Us survey health and safety

US construction survey reveals lack of technology support for project health and safety issues

In a recent American study, ‘The state of construction management report’ helps appreciate a better biggest challengeunderstanding of what their industry successes, challenges, products, and trends are in 2017. While it should be noted that this is an American study, some parallels can be drawn with the UK’s experience in adopting new technology in this sector. So let’s have a look at what they found out.

Daily reporting was at the top of the list of biggest industry challenges, followed by deadlines and resource management. Supervisors, Subcontractors and General Managers all listed Daily Reporting as one of their main industry challenges indicating a growing concern regarding their ability to keep track of critical information. As you would expect deadlines was up in the top 3 along with the managing of staff. Health and safety came at the bottom of the list.

They asked each stakeholder what their biggest daily challenge was in construction management to gain better insight into what each position in the industry identified as their challenges.

Management:

Finding new business was their main concern by far. Maintaining margins, staff issues and health & safety followed on from this:

business owner

Contractors & sub-contractors:

Resource management significantly lead the way for contractors who see it as their biggest daily challenge. This is followed by staff management and deadlines. Health and safety fell mid-way down the list of priorities for contractors and even further down for sub-contractors.

contractor / subcontractor

Supervisors:

Meeting deadlines is the biggest issue for time-pressured supervisors, followed by health and safety and daily reporting. They work extremely closely with contractors and their own workforce on site and therefore are more likely to be involved with daily health and safety issues. Hence it being further up their list of priorities at number 2.

Supervisor

Technology adoption:

The trend toward adopting technology to improve efficiency is very evident, with the majority of respondents saying they were already using between three and five technology products to support them in this aim. A small percentage of respondents were companies who had really embraced technology, use up to ten technology products on every project. Project management was the main use for technological support, with no mention of Health & Safety in these applications.

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However, when asked what the business priorities were, construction management professionals view safety as the top business priority with efficiency as a close second. Gratifyingly, safety is deemed the main priority, thus ensuring that all employees are kept safe during the construction process.

safety priority

While the majority of respondents view their construction management technology solutions as effective to very effective in the final question on the survey, there seems to be a disconnect in terms of technology assisting health and safety on projects – yet all this was cited as a main business objective. This begs the questions, ‘What innovations could be used to address this scant use of applications for safety reasons in the US?’.

Mosaic is used by the biggest names in the construction industry to manage a range of safety critical and competency issues on major infrastructure sites and projects.  Indeed, Mosaic is sometimes mandated by companies due to the significant role it plays in reducing site health and safety issues, security, improved productivity and time saved.

To read more about us and the services we offer to the construction industry please click here

Mosaic family of modules

 

 

 

Source: Vaultnote

dangers on construction sites

Mosaic’s 10 top tips for maintaining a competent workforce on your construction project

Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places to work on if health and safety rules are not respected. That’s why it is all the more important to Request Demoensure the team participates in your company’s safety program, and does all it can to minimise hazards to mitigate site injuries. Here are our top 10 Mosaic tips for reducing accidents and injuries on your construction sites, through maintaining a competent workforce and making safety a priority for your entire team.

What makes a safe worker?
What makes a safe worker on-site – Mosaic’s top 10 tips

Principal contractors obviously have a legally binding duty of care to their workforce, whether they are employees or contractors. It is undoubtedly their responsibility to ensure they have the necessary skills, knowledge, training and experience to do the job safely and without putting their own or others’ health and safety at risk. It is also in their interest to ensure their workforce is both efficient and safety conscious from a profitability and operational perspective. So here are our Mosaic top 10 to support you in achieving this objective.

  1. Set out your health & safety expectations

Planning safety is as critical as executing it. Many contractors have written safety programs. While they may be very comprehensive, the day-to-day implementation of those programs gets back to performance (or non-performance) by the competent person or persons (supervisors / management). Support your staff with intelligent digital systems that eradicate paperwork, freeing them up to better manage staff.

