tool box talks

Importance of toolbox talks – a common feature within effective site management techniques

A toolbox talk is a very short informal safety talk and all about sharing best practice. Normally delivered on-site (not in a training room) and on a specific subject matter. It is a focused and to the point presentation with a specific safety message. The overall objective is to raise awareness of a particular aspect of the work. Effective training should be delivered on a continual basis and is essential for the reduction of accident/incident rates and the occurrence of ill-health and environmental damage on projects. Attendance should be recorded to ensure the message is received and understood allowing for subject matter issues to be monitored thereafter.

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.

Key points to remember while delivering toolbox talks to the workforce:

1). Relate information directly towards field activities.

2). Ensure your message is clear and understood.

3). Provide questions and answers sessions at the end.

4). Encourage group interaction but keep them on track.

5). Take your time. Do not rush a toolbox talk.

6). Always identify who their immediate supervisors are and explain that all issues should go through their supervisors first and foremost before being taken to others.

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.

For staff based in the site office, briefings can also be issued through Mosaic. The system will be automatically updated as soon as the attachment is opened. In relation to field based operatives, Mosaic allows briefings / toolbox talks prior to coming on site on their mobile devices via email. Once the briefing is delivered, attendance is recorded by scanning their Smart Card on a mobile device

In a recent HSE report entitled ‘The effectiveness of HSE’s regulatory approach: The construction example – 2016 (RR1082)’ a detailed omnibus survey was conducted amongst 5000 plus site workers, who  were asked a number of questions about their accident and ill health experiences. In order to probe a bit more on certain questions a booster survey of 500 construction workers was then undertaken in 2010. From a list of mechanisms around management and worker involvement suggested to respondents of which one or more might be present on site, response levels across the period were of the order of:

  1. Regular safety briefings / toolbox talks – 95%  
  2. A near miss reporting system – 86%  
  3. An employee H&S suggestion scheme – 51%  
  4. Workforce safety representatives – 49%
  5. non trades union, 8% TU  
  6. Safety committee – 33%  
  7. Incentive / reward scheme – 12%
access of fake CSCS cards
Unique smart cards and PDA’s or mobile phones can now record the toolbox talk event

The results above reflect how prevalent and important toolbox talks are to the safe running of construction sites in the modern era, with the vast majority of workers now expecting them to be undertaken to maintain high health and safety standards.

Mosaic has developed a sophisticated mobile feature that can capture daily briefings, toolbox talks, safety alerts and other site critical information and store it on-line. Both on-site members of the workforce and office staff can easily be catered for. Once the briefing is delivered, attendance is recorded by scanning their Smart Card on a mobile device which can then be viewed by management as a report at a later date.

Click here to read more about our toolbox talks product

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virtual reality and health and safety in the construction industry

Virtual reality looking to improve health and safety in the construction sector

While architectural practices and design companies continue to explore the possibilities of virtual reality being incorporated into their design process, the construction and safety sectors might soon also be about to also embrace the area with a number of new products being developed.

At the CIOB and BRE industry event called ‘Accelerate to Innovate’ a number of the innovative ideas involving the use of Virtual Reality and construction were applauded by the judges. The event held showcased two products using this technology that will be able to help improve safety on construction sites as well as possibly help in the training of high risk situations.

The first product allows wearers to conduct “real” physical tasks while fully immersed in virtual environments. It is based on relatively affordable hardware. The second product provides trainees and workers with “real-life” scenarios on high-risk jobs, as a more effective way of preparing them for work on site. Scenarios could be created to suit any situation the client wants e.g. testing the knowledge of the ‘slingers and signallers’, the role responsible for hooking up crane loads and communicating with the driver to move it safely.

These products potentially gives us a glimpse into the future of construction. It aims to improve on-site health and safety behaviour by delivering a virtual site experience based on actual project models using a headset and video game technology. Activities can be benchmarked and situations adapted to individual needs. By putting the “wearer” into the actual experience of witnessing potential site accidents, it is hoped that this will change behaviour compared to traditional training.

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety compliant site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

Source: CIOB

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Card security and onsite access to construction site

10 survey facts about onsite card checking and fraud

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) joined forces with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) to conduct an industry-wide survey aimed at assessing card scheme fraud and card checking procedures on UK construction sites in 2015. The use of fake cards in the construction industry had been brought  to our attention through the press by the National Crime Agency’s prosecution of an organised gang dealing in false identity documentation, which included a number of construction industry certification 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. 1180 construction workers nationally were survey online about card checking methods and the prevalence of fake cards – the results were certainly interesting. Here is a precise of the results:

  1. 82% (4 out of 5 workers) hold a skill certification card
  2. The vast majority of those (92%) are Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), while a further 20% hold the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) as well.
  3. 44% (nearly one in two workers) said their cards were only checked the first time they went on site, while 19% said they were checked occasionally and 14% never.
  4. Only one on five workers (21%) face regular checks while on site.
  5. When cards were checked on site, for the most part it is to see the card has the right name and was in date. Only half of respondents stated that the card was checked to see if it was the right card and that the worker had the correct qualifications for the job.
  6. Most enforcers of card checks tend to either just use visual checks (19%), where the information is not recorded, or utilised a paper based system (69%).
  7. 6% use smart technology to ensure the access is valid, with a further 19% checking on an online database.
  8. A third of all the respondents were actualy responsible for checking cards, with 18% of this group saying they had come across fake cards. Both unskilled workers (10%) and skilled workers (10%) are the two main skill levels which construction workers have seen on fake cards.
  9. Most of these cards were detected due to the poor quality of reproduction or that the photo did not match up with the owner of the card at the time (51% and 49% respectively). 51% did not register online when checked, with a further 4% not showing up on the smart technology employed on site.
  10. Workers are more likely to hold the relevant card within the larger construction organisations, however on site it tends to be non-workers and visitors that are a group least checked.

