It’s an age-old adage in construction that safety is the most critical aspect of any job site. Yet digital transformation effort transformed as all other facets of construction projects found, many safety checklists remained on paper or attached to clipboards on site. This kept safety data from being widely available and prevented risks from being proactively identified and mitigated.
However, the gray work of monitoring site safety through paper forms or a sprawling web of spreadsheets is being overcome by leading builders. Dynamic work platforms are finally making the process of building custom safety applications easier. These applications give project managers the ability to set parameters for automated safety checks, keep accurate logs, and provide stakeholders and inspectors with any information they need readily.
Making Safety Simpler
Unsurprisingly, construction has the highest fatality rate of any industry in the US according to OSHA. Construction work is inherently labor-intensive and carries significant risk but addressing those takes attention to detail and ensuring all crew members have access to safety checklists and risk information. Keeping workers on massive job sites in the know on safety and compliance is an impossible task without a single source of truth.
A dynamic work platform provides project teams with a space to custom-build a single source of truth. A ‘Single source of truth’ is a platform where all critical project data is managed and stored. A dynamic platform connects data from multiple sources and ensures that information is up-to-the-moment accurate and reflected across other systems. This is especially useful for managing site safety and compliance as conditions can change rapidly and trigger terrible consequences.
Pulling safety processes out of spreadsheets and paper documents and into a dynamic platform enhances safety measures, streamline processes, and provide critical information to promote a safe working environment. Instead of disparate information sprawled between systems and channels, a single source for safety can and should include:
- Incident reporting: Enable workers to quickly report any safety incidents, accidents, or near-misses directly through the application. This feature should capture relevant details such as location, date, time, description, and any accompanying media.
- Safety checklists and inspections: Provide pre-defined checklists or customizable templates to conduct safety inspections on equipment, machinery, and work areas. This helps ensure compliance with safety regulations and identifies potential hazards or risks.
- Safety documentation and resources: Offer easy access to safety manuals, guidelines, procedures, and relevant documentation, ensuring that workers have the necessary information at their fingertips.
- Training and certifications: Allow workers to access safety training materials and track their certifications or qualifications. The application can provide reminders for training renewals and offer online training modules to enhance safety knowledge. This serves as a valuable resource for project managers and inspectors, as well.
- Real-time safety alerts and notifications: Send push notifications or alerts to workers about potential hazards, weather conditions, safety reminders, or emergency situations. This feature ensures that important safety information reaches all relevant individuals promptly.
- Emergency response and reporting: Provide a clear and easily accessible emergency response plan within the application. Include emergency contact numbers, evacuation procedures, and designated assembly points. Workers should be able to report emergencies directly through the app for quick response and assistance.
- Safety analytics and reporting: Generate reports and analytics based on safety data collected within the application. This helps identify trends, areas for improvement, and track safety performance across projects and teams.
- Communication and collaboration: Enable seamless communication between workers, supervisors, and safety officers through notes and communication features. Communications via text and email don’t often leave a public record for reference. A safety application should allow crew members to communicate with one another and leave a trail for anyone that also needs that information.
Remember, the specific features and functionalities of a construction safety application can be tailored based on the unique needs of the project, compliance requirements, and the goals of the construction company. That’s the most significant benefit of creating a safety application in a dynamic work platform.
Customizing No-Code to Meet Safety Standards
While all the features can be housed in a safety application, how are builders crafting safety management systems to fit their needs? Through building applications in dynamic work platforms, like Quickbase. Companies like Consigli Construction have taken large amounts of paperwork and tedious safety meetings and streamlined them in a flexible, safety application.
Consigli Construction, one of the largest employee-owned construction managers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, sets their internal goals extremely high — they want to be considered best-in-class when it comes to their OSHA safety compliance. Documenting safety processes meant mountains of paperwork and required in-person meetings. Each job needed its own safety orientation; workers were required to fill out and sign physical safety documentation; and OSHA-required safety lessons changed weekly meaning there couldn’t be a standard procedure.
The paperwork was piling up and there was no way to easily sort safety documentation, create reports, or track overall trends for Consigli’s safety program. To meet their own internal rigorous standards, streamline safety procedures on the job site, and create flexible solutions for their different jobs Consigli turned to Quickbase to meet their needs.
The team at Consigli quickly created a solution with Quickbase to address safety on the job site and streamline safety documentation. Quickbase’s robust no-code platform enabled the team to create an application that met all their needs in under one month — allowing them to quickly see results.
Now, the field teams can scan a QR code at the front of each site, which pulls up a Quickbase form that workers can fill out on their devices in their car instead of forming a line in a cramped job-site office. This allows site supervisors to track who is on site and the necessary safety requirements. They can easily approve or reject if a person is qualified to be on site from their mobile device.
With the help of Quickbase, Consigli creates custom solutions to their largest problems. Whether it’s being best-in-class at safety or serving as a central source-of-truth for their critical data, Quickbase supports the high standards of the “Consigli way.”
Construction safety is quite literally a matter of life and death. It's about protecting the people who put their lives on the line to build our cities and communities. Every safety measure taken saves lives, prevents injuries, and ensures that workers return home safely to their loved ones.
In this critical mission, improving how safety is managed on every job site plays a pivotal role in making everyone safer. A dynamic construction safety application provides the tools and technology to enhance safety measures, streamline processes, and empower workers with real-time information. These single sources of truth are more than just digital tools; they are lifelines that connect workers to vital safety resources, communication channels, and emergency support. They enable swift incident reporting, comprehensive safety checklists, and access to crucial documentation. Safety applications bring efficiency, accountability, and peace of mind to construction sites, reinforcing a culture of care and ensuring that no one is left unprotected.