With COVID-19, Jobsite Visibility Is Vital; Technology Makes It Easy
By Lori Peters
Over the past several years, real-time jobsite visibility has become an important way for companies to maintain safe and secure workplaces. From information about which workers are on site and where they’re located to details about accidents and other safety hazards on the job, jobsite visibility allows employers to quickly discover what’s working well and what needs improvement to prevent injuries, optimize your workforce and deliver on deadline.
But, while visibility has always been a crucial piece to maintaining well-run jobsites, it’s never been more important than it is today during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, to fend off devastating outbreaks of the illness on site, which could stop work altogether, employers must enforce new rules to keep infection rates down. And that means they need more visibility than ever before into what’s happening on the jobsite.
COVID brings new challenges
During the ongoing pandemic, employers’ primary challenges are twofold: How will they keep business moving forward while keeping their workers safe and healthy?
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration recommends a series of steps that employers can take to manage healthy workplaces during COVID-19, including providing face covering, checking workers for symptoms before they enter the jobsite and restricting who can enter and where.
Maintaining strict social distance between workers — 6 feet or more — is another widely accepted practice to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. And, if a worker is diagnosed with COVID-19, tracing who they came into contact with on the jobsite is a critical way to identify other workers who may have been exposed to the illness, so employers can take steps to stop a surge in cases.
At the same time, as employers are juggling these practices and protocols, they also face new rules and regulations that cover how they must manage their jobsites during the pandemic.
OSHA, for example, has expanded the list of employers with record-keeping requirements related to the pandemic. Now, all employers that are covered by OSHA’s record-keeping regulations must record confirmed work-related COVID-19 cases if they meet specific criteria such as requiring medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.
Going forward, labor law experts widely agree that COVID-19 will prompt a spike in pandemic-related employment litigation, particularly if employers don’t take action to limit coronavirus exposure and spread at work, according to the National Review. That means employers must be especially diligent in their efforts to keep workers safe on the job.
Technology can help
These emerging protocols and regulations are triggering new needs when it comes to jobsite visibility. Luckily, employers have more than physical timesheets, headcounts and manual safety checks at their fingertips to address them.
Long before the pandemic, employers were implementing solutions to monitor workers and equipment on a jobsite and identify risky behaviors that could lead to missed deadlines, costly overruns and devastating injuries. With these same tools, they now can help mitigate coronavirus transmission too.
Thanks to the latest in construction technology, these platforms and devices make it possible to:
Automate some processes to reduce the number of times workers come into contact with each other.
Uncover where workers are congregating and not practicing social distancing.
Quickly determine who a worker, who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, came into contact with on the jobsite.
And, as the pandemic prompts widespread economic challenges, these solutions also continue to help employers uncover costly inefficiencies as well as safety and operational risks.
Safety, security and tracing
At Triax, that’s exactly how we’ve helped clients in a variety of industries build new efficiencies and save time and money. Spot-r, our Internet of Things-enabled platform relies on a proprietary network and provides real-time jobsite visibility. And, today, as jobsites grapple with the challenges of the pandemic, we’ve also launched a new solution — Proximity Trace — to support employers as they work to keep their jobsites safe and secure.
Here’s how our solutions support employers’ ongoing and emerging needs.
How it works: Spot-r relies on an Internet of Things-enabled device that’s worn by workers or attached to equipment. Information from the device is transmitted via a proprietary mesh network to a cloud-based dashboard. Supervisors can access the real-time data through a computer, tablet or smartphone.
How it makes workplaces safer and more secure: Spot-r provides quick access to the kind of comprehensive visibility that managers need to uncover what’s slowing down work, where safety incidents are happening and how to work better, safer and more efficiently.
With it, users can:
Uncover who is on their site at any given time, including what trades are there and where they are located.
Have a solution that provides fall-detection capabilities and worker-generated alerts for other incidents, improving injury response times by as much as 91%.
Manage worker certifications, including OSHA 30 and equipment certifications. They also can set alerts for expired certifications and unauthorized equipment operators.
Reduce evacuation time by as much as 72% and monitor the evacuation progress of the workforce.
Identify when workers have entered hazardous or restricted areas and confirm where they are, even in confined spaces.
How it’s helping jobsites during COVID: Users also are taking advantage of long-time benefits of Spot-r as they work to prevent the spread of coronavirus on their jobsite.
With it, users can:
Identify worker density in specific zones on the jobsite
Eliminate the need for extra individuals on site to perform manual checks.
Automate time and attendance and eliminate the need for a check-in station.
Proximity Trace is a new product that we recently engineered to help workers maintain a safe working distance from each other. The goal is to provide a proactive system that supports efforts to keep workers safe by ensuring they comply with social distancing requirements.
Proximity Trace doesn’t rely on Bluetooth, GPS or any other off-site location tracking system.
How it works: A TraceTag is attached to a worker’s helmet or worn on their body. Gateways are placed at jobsite exits and in high traffic areas to record any close interactions and also log headcounts. The information is transmitted to the cloud. Like Spot-r, jobsite managers can access the information via their tablet, laptop or smartphone.
With it, workers receive active feedback with visual and audible alerts from the TraceTag when a worker is in close proximity to another worker.
And if a worker tests positive for COVID-19, system administrators can gain quick access to a list of potentially exposed individuals through Proximity Trace’s contact trace reporting, which logs all close contact interactions and duration.
Solutions like these require little effort on the part of workers and managers. Instead, they passively collect information that’s essential for today’s jobsite managers as you seek to get back to normal operations and ensure jobsites stay secure and, most importantly, workers stay safe and healthy.
If interested in learning how real-time jobsite visibility can support your project goals, particularly during COVID-19, contact us.
As the Vice President of Marketing at Triax Technologies, Lori oversees strategic market planning and execution, brand strategy and positioning, and corporate communications and messaging.
Lori has over ten years of B2B technology experience and oversaw North American digital marketing operations at Basware before joining Triax.
In 2017, she was named to Professional Women in Construction’s 20 Under 40 Outstanding Women in Construction. Lori holds a B.A. in English from Sacred Heart University.