Construction site safety

Whether answering questions from management, participating in project weekly status meetings, or providing guidance to our task managers, one question that is always asked is, “What kind of safety issues or trends are we seeing on our construction sites?”

We have been using our existing issues management system, iTrack, to document our visits and the issues identified on construction job sites. This practice has helped us answer that question. However, internally, we began to ask ourselves other questions as well, such as, “Why do we only document unsafe activities? What about documenting safe activities?” and “Are we accurately portraying what we are seeing on our job sites?” or “Can we find something that is easier to use in the field?”

These questions led us to understand that we needed a better tool to capture the full scope of the activities identified on construction job sites and ultimately help us improve our process. As a result, ESH&Q, along with Procurement Department and Computing Division assistance, identified commercial off-the-shelf products available that could potentially meet our needs. So we developed a bid package to submit to Procurement and were able to retain the services of a cloud-based application to help us answer these questions and to improve our process.

We are now able to document safe and unsafe activities on construction job sites while in the field through an application on a phone or tablet. With the help of the tool, we are able to provide meaningful statistical analysis, provide timely alerts and, very soon, provide forecasting on areas that need closer attention in the field. We now have data that accurately depicts the implementation of ESH&Q on our job sites.

One of the useful functions of this application is the ability to run a report card on applicable contractors that can then be presented at weekly construction meetings. We have received positive feedback from our contractors as well as the project staff on the report card function. Our contractors are using it for motivation to urge their workers to get a better report at the following weekly construction meeting.

If you would like to learn more about this new application, please feel free to email or call me at x8448. Oh, and for your awareness, the most common safety violation since we started collecting data in the tool in May is related to PPE, specifically the use of safety glasses. Thanks to the tool, we can now answer that question quantitatively.