An Australian-based safety-audit app built its user base from the bottom up by offering its service for free and gaining grassroots adoption through the workers closest to the action. The app officially enters the U.S. market this month.

“We’ve never had any sales people or marketing,” says Luke Anear, founder, SafetyCulture, Townsville, Australia, whose company created the iAuditor app. Anear says safety inspectors and superintendents sought out the app after getting frustrated with paper-based inspection processes.

The app lets users create check lists for inspections. It timestamps the procedure and notifies other users, such as senior management, in real time once an operation is complete. Audits can be exported in many formats, including Microsoft Word files and Adobe PDFs.

“The time iAuditor saves us is incredible,” says Mike Gimpel, environmental, safety and health specialist for AECOM. Gimpel says AECOM had a problem: At the end of the day, its superintendents were spending two hours going over safety-audit paperwork.

“We were losing value by not having them in the field,” he says. But using iAuditor’s check lists took the superintendents’ process from paper to a mobile device and kept them from redundant work. “It cut down the time from two hours to minutes,” says Gimpel.

He adds that his team now uses 30 check lists with the app, such as road-map surveys and ladder inspections. AECOM superintendents also took advantage of some of the 60,000 check lists that other iAuditor users uploaded to the app’s free library.

“It’s the largest repository of check lists in the world,” says Anear.

Another benefit the app brought to AECOM is data tracking and collaboration. “The SafetyCulture folks brought analytics and file-sharing to our audit process,” says Gimpel. Previously, AECOM required that its supers perform 20 audits a month. Now, Gimpel says his company isn’t measuring the number of monthly audits because management can track them in the app.

iAuditor is free to download and use but costs $9 to $15 per seat to share data with additional users.