 

  1. Plan your site inductions

The benefits of comprehensive health and safety training in a construction environment are many, providing both benefits for the employer, but more importantly, for the employee. Initially spending a short time discussing health and safety matters during an employee induction is the best first step towards maintaining a low accident rate and keeping lost man hours through sickness and injury to a minimum. Insurance companies look preferably towards employers who take health and safety matters seriously and premium rates will often reflect this.

The CDM regulations require that principal contractors ensure suitable site inductions are provided. They also require that contractors must provide each worker under their control with appropriate supervision, instructions and information so that construction work can be carried out, so far as is reasonably practicable, without risks to health and safety, and that this must include a suitable site induction, where not already provided by the principal contractor.

Construction companies these days have the option to deliver their inductions both on-line and off-line. In our experience, some chose a blended approach of the two. This ensures engagement is really delivered to the workforce twofold, with great effect.

 

  1. Check qualifications and cards

All workers on construction sites must hold the correct qualifications and training for the type of work they carry out. Increasingly so employers need to be confident that if they are shown a card it is legitimate and that the person showing it has the appropriate qualifications to be carrying out their job onsite.

Mosaic Skill Check

 

 

 

  1. Ensure access and exit to the site is checked

We are continually lobbying the industry to carry out electronic card checks as mandatory before allowing workers on site. From a recent CSCS survey half of the workers on their membership said their cards were checked the first time they went on site, but no much thereafter. One in five of those responsible for checking came stated that they came across a fake card. Access also needs to be regulated should a worker have a site bans for one reason or another.

 

  1. Is the worker fit for work?

This is a serious question! Many contractors, suppliers and clients of the industry undertake rigorous and regular measures to tackle this issue including zero tolerance to drugs and alcohol, random testing, providing information on drugs and alcohol through toolbox talks, site inductions and resources such as on-site posters.

Mosaic Occupational Health

 

 

 

  1. Monitor worker fatigue

Construction work involves high-risk activities. To work safely, construction workers must be physically and mentally alert. This means that fatigue is a potential risk. Employers and employees have a responsibility to manage fatigue in the workplace.

Over 3.5 million people in the UK are shift workers, including in the construction industry. There is no specific legislation for shift work but employers are responsible for the health and safety of workers and this includes reducing the risk of fatigue by planning shift work schedules effectively. This, in turn, reduces risks associated with fatigue and can prevent ill health, injuries and/or accidents.

 

  1. Plan regular toolbox talks

To ensure effective toolbox talks, you will need to ensure that all workers participate and are engaged in the toolbox talk.  Knowing and understanding the material delivered is really important too, thus ensuring good delivery. Toolbox talks can be time consuming as just gathering the workforce round to listen someone before the start of day’s work can affect productivity. Hence the aim is to be informal and supervisors can get certain members of the workforce to gather around during their rounds. This also allows for tailored messages to different trade to be delivered.

 

  1. Ensure systems in place for tool allocation, inventory, PPE distribution and asset inspections

Along with proper safety gear, workers should be required to wear reflective vests to reduce the risk of accidents. Ensure these have been distributed to all your employees and contractors alike. In addition correct policing of tools and plant equipment will help reduce theft but also stop workers without correct ‘tickets’ using equipment. A proper system for asset inspection and maintenance should be in place at all times.

 

 

  1. Invest in workforce training

At Mosaic, we understand that simply holding a record of employee qualifications, licences and training courses is insufficient in the current working environment. You need to see your workers develop, lead and improve upon their skillset.

You need piece of mind to know that your workforce can deliver in the way that is safe and productive. By using situational judgement testing you will become more aware and be able to highlight skills and knowledge gaps and expose employee behaviour that may pose a risk to regulatory compliance, best practice, health and safety or even competitiveness in your organisation. 

 

  1. Ongoing delivery development

Don’t just rest on your laurels!

This is an ongoing process that needs to be repeat on every project / site and learnings shared between key colleagues from one project to the next.

