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Construction Safety Week: Tools to Improve On-site Safety in the Digital Age

Companies across the nation will connect this week to inspire everyone in the construction industry to be leaders in safety as part of Construction Safety Week, an annual industrywide education and awareness event.

Sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), this year’s theme for Construction Safety Week is “Connected. Supported. Safe.”, reflecting the enduring connection workers and leaders have to each other across the industry.

Early on in the pandemic, McKinsey & Co reported that the changing market would drive the construction industry to adopt digital technologies to improve site safety and work-site controls. As we reflect on what it means to “Connected. Supported. Safe.”, ­­­­here are digital tools construction companies can adopt to support an environment of safety in the field:

Instant visibility into worker certifications

Inexperienced workers leads to workplace accidents and jeopardize the safety of your entire crew.  In today’s competitive labor market, failing to keep your employees’ certifications current with safety training can be detrimental not only to your project, but to your workers, your company and its reputation. Your construction ERP software should include a tracking system that manages and tracks craft labor certifications across your workforce management system so you know which workers can and cannot be in the field and whose certificates need immediate attention.

Record and document safety data

Having the ability to instantly capture and review document safety data and observations from the field provides greater accountability. Mobile solutions can capture digital signoffs and approvals to carry out tasks, while also allowing workers, site superintendents and contractors the option to record and send off every aspect of a project, from start to finish. Digital tools that document from the field streamline collaboration and also provides contractors with the opportunity to gain support from experts who aren’t presence. Providing all stakeholders with accurate and up-to-date information on project status and site safety ensures that the project goes along as planned.

Connect employees to best practices and learning management system

Construction Safety Week provides free resources, including tooklits, daily topics, videos and Toolbox Talks. But, imagine if this training was easily available right from your construction ERP or onboarding solution. An efficient construction ERP or onboarding solution should included the capability to connect to a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows employees to share knowledge, best practices, challenges and successes. These certificates and training records should connect to the employee’s record and be easily accessibly from a project manager, who can filter and recruit skilled craft based on training and certificates to improve site safety.

Last year, we announced the addition of Microsoft Viva, the first employee experience platform built for the digital era, to our construction management ERP software. This addition brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources and insights to empower workers and teams to be there best. Through this employee experience platform, construction companies can boost morale and create supportive environments by giving teams the ability to connect and support one another, and celebrate site safety milestones and achievements.

Keep workers safe with AI and insights

While there’s no denying the potential AI and insights has on better decision making, it’s also the one technology that can also support better safety standards. Utilizing analytics and insights within workforce and safety incident data can improve site safety. Construction companies that use AI and insights within their digital tools can analyze site safety conditions, monitor equipment usage and ensure workers are following safety guidelines and automated processes. In addition, companies that collect worksite data over time can better identify potential problems and look for correlations between worker schedules, workplace incidents and project tasks. This can allow companies to develop strategic scheduling and more informed and target safety procedures and training programs.

Bring mindfulness to construction ERP software

Construction Safety Week includes a focus on mental health issues among workers and how prolonged stress can impact site safety. The pandemic taught companies that technology plays a huge role in helping people work remotely, stay productive and creating wellbeing. While remote work is not sustainable for field workers and contractors, that doesn’t mean that the same tools helping other industries’ workers overcome remote work challenges cannot be used in construction. Construction companies can utilize digital tools that schedule time for focused work and breaks and utilizes guided meditations and mindfulness exercises.