Construction site safety in the digital era: How far have we really come?

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Karen Dean
Mar 30, 2022
3
mins

Construction site safety in the digital era: How far have we really come?

The digital revolution has changed the way we live and interact with the world. The construction industry is no stranger to this with advancements in artificial intelligence, 3D printing technology and smart infrastructure paving the way to a new way of working and building on construction sites.  

More and more construction companies are investing in technology, that’s a given. Yet when you think of a typical Site Manager, their core tasks and responsibilities still feel outdated and slow. Take the old fashioned pen and paper sign in process, manual inductions and printing notices. How can connected hardhats and the ability to 3D print houses exist when it’s still common practise for Site Managers to rifle through paper files in an emergency?

There is a huge need for construction companies to invest in technology to make everyday life easier, but more importantly, safer. It’s absolutely imperative that health and safety standards are met on construction sites, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only emphasised this. Yet looking at the unsettling reality, there are61,000 non-fatal injuries each year on construction sites according to Health and Safety Executive (averaged over a three year period).

What’s more, the latest findings from Health and Safety Executive state that there were 39fatal injuries to site operatives in Great Britain in 2020/21. Yet the average number of these fatalities is 36 (2016/17-2020/21). Technology is supposed to help us live and work safer and smarter, so why did the number of fatalities in 2020/21surpass the average?

The importance of a proper induction

One reason for this is the reality of outdated, manual and slow processes in place when inducting site operatives – an obvious gap in the otherwise digitally accelerating construction industry. Site inductions are not required by law for the fun of it, and there’s a good reason for that.

The average time spent on manually inducting a new site operative is 40 minutes. Times that by every site operative and you’ve got a hefty job on your hands. Yet no matter how on the ball you are, some people slip through the net of your staff induction check list. This means there are instances where operatives on site are not sufficiently inducted – a red flag correlating to on site injuries and fatalities.

The right tools can turn slow into fast  

At One.site we know the right tools can turn slow into fast, and we believe that fast can also be synonymous with safe. As a workforce management solution for construction sites, One.site fills the gap for automating inductions, and it does so properly.

With the One.site health and safety app, you can ensure inductions are completed prior to arrival, for every site operative. Feel confident knowing that if someone is on site they have been inducted, and should you ever need it, you’ve got emergency contacts and details at your fingertips – no more rifling through paper files in an emergency.

In fact, ditch the pen and paper all together with the QR code sign in feature, giving you a complete overview of who has signed in and out of site. Think of it as a digital audit trail that follows you wherever you go.  

What’s more, printing health and safety notices and pinning them up on the wall, only to find they’ve fallen down the next day, is a thing of the past, and that’s where they should stay. With One.site’s digital signage tool you can push posters and messages out to your site operatives, regions or groups in seconds to TV screens on site. This way you can ensure your operatives always have access to the messages they need to see.

Don’t let health and safety slip through the net. Book a One.site demo today.

Source: https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/construction.pdf

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