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6 Outstanding Geofencing Tools to Use on Your Construction

Borders and walls might have been a central point of contention during the U.S. election, but their use on construction sites is far less controversial. For example, have you ever erected a fence around a work area to protect your assets? Or considered a barrier to keep people out, or to simply make tracking who is on site easier? What if I told you that you could accomplish all of those things without a physicalfence? Welcome to geofencing. Below, I’ll detail what geofencing is, how to use it, and some tools that can help you adopt it to your construction site.

What is geofencing?

Gartner defines geofencing as “creating a virtual boundary in which a device, individual or asset can be tracked and monitored or detected if the boundary is violated.” In other words, geofencing is a tool that creates and tracks virtual boundaries. It uses GPS technology along with dedicated software to track equipment and people. The software can also send users alerts and notifications about the premises that they’re tracking. Many industries use geofencing technology. For example, retailers use it to identify customers near their locations, helping them send targeted marketing messages. Transportation companies use geofencing to track their fleets. Healthcare facilities use it to improve patient care. Animal farms use it to track their herds. In fact, geofencing is growing so rapidly that Global Market Insights predicts the global geofencing market will exceed $500 million by 2023. Construction, along with the other abovementioned industries, should expect an explosion in the use of geofencing in the next few years.

The Ultimate Guide to Construction Risk Insurance

Do you worry that your building under construction may catch fire? Or get vandalized? Does the thought of stolen heavy equipment or construction materials make you nervous? You’re not alone. In fact, a study from the Chartered Institute of Building found that 92% of respondents in the construction industry suffer from regular site theft. One in five of these respondents added that theft takes place on a weekly basis from their sites. The NICB (PDF) adds that the average value of a stolen piece of construction equipment is $46,273. They add, “Annual estimates of the cost of equipment theft vary from about $300 million to $1 billion, with most estimates in the range of $400 million.” What’s worse? “The estimates don’t include losses from business interruption. Those losses include the cost of rentals, project-delay penalties, and wasted workforce and management time.” In other words, construction site theft is a prevalent and expensive problem in the industry. How can you prevent it? Construction risk insurance.

4 Ways to Improve Construction Safety While Championing

It’s a misconception that one must sacrifice productivity to increase safety in the workplace. With technology progressing and new ideologies emerging, experts have conceptualized approaches and ideas to help businesses increase their productivity while also ensuring their employees work safely. Now, employees can work smarter not harder (and faster), utilizing these four ways to improve safety while maintaining productivity. Curious? Let’s go through the four-step construction safety program.

1. Offer Safety Training and Awareness Curriculum

Safety training will help employees become more situationally aware and, as a result, decrease the likelihood of accidents. The point is simple: Fewer accidents create more time to focus on required and established goals and initiatives which, in turn, improves productivity. As new methods emerge, outdated safety practices are often proven to be ineffective compared to emerging theories and methodologies. As these concepts and theoretical practices are revealed, it is vital to integrate them into daily operations to increase safety and maintain production levels by further eliminating discrepancies and incidents. In addition, it is always wise to have your employees up-to-speed on the latest changes in governing regulatory policies or general operational guidelines as it can reduce liabilities and risks overall. In other words, don’t just offer safety training—make sure it’s up-to-date.

2. Champion Continuous Improvement

When workers know how to work safely, they establish continuity. Continuity can lead to revamped approaches and enhanced methods to complete the same tasks, faster and better. As a result, the workplace becomes a paragon of continuous improvement. Dedication to continuous improvement can result in increases in efficiency and productivity while ensuring a safer work environment. These methods can be documented and further fortified into standard operating procedures. A continuous improvement champion will help sell the strategy and keep it a priority to revamp, revitalize, and re-tuned business processes.

3. Promote Respect in the Workplace

Respect drives safety. According to EHS Today, respect in the workplace leaves a lasting imprint. Employees are more likely to succeed and foster positive results if their good practices are reinforced with progressive feedback. This same idea can be applied towards safety. Incentives and rewards for adhering to safety practices or further developing working knowledge of various directives and guidelines can lead to a workplace environment that promotes safety. In turn, these same approaches can be used to drive productivity. Respect is known to enhance communication and it has been proven historically that many accidents which hamper both safety and productivity are a direct result of a lack of communication. Respect is key and there is always a reason why so many say giving respect earns it, this is prudential in especially hazardous environments.

4. Introduce Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing or Six Sigma Methodologies are an emerging trend in material handling, production, procurement, and manufacturing industries. A product of a technologically-driven era, Lean Manufacturing fuses the best business practices of yesteryear with the implementation of performance metrics and analytics that drive commerce in the modern era. Lean Manufacturing drives optimization of inventory, devises methodologies to increase productivity and efficiency and also identifies ways jobs can be less labor-intensive while also reducing risk. The best precept about Lean Manufacturing is that any business can offer workshops on it and any employee can gain a wide range of practical knowledge on the subject, acquiring various colored “belts” that serve as a benchmark of expertise. Employees with these varying belts can take on differing responsibilities in unique situations, further allowing for more accountability and less direct responsibility for management inundated with tasks.