Mosaic family of modules

 

 

 

Mosaic is used by the biggest names in the construction industry to manage a range of safety critical and competency issues on major infrastructure sites and projects.  Indeed, Mosaic is sometimes mandated by companies due to the significant role it plays in reducing site health and safety issues, security, improved productivity and time saved.

To read more about us and the services we offer to the construction industry please click here

Tunnel Boring Machine at Lee Tunnel - Thames Tideway Project

Longitudinal health and safety project is a first for UK construction – Thames Tideway project will be used for the fieldwork

Researchers at Loughborough University are embarking on a unique project that will track and inform health and safety leadership, policies, and practices at Tideway.

The project, commissioned by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), is the first of its kind to study the impact and process of occupational health and safety (OSH) in real time on such a large, multi-site construction programme.

Tideway is the company building the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a major new sewer urgently needed to protect the tidal River Thames from sewage pollution. The 7.2m diameter tunnel, which is due for completion in 2023, is 25km long and runs up to 65m below the River Thames.

Loughborough researchers will be embedded into each of the joint venture teams and will monitor key health and safety processes, personnel, documents, events and activities to provide robust evidence of what does and doesn’t work.

Because of their unique positions within the teams, the researchers will be able to witness how OSH policies and practices intersect with other organisational agendas, and review their effectiveness in real-time. Ultimately, it is intended that findings and best practice will be shared across the wider construction industry and will influence future OSH management and practice.

Project lead Alistair Gibb, Professor of Complex Project Management in Loughborough University’s School of Civil and Building Engineering, said: “This is one of the first studies employing longitudinal research methods on a major infrastructure project of this type, providing an exciting opportunity for researchers to be involved at the very early stages of a major project and follow it through to completion.

“Almost all previous health and safety research comes from a snapshot approach. This project gives us a unique opportunity to monitor OSH within a living lab, and to provide real-time feedback that will enable managers to make changes and improvements – and evaluate their effectiveness – during construction. It promises to provide a completely fresh perspective on the ways in which OSH policies are enacted and implemented. ”

Steve Hails, Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Tideway, said: “Taking part in this hugely important research with Loughborough University is one way we are working towards achieving transformational health, safety and wellbeing standards at Tideway.”

IOSH Head of Information and Intelligence Kate Field said: “IOSH is pleased to be funding this innovative research programme, with the opportunities it presents to examine transformational OSH practices over an extended period. It has the potential to provide new insights into key OSH issues that will be of real value to our members and business.”

We, at Mosaic, are understandably very excited about this piece of research, as our system will be deployed across the 3 joint venture consortium’s building the project. Mosaic will be providing a variety of services across the project over its lifetime:

• Electronic Onboarding / Induction
• Competency Management System
• Safety critical real time skill gap analysis
• Recording of Safety messages / toolbox talks using Smart Cards and Mobile devices
• Access integration for safe movement though zones based on skills
• Perception Assessments – Measures Knowledge vs Confidence to highlight high Risk workers (Situational Based Assessments)
• Fatigue Risk Management Systems
• ‘Network Passport’ embracing all Joint Venture (JV) stakeholders

We wish them well with their research endeavours and look forward to hearing the interim findings. John Micciche, Managing Director of Mosaic said “I am particularly thrilled about this piece of research, as it represents an opportunity to gather robust & statistically significant data on a sizeable project where our system is used as a platform to deliver health & safety excellence.”

To find out more about our involvement in this project click here

Construction Industry - Asset and Stock tagging

Crime in the construction industry – What steps can be taken to help prevent workforce crime

It is not surprising that the most common forms of crime in the construction industry are theft, vandalism and health and safety neglect. These crimes contribute to the sector suffering millions of pounds’ worth of losses every year.  These costs relate to not only the crimes themselves but also the resulting financial penalties, such as increased insurance premiums and project delays.