CSCS Chief Executive Graham Wren said: “Unless people use consistent and accurate methods of checking cards to certificate workers’ training and qualifications, the schemes cannot fulfil the roles they were designed for.  The smart technology within CSCS cards is a simple and cost-effective way to do this, and we are keen to find out more about how it is being utilised on sites across the UK.”

Mosaic Management Systems is an IT partner with CSCS, and provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

To contact us to consult further with one of our representatives about your onsite access and competency management issues click here.

Source: CITB/CSCS – Card Fraud and Onsite Card Checking Survey 2015

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access of fake CSCS cards

CSCS urge employers to check workforce cards the Smart way

Following on from reports in the media last year outlining the dangers of construction card fraud, CSCS is continually trying to urge employers to carry out electronic card checks before allowing workers on site. Checking the card electronically has numerous benefits, but mainly ensures employers are confident that those working on site have the correct training and qualifications for the job.

CSCS Communications and Public Affairs Manager Alan O’Neile said: “CSCS believes that for construction sites to remain safe and productive all workers should have the correct qualifications and training for the type of work they carry out. This was one of CSCS’s primary objectives when introducing the electronic SmartCard in 2010. The CSCS SmartCard provides a simple and cost effective way to tackle fraud and verify that workers hold the correct qualifications and training before allowing them on site.”

A survey conducted in 2015 confirmed many contractors and employers are still failing to take advantage of this technology, with many sites still using inefficient paper based systems or ineffective visual card inspections.

Alan O’Neile continued: “The technology embedded in a CSCS card is free to use and allows a site manager access to a wealth of information about each worker, including their qualifications. By simply placing the card in a reader or onto a compatible device such as a tablet or smartphone you can instantly check the cards validity and the qualifications held by the card holder.”

One contractor recently calculated that card checks using smart technology will save around 500 man working days per year and CSCS is working with several organisations to help them realise the full benefits of the technology. Once they realise the benefits then changing to a smart seems becomes apparent.

As a CSCS IT partner our system and smart card is fully compatible with CSCS’s new technologies. We certainly welcome and advocate a move towards smarter access and checking systems onsite, which in our opinion will ease the burden of site management by storing information centrally. Fake cards would not be omitted onto site with our Tally access system in place.

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

Source: CSCS Articlesnip_20161010124456 about us

mosaic does health and safety the smart way

Smart rugged phones for smart site management solutions

The ‘rugged’ phone market, primarily targeting tradespeople,  is forecast to account for around 18 million handset sales from a global predicted overall figure of 1.5 billion in 2016. This segment still represents a sizable profit for handset producers and other entrants. To stretch their brand further Caterpillar and DeWalt have their own version on the market, alongside the likes of iPhone who have produced a tough case for trades people in this space.

The BBC recently tested out the 4G-enabled Tuffphone 400, another popular brand, on a building site and found it could receive calls under water after several minutes of being submerged and survive a tumble around in a cement mixer full of sand. After these ordeals it could still make calls and get online after being dropped from scaffolding over 2m high. However they were advised by the retailer that it would not withstand “a direct blow from a hammer”.

Mosaic’s array of site solutions can either work off a PDA or a smart phone provided it is on the Android, iOS or Windows platform. Should your work phone have the facility for ‘Near Field Communication’ (NFC) or a camera incorporated then it will be able to read our smart card, barcodes and RFID tags used in conjunction with our applications. This means when you are out on site giving a Toolbox Talk simply use your own smart phone – but please make sure it is a rugged one to ensure it survives the rigours of site work!

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety compliant site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

Source: BBC article

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technologies that may improve health and safety on construction sites

Emerging technologies assisting the construction industry

According to a BBC article instead of the workforce in high-viz jackets and hard hats (PPE – Personal Protection Equipment), there will be drones buzzing overhead, robotic bulldozers and 3D printers producing all manner of new structures. That at least is the hope of those innovators creating new technological solutions. Firstly they have to get buy-in from the traditionally risk-averse construction industry that such change is beneficial.

Some construction companies are already using drones to survey sites and existing structures. Following the earthquake in Christchurch NZ some years ago, they now use a drone to survey the structure of the badly damaged cathedral, which they hope to rebuild.  Japanese construction machinery giant Komatsu has gone one step further – using the drones to provide the eyes for automated bulldozers. The drones send 3D models of a building site to a computer which then feeds the information to unmanned machinery to guide them.

One of the potential solutions to the housing crisis could also be 3D printing, which is already making an impact on the construction industry – cutting both the time and cost of building houses. The UN estimates that by 2030 approximately three billion people will require housing and has mooted 3D printing as one possible solution. A team in the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University, in the same town as our HQ, has been working on the technology since 2007, first developing a 3D concrete printer within a frame, but more recently with a robotic arm that can print up to 10 time quicker.

At the forefront of technology ourselves Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

To find out more about the company please follow the link.