Remote Construction Site Monitoring, Part 1: Understand Who's On Your Site

April 28, 2020 Matthew Ramage

 

Keep a close eye on your site, even from afar

You’re stuck at home, or in the car, or in an airport. So,how do you keep on top of what’s happening at one of your projects? This isn’t simply an issue for our current COVID-impacted times, this issue has existed for decades. Contractors and health and safety managers are heavily dependent on past information: daily reports, headcounts, and progress updates. Right now, it’s more difficult than ever to get these reports or understand what is happening in an ever-changing environment, both on and off the site. You need to understand if a contractor has arrived on site as it happens, not tomorrow or a week from now. 

What if you could simply open your phone, laptop or tablet, and see exactly who’s arrived on site, when they got there, how many contractors, how many trades, and the hours they were present?  What if you could do this without having anyone on site to capture this data? Not only would this keep your teams focused on important, productive work, it would keep your project data accurate and up-to-date. This is called  ‘ground truth’.

Access critical data, at anytime and from any place

Knowing ‘ground truths’ such as which  contractors came to the site today, how much work is being done and how it aligns with committed volumes on a labor schedule is key to making decisions that will keep your project profitable and moving forward.   

Real-time information collected remotely can be used for high-level decision-making, such as evaluating risks to current commitments, or at a more granular level: For example, being notified  the moment the electrical contractor arrives on-site.

CrewSight dashboards

How it works:  Automated time and attendance capture

Solutions like CrewSight allow contractors and other stakeholders to capture the entry and exit events of workers and view and analyze the data through easy-to-use apps on their phone or computer.

This can be accomplished by deploying  a construction-specific access control system which allows you to view all of your site data anywhere with an internet connection. The best access control solutions can scale up or down, in size and cost, depending on project size and requirements. Here are a few ways you can capture time and attendance data. 

  1. Turnstile access control for secure perimeter security

Turnstiles can sit within the perimeter line and filter all workers through them. As the worker presses their ID card to the reader on a turnstile, it will allow them entry if they have permission and have all the up-to-date mandatory site requirements (training, certifications, documents, health checks). Dive deeper into using turnstiles to keep unauthorized access to a minimum and to reduce theft here.

  1. Contactless handheld access

Instead of a turnstile, handheld readers can be used to scan worker ID cards from up to 6 feet away, making the same compliance and permission checks as turnstiles above.However, remember to consider that contactless handhelds require additional staff to monitor jobsite access. Keep reading about Trimble’s handheld solutions here.

  1. Automated beacons

Perhaps the most progressive method, each worker could be equipped with a beacon. This beacon, as they enter the site, is picked up by a reader which checks all their permissions and documentation. If they are not compliant, you receive an alert. This option is best for sites with low security risks, as the reader will not register anyone without a beacon, but it is a  completely automated and humanless time and attendance capture method. Watch how Davis Construction and National Geographic implemented these beacons on their project.

Only you can know the right remote monitoring solution for your project, but an improved ability to work offsite with the site while collecting data that will improve business operations is something every contractor should be striving for.

Ready to get started? Request a demo of Trimble's workforce management solutions.

About the Author

Matthew Ramage

Matthew Ramage is Trimble's Segment Manager for Asset Management and the MEP Global Marcom Director. He leads a new marketing approach for his team, specializing in inbound and content-centric marketing.

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