Recent research, carried out by the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building), examines the scale and impact of crime on the construction industry and highlights the key areas of concern for senior level construction workers and management.  Theft is the most common crime; 21% of respondent’s state that they experience theft each week and, overall, 92% are affected weekly, monthly or yearly.  This indicates that the industry needs to seriously consider the prevention of theft and ensure that construction workers in supervisory roles know how to deal with it appropriately.

Focusing on theft and vandalism for this article, it is estimated that the construction industry suffers losses of more than £400 million* a year due to these, although it is hard to get an accurate figure as many of these crimes go unreported. The theft of plant poses a particular problem for the industry; the replacement of expensive equipment could lead to a project incurring substantial and unforeseen costs. The recovery rate for plant that has been stolen has improved in recent years.  This is thanks to initiatives developed by membership organisation Construction Industry Theft Solutions (CITS), plus continuing collaboration with the police on crime prevention and the recovery of stolen goods.

Additionally, the theft of tools, building materials and small plant is also a major issue that plagues the industry – particularly as these crimes are sometimes perpetrated by direct employees or contractors working on a project. Let’s have a closer look at the figures:

items stolen / theft from construction sites
CIOB Survey: Responses – items such as tools/building materials/small plant stolen from UK construction sites

The survey found that both tools and building materials are stolen by either direct employees/contractors (approximately half) or third parties. CCTV, security measures and access controls can help eradicate the problem caused by the latter, but what more can be done about this crime within the existing workforce? Small plant theft can also be attributed to workforce members in one in four cases. When we look at vandalism statistics committed on a project, we also see that approximately 20-25% is once again caused by this group. It should be noted here that statistically speaking contractors do seem more problematic than the direct workforce with regards to these issues.

vandalism on UK construction sites
CIOB survey: Respondents – Vandalism on UK construction sites

These crimes have long reaching financial implications for all the organisations concerned. A £400 million pounds annual lost is a huge sum of money, compounded by an industry operating on notoriously low profitability margins. It is certainly money that the sector can ill afford, particularly in the current climate of BREXIT and exchange rate volatility.

The survey asked the respondents their opinion of the financial impact upon their organisations – One in four were unable to put a figure upon the cost of this crime, but nearly one in ten respondents said that crime in their industry costs them £100k or more annually.

The study concluded by asking if this problem has remained the same over the last year. Half felt it was no different, but worryingly 40% felt it was getting worst. This begs the questions – what measures can be undertaken to try and combat crimes carried out by the workforce?

Mosaic stock control, asset tagging & inspection manager is a powerful multifaceted tool to support management with the tracking of materials and equipment on-site. Historically, on-site materials tracking and locating have been made complicated by the use of traditional paper based tracking processes. These are invariably labour intensive, potentially ineffectual and contribute to the increase in construction costs.

This type of solution, provides a slick on-line process that easily allows you to book out and in items against a worker record. It provides an online and real time record of where plant, tools and materials are at any point in time during the project, and if policed correctly can reduce these losses.

To conclude, we will look at a live case study of Costain’s London Bridge project, to gain insight into the solution they employed to keep track of stock and machinery use. The client “Costain” wanted to make provisions to track workforce use of machinery, tools and issuing of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). As they had 1000+ workers on site at any one time, they set up a designated storeroom on site manned by 7 Store Men over a 24-hour opening period. Mosaic’s Stock and Asset control manager system was employed and items were tagged up with RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) and scanned out and back in using a PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant). To date there has been over 1.4 million transactions where tools and stock have been accessed and returned.

To find out more about the Mosaic’s Asset & Stock Control Manager click here

*D. Edwards, Plant and equipment theft: a practical guide, 2007.

Source: Crime in the construction industry – CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) survey 2016

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CLH and Mosaic working together

Newly privatised oil and pipeline network, requiring that Mosaic on-line reach!

In March 2015, the government announced it had agreed to sell the GPSS (Government Pipeline Storage System) to Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos
(CLH) for £82m, with CLH taking over operation of the GPSS on 30 April 2015. A contractual agreement between the MoD and CLH ensured military fuel requirements continued to be met using the GPSS.

