Wollongong start-up The Safety Compass will address workplace risks at all points of the globe

Safety heading in the right direction: Adam Poole in front of The Safety Compass's home at the new iAccelerate building. He wants to address workplace risk at all points of the globe. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Safety heading in the right direction: Adam Poole in front of The Safety Compass's home at the new iAccelerate building. He wants to address workplace risk at all points of the globe. Picture: Greg Ellis.

A Wollongong start-up moving into the new iAccelerate building is being nationally recognised for developing existing technology to address a global need and take workplace safety to a new direction.

The Safety Compass won the Patron's Prize for Australian Design at the Good Design Awards on the weekend. It is the brainchild of Adam Poole. The Patron’s Prize is awarded to an entry that has the potential to shape the future economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of the planet

“The judges were impressed with how we’ve taken existing technology and tailored it to a real world/global problem. Safety Compass provides real time location specific workplace safety info through augmented reality,” Mr Poole said.

The Work Health & Safety risk management tool is designed to help workers assess, report, manage and avoid dangers. In the process will help reduce the number of workers who die on the job. In Australia last year 193 employees did not come home from work and globally one worker dies every 15 seconds.

Safety Compass uses GPS technology to send alerts to mobile phones approaching an area where a safety issue has been observed. By accessing the worker's physical location, the app presents vital information on present dangers straight to a worker’s phone.

“When they approach a site where a hazard has been identified...as soon as they get within 100 metres..they are notified that there is a risk,” Mr Poole said.

Rather than a bulky safety manual to report and manage risk the smart phone's inbuilt camera and GPS system allows the new app to display real and present dangers in real time.

Mr Poole came up with the idea during a UOW pitch competition in 2013. He expects many workplaces around the world will find it a convenient tool to report safety issues and will enhance existing risk assessment practices. Safety Compass has been accepted into the iAccelerate Advance Program and will move into the new building any day.

Carmelo San Gil said Mr Poole had built a better mouse trap and he was helping him tell the world. Some international companies are already interested.

The judges were impressed with how we’ve taken existing technology and tailored it to a real world/global problem.

The Safety Compass founder Adam Poole