By Leon Gettler >>
IN 2004, Townsville local Luke Anear transformed his workplace health and safety consultancy into a software start-up, SafetyCulture.
The firm started in a garage and Mr Anear is determined to keep it that way.
The firm has developed iAuditor and Spotlight, innovative, low-cost, mobile-first applications that allow users to create safe and efficient workplaces by conducting centralised audits and, in real-time, quickly evaluating safety and quality.
“I used to be a private investigator spying on people who had been injured at work and thought this was pretty crazy … waiting for people to get injured and then spying on them,” Mr Anear told Talking Business.
“I created a training document business for the Australian construction industry, and that was great, but by 2011 you could see people had a computer in their pocket and they were people who normally didn’t sit in front of a computer.
“So I thought it was a chance to build some tools and we built a check list app – and people would download it and use it in their workplace,” he said.
“It is all human entered information and high quality stuff.”
The downside is that it relies on people to check stuff all the time, so SafetyCulture is now developing an automated system.
One of its tools, Spotlight, has schools in the US using it in a unique way. They use Spotlight for tagging a potential shooter and notifying teachers and the sheriff’s department.
“We are facilitating the flow of information that wasn’t collected before,” Mr Anear said. “The starting point was pens and paper and some people have desktop software that is quite cumbersome and takes a lot of time to use so people will avoid it.
“We’re helping people share information and making it easier and fun.”
The firm now employs 280 people and is moving into hardware and the internet of things (IoT).
He said maintaining the start-up culture of the company was all important.
“If we don’t maintain a great culture, then we don’t attract and keep those people who can build those great products coming through. It’s something we pay a lot of attention to and making sure that people who are coming in are adding to our culture.”
Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.