The efficient operation and maintenance of the Government’s Pipeline and Storage System is crucial to the national interest due to its strong links to the military

Government Pipeline and Storage System pre-privatisation

and economy of the country. The network carries around 40 percent of Britain’s aviation fuel around the country, supplying sites such as Heathrow and Gatwick airports, as well as British and U.S military airbases in England and Scotland.

CLH has already review existing working practices and a schedule of programmed works to ensure that this longstanding and vital UK asset is transformed from a military necessity of the war years into a commercial proposition excelling in efficiency, safety and reliability.

They chose the Mosaic system to help them improve working practices and the health & safety record across this vast network. They virtually use all elements of the Mosaic system from the competency platform with SkillCheck at its core. This is utilised in tandem with the Mosaic Occupational Health module and the Mosaic Induction Manager. Due to the high number of safety critical roles evident across the network, Mosaic Briefing Manager, most notably during Toolbox talks, is used to great effect. Having a robust ‘Competency Management System’ that has bolt-ons, such as Mosaic Briefing Manager, and is delivered on-line is proving a success in this newly privatised operation.

To find out more about us click here

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Competency management system in use at Hinkley Point C

Mosaic helps Costain deliver on marine tunnelling project at Hinkley Point C

Costain, one of the UK’s leading engineering solutions providers, is delighted be a major contract partner in the construction of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. Costain has started work and will provide the design and delivery of the water cooling systems for the nuclear power station.

Costain will design and construct three marine tunnels, around 11km in total length and each one approximately seven metres in diameter, to take in cooling water from the Severn Estuary for the nuclear reactor before it is cleansed, recycled and returned. They will also be building a jetty at the site.

Mosaic Management Systems will provide an on-line competency management system to support site management on this project. A 500+ strong workforce will be deployed on this phase of the project. Mosaic has been working with Costain now for a number of years, which means data can be migrated across from previous projects that Mosaic has been deployed on. The unique ability of the Mosaic system is that it has a ‘Network Passport’ allowing relevant work details to be transferred across, thus saving considerable time during set up of a new project.

John Micciche MD of Mosaic said “We have worked with Costain on numerous projects now and we are extremely pleased that they have chosen us once again, particularly on such a ground-breaking project.”

To find out more about us click here

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Thames Tideway Tunnel - Blackfriars barge launches super sewer construction

Work on Thames Tideway Tunnel commences with Mosaic’s Competency Management System at its core

After years of planning, construction work for the new 25 kilometre interception, storage and transfer tunnel running up to 65 metres below the river, known as the Thames Tideway Tunnel, started at the back end of 2016. Beginning in west London, the main tunnel generally follows the route of the River Thames to Limehouse, where it then continues north-east to Abbey Mills Pumping Station near Stratford. There it will be connected to the Lee Tunnel, which will transfer the sewage to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works. Overflows of untreated sewage into the tidal River Thames add up to tens of millions of tonnes every year. This is unacceptable and the Thames Tideway Tunnel will finally clean up the capital’s river after years of polution.

Thames Tideway Tunnel - the solution in brief

A joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and Ferrovial Agroman has landed the largest Central section drive worth £600m-£900m. The Eastern section of the tunnel has been bagged by a Costain, Vinci and Bachy joint venture and is expected to cost £500m-£800m. Another three-way consortium consisting of Balfour Beatty, BAM Nuttall and Morgan Sindall has picked up the shorter western tunnel drive, which is expected to be worth somewhere between £300m-£500m.

