Asset tracking on site

RFID technology delivering exceptional returns tracking site stock, tools, plant & PPE

Asset taking on site
One scan is all you need to record a tool taken out against the worker record

Here’s how RFID works! All deliveries entering the site can be scanned as stock, using a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). While plant equipment is simply labelled with barcodes or RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tags and is scanned both when given and returned against the recipient’s record. When the time arises for the equipment to be serviced or inspected, records denoting this can be uploaded against the specific plant tools, construction hand tools and site equipment. Let’s see how it stacks up as an investment.

Mosaic stock control, asset tagging & inspection manager is a powerful multifaceted tool to support project management with the tracking of materials and equipment (such as large plant, small plant, construction hand tools & construction equipment), on-site. Historically, on site tracking of materials and tools have been made complicated by the use of traditional paper based processes. These are invariably labour intensive, unreliable and contribute to the increase in construction costs.

To compare the economic feasibility of using RFID tags, we delved into some academic research. The most commonly used measure for gauging financial viability is through a combination of Return on Investment (ROI) and payback period. The academic literature reported that although initial investment and interest rates can cause wide variations in the outcomes of these economic criteria, many of the researchers found an average payback periods of 18 and 36 months for RFID and GPS technology, respectively (Pisello 2006, European Commission 2008, Telogis 2013) While the average ROI values associated with the RFID and GPS technology applications may be up to 10% (Pisello 2006, European Commission 2008, Telogis 2013 and GPS Insight 2013).

So not only does it look like a viable investment on the face of it with quick pay back periods; but our system can also further help with distribution of PPE to the workforce and contractors alike. Firstly, a system such as Mosaic is in place to ensure everyone receives the correct clothing and kit for the job they perform. Secondly end users, such as contractors, could potentially invoice for this site service.

An example of the amount of PPE distributed amongst a workforce was mentioned in a recent Construction Index article about Wates. They have more than 4,000 employees and more than 10,000 supply chain operatives and partners. They estimated a spend of £2m a year with a supplier to provide them with the necessary PPE for their annual operations. By using Mosaic’s asset tagging system, Wates could potentially invoice contractors for the £1.4 million PPE equipment they use while on their jobs. This would represent a considerable recouping of costs and one that would go straight on the bottom line in a sector notorious for tight margins.

 

Pisello, T. (2006). “Shrinking the Supply Chain Expands the Return: The ROI of RFID in the Supply Chain”, Alinean: the Business Value Selling Experts, accessed via http//.www.Motorola.com.

European Commission (2008). “RFID Adoption and Implications”, Impact Study No. 07/2008, accessed via http//.www.ec.europa.eu.

Telogis (2013). “ GPS Fleet Management ROI”, accessed via http//.www.telogis.com.

GPS Insight (2013). “Investing in Fleet Tracking Yields Substantial ROI”, accessed via http//.www.gpsinsight.com.

 

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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health and safety record at olympics

London games raised the health & safety bar compared to Rio

The Rio Games have big shoes to fill following the London Olympics, which was statistically the safest Games ever, with a reported injury rate of 0.17 per 100,000 man-hours – far below the 0.55 building industry average in the UK. London 2012, for the first time in Olympic history, saw all projects completed without a fatality.

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By contrast, 11 workers died during construction of Rio Olympic facilities or Games-related projects between January 2013 and March 2016, a report by Rio de Janeiro’s Regional Labor and Employment Office shows. The causes of death vary from electric shock to falling scaffolding. There were also cases of workers being buried and vehicles overturning.

While Rio will be a success, even though it has been plagued with bad news up until the opening ceremony, we must credit London by setting the bar high in terms of its green and health & safety credentials.

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.

Source: SHPonline

The state of health and safety in global construction – an opportunity for improved PPE policies

According to an article in SHP by Nigel Crunden there has been a considerable increase in major construction projects within the emerging powerhouse economies of the world such as India and China and it is predicted that this will be where global growth emanates from to bring about recovery to the world economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that 70 per cent of global growth will come from emerging markets over the next decade, with construction playing a considerable part in driving this forward. However, this increase has also highlighted a lack of standardised health and safety policies to protect workers, particularly in the construction sector.

While implementing a global set of health and safety policies are clearly unrealistic, there is some potential in reaching a consensus around key aspects of health and safety in construction, such as PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). Throughout many emerging markets, although health and safety policies include guidelines on PPE, sometimes these are not strongly enforced.

Regardless of the health and safety policy of specific nations, it is vital for individual companies and contractors operating on the ground to drive best practice forward when it comes to site safety. In 2013 alone, India experienced over 11,000 falls from height, many of which could have been prevented through enforcing the constant use of structural protection and, in some cases, PPE.  Falling objects are a key hazard on any construction site and as well as ensuring protective headwear is worn, it is important to guard the feet through advocating the wearing of robust footwear with steel toecaps.

Visibility is crucial within any environment where ongoing construction is taking place, simply due to the high amount of personnel performing different tasks. Hi-vis clothing protects against the risks of not being seen by, for example, an oncoming vehicle. Drivers need to see hazards from further away in order for them to have enough time to react.

Introducing measures around the wearing of PPE certainly isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to completely standardising a formal, global approach to safety. However, it does help address basic health and safety requirements, which, if followed consistently throughout nations that don’t have stipulations within the law, should help in protecting workers to a greater extent than they are at present.

