In the event of a health crisis like the current COVID-19 pandemic, the construction industry has to adapt to new health and safety guidelines. In addition to what’s being recommended at the state and local levels, a recent bulletin from OSHA recommends allowing workers to wear masks, maintaining at least six feet of distance from other workers, even in trailers, as well as limiting attendance at toolbox talks and other safety meetings.
On a busy jobsite with numerous crews working alongside each other, following guidelines around social distancing and minimal contact poses a new set of difficulties for EHS managers and supervisors. Not only do they have to ensure compliance with existing regulations, but they face new challenges when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of the workers in their charge.
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Even when times are less complicated, you need the right processes and systems in place to ensure worker safety and compliance. But your previous way of tracking and managing these things may not cut it when a crisis, such as COVID-19, looms large. A crisis pushes all of us to adapt and find new ways of doing familiar tasks, and it’s no different for those in construction. Here are three ways you can successfully adapt your safety, compliance, and communication processes without undue disruption to the jobsite or unnecessary risk to your workforce.
1. Automate worker attendance
When workers arrive at the jobsite, their time and attendance needs to be captured and recorded so managers and supervisors know who showed up and when. On some jobsites, this task may still be done by a person standing at each entrance and manually recording the information on a clipboard.
As part of a worksite monitoring solution, no-contact jobsite entries let you automate worker attendance while enforcing jobsite security. Scanners at each entrance can be used to scan workers wearing cloud-based RFID badges or Bluetooth-connected beacons, with no human contact required. Or if you prefer, you can use handheld scanners to scan worker credentials from a safe distance. These credentials provide digital documentation of each worker’s safety and training records and can even show any expirations on health checks or certifications. If there is an expiration or missing piece of information, the worker is notified and access is denied.
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2. Update site authorization criteria and worker requirements remotely
Construction workers need to meet certain safety and training criteria before they can enter a jobsite. Their entry credentials provide this information so only those who meet current requirements can gain entrance. But if entry requirements change because of new or evolving health and safety guidelines, you also need the ability to update those requirements to ensure workers are in compliance.
A construction worksite monitoring solution allows you to update site authorization criteria and worker requirements remotely. As their badges or other credentials are read upon entry, workers are restricted from access and notified if they need to get health checks, answer questions, or provide additional documentation that certifies their compliance before they’re authorized to enter the site. Workers can then add and update their information in the system themselves without anyone needing to come into contact with another person to verify or follow up.
3. Communicate with workers using broadcast alerts
When work crews are onsite, managers and supervisors need to be able to communicate with them in the event of a safety hazard, sudden weather event, or other potentially dangerous situation. But to meet contactless or remote-work requirements without impacting onsite safety, you can’t rely on traditional forms of worksite communication.
A construction worksite monitoring solution that includes a notification system integrated with worker attendance data allows you to communicate directly with workers through mobile texts. You can broadcast sitewide notifications of safety meetings, weather advisories, or other hazards to all workers, including check-in point details during mandatory mass evacuations, or target messages to only specific work crews. Whether you’re able to be onsite yourself or not, you can communicate quickly and effectively to ensure worker safety.
Oversee Your Workers’ Health & Safety, Even When You Can’t Be There Yourself
When a crisis is in full force, there are a lot of moving parts, changing rules, and on-the-ground adaptations to contend with and put in place. But maintaining compliance and safeguarding the health and safety of your workforce is, and always will be, a top priority. A construction worksite monitoring solution lets you maintain oversight of your onsite workers and crews with little or no contact required. This is invaluable during a health crisis as we’ve recently learned, but it also opens up possibilities to more efficiently manage your workforce in less trying times, too.
To learn more ways to manage your workforce during a crisis and beyond, read the white paper.