive and reliable to meet and surpass user expectations.

The solution

We designed and built the LGS inspection mobile app, the perfect digital tool to enable safety inspectors to find and complete their reports quickly and easily on the job.

Simple user interface

Using the clear information architecture (IA), the LGS engineers can prepare for their visits, searching for clients, previous reports and inspections due. They can download the reports they need, complete them and then sync the data when they are ready. Being an internal business app, without the need for a uniquely branded UI, allowed us to use a more native-looking design, in keeping with the android devices used by LGS engineers. This added to the familiarity from first use and reduced the amount of training required.

Offline data capture & seamless integration

It was imperative that the app work offline due to the lack of connectivity of many site locations. We developed the app with a secure login for engineers to partially or fully complete inspection reports without any connectivity. All data is safely and securely stored until connectivity is restored. The engineers can then sync their reports back to the database when ready. The sync is a conscious and deliberate process to give the team full control and the flexibility to do this when it suits them.

The app is fully integrated with their database reducing the lag in important information being passed back to the client. Digitising the paper reports completely reduces the risk of data loss and inaccuracies.

Ionic framework

The app was built using the hybrid framework Ionic for Android devices. Ionic has a huge open-source library of interface components that we were able to take advantage of in the development of the app. In the discovery phase, and thanks to the Ionic component library we were able to produce a high fidelity working prototype and wireframes. This combined functionality and design, and gave LGS a better feel for the end product. We received design and development feedback at the same time, expediting the process and saving our partner time and money.

Internal apps often have a more subtle brand identity, this was true for the LGS app. Enhanced existing components provided a more native user experience, reduced the development time and allowed us to focus on developing the bespoke areas of functionality for LGS. Not developing everything from scratch gave our partner the best value for money and produced an accomplished and intuitive app.

Tim Wilson LGS

Previously we had a mobile version of our inspection reporting system, but we were unable to use this in areas of poor mobile data coverage or environments such and mines or chemical facilities where there are safety issues. Rareloop analysed a complex requirement and developed a solution which is easy for the user to understand and reliable. The app has given us much greater efficiency allowing our inspectors to have all the important information at their fingertips, record inspections and update records in a secure and simple manner. Synching with the main database is easy and records are updated in seconds.

Tim Wilson, Director

Partnership with Etch

The existing LGS database is built in .Net, a backend language that we don’t have in-house experience with. We partnered with local digital agency Etch to co-design a .Net REST API to enable communication between the app and database. As .Net specialists, Etch implemented the server-side component of the API whilst we focused on the app implementation. By working in close partnership with another domain expert, playing to their own strengths, we enabled seamless and secure data transfer between the app and the database. We used collaborative communications tools and standard REST API documentation methods to ensure a transparent productive working relationship between the agencies and LGS.

Dynamic Load Monitoring (DLM) roll-out

After successfully developing the inspection app, LGS asked us to create a version for their client DLM. This version was adapted to carry the DLM brand but with all the same great functionality as LGS. Allowing them to realise the benefits of offline digital data capture too.

All our digital products are built on a foundation to last, understanding that all digital solutions should evolve, adapt and grow. This is a great example of where we’ve been able to utilise the development work to extend these benefits to others.

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