Mosaic Management Systems provide industry safety critical online software to aid on boarding of a workforce, competency checking and record briefings and toolbox talks. We also provide an asset tagging module that could ensure that when PPE is distributed to the workforce it is tracked. This coupled with our toolbox talk module means that the issuing and briefings around any PPE equipment can be recorded against individual records for management scrutiny.

For further information please contact us by clicking the link

Building Safety Group says Construction Workers Health Standards Concerning

Serious concerns have been raised over the health standards of construction workers after a series of independent inspections of construction sites found that dust masks were not being used correctly. The findings of the 10,000 visits made to sites throughout the country by the Building Safety Group (BSG – not for profit building consultancy) earlier in the year found that a significant number of workers had not fitted their masks correctly.

The BSG said that most of the breaches uncovered related to the way firms use “face fit” dust masks, which the group said was particularly concerning as these masks cut down on the risk of workers inhaling dangerous chemicals from the dust they are working with.

The substances can lead to fatal diseases such as silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and lung cancer.

Overall, the inspections carried out by the BSG discovered that occupational health non-compliance concerns went up by 28% between the first and second quarters of 2016. Furthermore, there was a 43% increase in violations concerning the control of substances hazardous to health and a 13% rise in dust fume infringements.

The findings of the research has led Paul Kimpton, BSG Managing Director, to call for construction companies to review their health and safety protocol on a regular basis to make sure that they comply with the latest legislation.

Kimpton commented: “Everyone involved in construction has a responsibility in managing risks to health, and all parties must take ownership of their part of the process. Construction dust is not just a nuisance. It can seriously damage your health and cause life-changing lung diseases.”

The findings come at a time when the construction industry is taking big steps as a whole to cut down on the risks to health and safety.

Mosaic Management Systems provide industry safety critical online software to aid on boarding of a workforce, competency checking and to record briefings and toolbox talks. By communicating health and safety expectations effectively about site procedures and standards from the outset and thereafter followed up by briefings and toolbox talks will improve site management considerably. To contact us and find out more about the services we offer please click the link.

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Top 8 Health & Safety risks found on construction sites

The construction industry accident fatality rate stands at twice that of other sectors. Construction sites are therefore callenging places from a health and safety perspective – almost every conceivable hazard exists within this constantly changing working environment.

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However the hazards associated with construction sites are well known and luckily most responsible employers are aware of their duty of care to employees, visitors, and those that may be affected by their activities, and will manage the site effectively, implementing appropriate accident prevention measures.

Listed below are just a few of the main hazards that are encountered on a typical construction site:

1. Working at Height

The construction of buildings invariably requires tradesmen to work at height. Fatalities and injuries involving height relating factors account for many accidents each year. The risks associated with working at a height are often increased by additional access and mobility restrictions.

2. Moving Objects

A construction site is always on the move; hazards are inherent to this industry and only increase as a construction project progress. Construction sites are busy places what with the shear volume of constantly moving vehicles and trades people – overhead lifting equipment shifting heavy loads, supply vehicles, dumper trucks everywhere, manoeuvring around a usually uneven terrain. Site layout is crucial to ensure a smooth flow or goods, materials and the workforce around it to ensure all remain safe. Correct access controls that accurately record entry and exit along with a comprehensive induction go a long way to maintaining safety on site.

4. Slips, Trips, & Falls

When you consider all the activities going on around the site at any one time it is unsurprising that slips, trips, and falls happen frequently. Construction sites are place of holes in the ground, buildings at various stages of completion, scaffolding, stored materials and equipment: you really do need to have your wits about you at all times. Proper training in the form of briefings and tool box talks can be carried out by site managers to ensure workers are made aware of these dangers in general and that can be unique to each site. These should be recorded in a useable format to ensure everyone has been briefed and the message has been tailored to different workers as well.

5. Noise

Noise is a major hazard on site. Excessive noise causes over a period can cause long term hearing problems and can be a dangerous distraction, the cause of accidents. Employers are required to carry out and document a comprehensive noise risk assessment – and issue appropriate PPE (Protective Protection Equipment).

6. Material & Manual Handling

Materials and equipment is being constantly lifted and moved around on a construction site, whether manually or by the use of lifting equipment. Different trades will involve greater demands, but all may involve some degree of risk. Where employee’s duties involve manual handling, then adequate training must be carried out. Where lifting equipment is used, then adequate training must also be carried out, but may involve some form of test, to confirm competency. Records of training must be maintained for verification and kept up to date.

7. Airborne Fibres & Materials – Respiratory Diseases

Construction sites cause a lot of dust, some of which can be toxic mix of hazardous materials and fibres that can damage the lungs. Often the dust is invisible and fine. Just issuing PPE is not enough…employers have a duty to ensure protective equipment is actually used. Failure to do so could render an employee to disciplinary action and in hot water with the health and safety executive. All this activity needs to be logged in a central location for future reference.

8. Electricity

On average, three construction industry workers are electrocuted each year during refurbishment work on commercial and domestic buildings. People working near overhead power lines and cables are also at risk. There are also a growing number of electrocutions involving workers who are not qualified electricians but who are carrying electrical work, such as plumbers and joiners and decorators. Competencies need to be checked prior to contractors coming on site and off limit areas need to be highlighted as part of the induction process.

Mosaic Software – Making Site Management Easier

Behind every construction project there is a need to successfully induct workers, monitor site access and check competencies. Mosaic does all of this and more via an online Network Passport and Smart Card system. With this system one card really does open up a world of innovative site management possibilities.

Please click here to read more about how we can help you manage your projects