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Posted By : Snehangshu
June 23, 2022
Digital Inspection Can Help You Create Safer Construction Programs

The recent release of the highly-publicized annual SmartMarket Report Construction Industry Safety Management 2021 by the Dodge Construction Network in partnership with CPWR, Newmetrix, confirms one of their long-standing findings. Contractors consistently report that safety programs have a broad range of positive effects on their businesses.

78% of contractors reported that safety programs have the most significant benefit. They can negotiate better insurance terms, and their company's standing within the industry is 73%. Two-thirds of contractors have reported their safety programs as a better way to attract new workers, and 61% as a means to improve worker retention.

However, one thing that stands out is that large companies are more likely to experience these benefits. Companies small and medium-size that lack the resources to invest in safety programs may not be able to reap the benefits they offer and could fall further behind larger companies.

This post will go into the core of the Dodge report. We'll look at how digitizing reliable inspection data can allow contractors, large or small, to create a safer program while still being competitive.

When Action is Data

Every construction worker generates a steady stream of reliable and accurate safety-related information, both on the ground and in their field.

What are the daily tasks and actions of your team? This includes conducting an inspection checklist, conducting project assessments, meeting compliance requirements, and holding a toolbox chat. All these activities can generate valuable information that can help to improve safety programs, prevent hazards, and reduce costs.

Toolbox talks can sometimes feel burdensome or unnecessary. It can sometimes seem unnecessary or burdensome to keep track of the recurring topics, attendance, and inspection records from your toolbox talks. This helps you identify gaps in your team's knowledge and informs your training decisions. Giving a toolbox talk can help you identify the root cause and provide data.

These everyday activities are a treasure trove of information waiting to be discovered. However, it will prove difficult, if possible, for construction companies to collect and use the data to create a safety program.

The Problem with Paper

Not all tools, such as pens, paper, and paper maps, can be used to gather action-based inspection or safety data efficiently. A paper-based system is susceptible to input errors, loss, and inconsistencies. It will always leave safety programs with knowledge gaps.

Digitizing data collection information is immediately apparent when compared to paper and spreadsheets. It allows for multiple media formats (such as audio and video) and does not get lost in a filing cabinet.

However, digitization is the best tool for inspections. It allows construction companies to collect and analyze data in new ways that provide insights based on aggregates. Jake Freivald (data and analytics expert at Quadric) says that digitization is the difference between looking at individual grains of sand or the whole beach. "Instead of seeing one report at once, you get the whole picture." Digital inspections instantly increase visibility into safety patterns. This allows for actionable insights that will continue to drive a safety culture and improve it.

The information must be freely shared between workers, managers, tasks, and points of use. This will allow for better safety program insights. The paper's inefficiencies can impede this flow of data. They silo data into spreadsheets and checklists without connection to the larger picture. Digital tools make safety data ubiquitous. This means that it is instantly accessible on all devices and operating systems and can be shared across the company with anyone who needs it.

The Dodge Report clearly shows that small and medium-sized businesses are less likely than large companies to reap the benefits of their safety programs. However, this does not mean that they will have to continue relying on a paper-based system that silos information and prevents them from gaining the data-driven insights that would make a strong safety program.

Reframe - Digitize and Analyze

This doesn't necessarily mean that large contractors will be successful. Freivald provides eight key steps construction contractors can follow to transform their daily activities into valuable insights.

Digitalization is the first. You can digitize inspections and start seeing the trends affecting your team's ability to perform quality work safely and effectively.

Quadric's digital platform was developed explicitly for field inspection and its management. It makes it simple to create standardized processes and gathers reliable data sets to ensure consistent appraisals. This consistency is the cornerstone of safety programs that succeed. Quadric's user-friendliness and lack of coding allow safety managers to adapt inspection checklists to meet changing site and customer conditions.

Quadric digitizes and automates data collection for a consistent safety inspection, allowing that data to circulate. This gives contractors of all sizes a cost-effective, flexible, and intuitive way to create data-driven insights that lead to safer and better-quality safety programs.

FM Sylvan has a customer story on how they use Quadric Field Inspection Management to adopt a proactive, data-driven approach toward safety.

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