Cross-section of Thames Tideway Tunnel plans
Cross-section of Thames Tideway Tunnel plans

The tunnels will be dug with a gently sloping gradient, falling 1m for every 790m it travels at a depth up to 60m below the

Tunnel Boring Machine at Lee Tunnel - Thames Tideway Project
Tunnel Boring Machine at Lee Tunnel – Thames Tideway Project

surface. Under the present programme, construction is expected to start in 2016 and conclude in 2023. The total Thames Tideway Project is estimated to cost around £4.2bn at 2011 prices. Around £1.4bn of the Thames Tideway Tunnel’s construction cost will be financed by Thames Water and £2.8bn by Thames Tideway Tunnel Ltd.

Mosaic Management Systems is delighted to be involved with such a prestigious engineering project and will be providing a universal system covering all three sections of the build. Certain parts of our system are already in use inducting / onboarding workers and assigning them to the correct job role via our SkillCheck application.  Toolbox talks are being issued and recorded on PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant) while evidence, such as qualification and CSCS cards, relating to workers is being up loaded via our new Evidence Manager addition.

John Micciche MD of the company commented “We have been working in the Water Sector for a while now and have accumulated a lot of experience in this industry, but it is always great to be involved in such a high profile project”.

To find out more about our work in the Water Sector then please click here

Crossrail's bond street redevelopment

Mosaic ‘Competency Management System’ involved in Crossrail’s delivery of Bond Street station

A joint venture between Costain and Skanska to build Crossrail’s Bond Street station is up and running. This is the last of the main construction contracts for the new line’s central section stations.

Bond Street Crossrail station will be directly connected to the neighbouring Tube station allowing passengers to interchange between Crossrail and London Underground services. When completed the £300million redevelopment will transform the station delivering:

  • A dramatic increase in station capacity ahead of the completion of Crossrail;
  • A new entrance and ticket hall north of Oxford Street to increase capacity and provide step-free access to both the Central and Jubilee lines;
  • New escalators and an additional access route to the Jubilee line to reduce congestion; An improved interchange between Central and Jubilee lines;
  • Step-free access to the new Crossrail station;
  • and Improved pedestrian areas around the station with new seating and lighting;

More than 155,000 passengers currently use Bond Street Tube station every day, a figure that’s expected to rise to over 225,000 with the arrival of Crossrail in 2017.

The Mosaic competency management system has been chosen on this JV project to provide an on-line ‘Network Passport’ platform to deliver Project Inductions and SkillCheck. The project lead also proposes to use the Mosaic Occupational Health module and Mosaic Briefing Manager. Recording of toolbox talks is seen by the management team as a crucial means of delivering and reinforcing safety messages across the site.

When Costain were awarded the £700 million contract to redevelop London Bridge station – Mosaic were delighted to support this venture

Mosaic Management Systems were delighted to be involved in this project when Costain were awarded the £700 million contract to redevelop London Bridge station by Network Rail back in May 2013. They have undertaken this work in phases, in order for the station to remain open and operational throughout construction. Around 54 million passengers travel through London Bridge station each year. By the end of the project in 2018, there will be much improved facilities and two- thirds more space for passengers.

During the continuing period of the build, Costain made provisions to track the workforce’s use of machinery, tools and issuing of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). As they had 1000+ workers on site, they set up a designated storeroom on site manned by 7 Store Men over a 24 hour opening period. Utilising Mosaic’s expertise they were able to book out and back in all equipment used by the workforce and attach this activity to an individual’s record. Thus, ensure a complete record of the exchange and record of inspections throughout the equipment’s life. During the project’s life to date, there has been over 1.4 million transactions where tools and stock have been accessed and returned.

London Bridge Redevelopment
London Bridge Redevelopment – A sky view of the vast works being undertaken

In addition they employed a full-time nurse on site from the outset, to undertake on-line medicals and depending upon the job, surveillance tests. These included hearing, eyesight, HAVS etc. Mosaic was used to support the occupational health work on this rail project and ensure all records were updated with the relevant information. Alerts were particularly useful to remind the nurse and key members of the management team about renewal dates.

