Labor Day salute: Three apps for workers

The Labor Department offers three mobile apps that workers may want to consider when the Labor Day holiday ends.

Happy Labor Day weekend. Government employees, like everyone else, are no doubt getting ready to enjoy the holiday that honors the contributions and American workers and marks the unofficial end of summer. But like all holidays, it’ll be over before you know it, and then it’s back to work.

In honor of the holiday, and in acknowledgement that it will end, here are three Labor Department mobile apps that you might want to consider using when you get back.

Keeping cool

Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a free app that might take some of the heat off outdoor workers and supervisors: the OSHA Heat Index Safety Tool.

OSHA Heat Index App

The app allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index at their worksite and, based on that index, determine the risk to outdoor workers. Tapping will display the measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness --  the obvious reminders about drinking enough fluids and scheduling rest breaks, but also information on what to do in an emergency, how to build up the workload for new workers, and training on heat illness signs and symptoms. Additionally, users can contact OSHA directly via the app.

With more than 50,000 downloads, the app is available in both English and Spanish for iPhone, Android and some BlackBerry platforms from iTunes and Google Play. Additionally, the app's source code is posted on the OSHA website.

Time management

Workers inside or out can use the DOL-Timesheet app, which allows users to record the hours they have worked and calculate the amount they may be owed by their employer. It also includes overtime pay calculations (at a time and a half) for weekly hours worked over 40.

Department of Labor Timesheet App

The Labor Department makes clear that this DOL-Timesheet app does not handle items such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials, or pay for regular days of rest. Users should also note that although the app is constantly being updated, Labor says the information on it may lag official publication of regulations. 

Also available in both English and Spanish, the app requires iOS 3.0 or later and is available on iTunes.

Stat heaven

And for those whose work involves analyzing the work of others, the Labor Stats app presents data and news releases for the statistics published by the department, including the following:

Department of Labor Stats App

  • Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims
  • Consumer Price Index
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Payroll Employment
  • Average Hourly Earnings
  • Producer Price Index
  • Employment Cost Index
  • Productivity
  • U.S. Import Price Index
  • U.S. Export Price Index

With this English-only app, users can track certain statistics and get the news releases about the numbers, which will open in Safari or in PDF format. Available on iTunes or Google Play, Labor Stats requires iOS 4.3 or higher.

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