Advancing safety with mobile technology

Advancing safety with mobile technology

Mobile technology plays a vital role in the management of assets and employees in most businesses today, whether it’s a colleague sending updates to a manager about their whereabouts, or the ability to access company servers and information remotely. For businesses with a workforce based on multiple sites, such as construction firms, quantity surveyors, engineers and project managers, there is even more to gain – mobile solutions can not only help drive efficiencies and achieve long-term productivity gains, but can also provide additional protection for workers.  The latest rugged devices can withstand the elements that field workers are subject to, and offer additional call functionality in the event of emergencies.

A mobile duty of care

According to data from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), each year in the construction sector, around three percent of workers sustain a work-related injury, with an estimated 66,000 self-reported injuries. Worryingly in 2015/16, there were 43 fatal injuries to construction industry workers, a rate of 1.94 per 100,000. The health and safety of lone workers is a major concern for construction firms. Could the implementation of new mobile technology help prevent further fatal injuries? Perhaps not, but it will help to give managers the peace of mind that they have taken steps to avoid or control risks where necessary.

advancing mobile usage in the construction sector

While prevention is the ultimate goal, there must also be tools in place to provide rapid help when accidents occur. This means providing a means of consistent, reliable communication with management, team members and emergency services.  This equipment should include specialised mobile devices featuring a pre-installed Lone Worker Protection App, which can be easily accessed at the touch of a button. This offers an audible and text alarm, sending a worker’s GPS location and alert message to their manager or colleague. For lone workers in more hazardous working conditions, an app like this will allow an accelerometer to be set, triggering an alarm if the user suffers a fall. With these features, businesses can be sure their workers will receive emergency care quickly when needed.

Constant connectivity

Ensuring worker safety means choosing a mobile solution which offers both the connectivity of a high-end smartphone, and the additional functionality of a specialised device. For example, dual SIM card functionality allows for multiple network connections, reducing the potential for workers experiencing mobile black spots. These communication precautions can also prove invaluable when it comes to boosting business efficiency. For example, a ‘push to talk’ button will allow a manager to instantly communicate one-to-one or one-to-many, providing cohesion among workers based in separate locations.

Tough on the outside

Anyone with a smartphone will know how fragile these devices can be – dropping a device from even hand-height can easily result in a cracked screen. Frustrating for the everyday phone owner; a potential health and safety hazaAdvancing safety with mobile technologyrd if you’re a lone worker on a remote site. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of mobile devices on the market which are both powerful and rugged enough to withstand harsh environments. Only a fraction of mobile devices offer an IP68 rating (meaning the handset is protected against complete dust ingress and can withstand continuous immersion in water beyond 1m), or robust build quality that conform to MIL-STD 810G. However, most of these devices do not offer the additional functionality of a specialised handset – one which is rugged, powerful and supports functions like Lone Worker Protection and dual SIM – which would allow managers and business owners to comply with regulations, and could help reduce those HSE figures in the years to come.

Smart competition

Construction remains a high-risk industry, and accidents are not uncommon. According to HSE’s figures, the combination of work-related illness and workplace injuries in the sector leads to 2.2 million working days lost annually. This will significantly impact a company’s bottom line, and indicates that not enough is being done to ensure worker safety.

Improvements in mobile technology mean that devices are now available which incorporate the functionality of a high-end smartphone with specialised features and a ruggedised exterior. Mobile technology of course plays a central role in improving business efficiency in other areas too, with smartphones providing features like real-time information and asset sharing, as well as other workforce management tools. In order to maximise the benefits offered by mobile, while simultaneously verifying the safety of a workforce, the construction industry needs to adopt specialised rugged mobile devices which are tough on the outside, and smart on the inside.

Ultimately, the safety of a workforce should be a top priority for any manager today, regardless of the industry. In high risk sectors, this is more important still. A manager is liable for their workforce’s safety, and the financial and moral implications of not complying regulations are simply too high.

Source: Stephen Westley, Dewalt – Advancing safety with mobile technology – SHP Online

To find out more about us and the system then please click heresnip_20161010124456 about us