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Why Technology May Be Hindering Jobsite Safety

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Safety has become a key area of focus for construction companies in recent years. With workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities on the rise, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has become more stringent with rules and fines to ensure construction workers are safe while working on job sites.

Many companies are turning to technology to make job sites safer, and can you blame them? Technology is being used for everything nowadays, from self-driving vehicles to artificial intelligence. However, the use of technology can create safety issues for construction sites.

For example, construction foremen and superintendents can easily input information about job site conditions by using photos, videos, and note-taking apps in real time instead of relying on memory. Instead of using sign-in sheets to log attendance, there are now digital forms available. Managers no longer have to drive from one site to another to check on multiple projects, as they can easily see the status of each site online using various apps.

For example, now it’s simple to capture jobsite conditions with photos, videos and notes in real-time instead of relying on memory when manually filling out the daily log at the end of the day or replacing illegible paper sign-in sheets with digital attendance forms. Another time saver is the ability to log on to see the status of projects instead of driving from site to site. And if a digital form for a particular process doesn’t exist, it’s simple for anybody on the jobsite to create one in minutes on a smartphone.

In these cases, it appears as though technology can save time and make daily tasks easier. What often happens is that there is disconnect across the job sites. Each site may use different digital tools, and some may have overlapping features. Those digital tools contain information that is helpful to all workers across the company, but based on the way technology is used, it can lead to forgotten field notes and silos of information. Plus, many job sites still rely on handwritten forms, increasing the potential for human error.

The use of technology can also be an issue in the event of a lawsuit or OSHA investigation. In these cases, there may be requests for documentation showing that local and state mandates are being followed. In these situations, the ability to gather the right information can be time-consuming. Depending on what information is being requested, this could take days or even weeks, as the requested information is spread across a variety of spreadsheets, PDFs, apps, and desktop files.

This is called gray work and it can lead to safety issues due to the following:

  • Safety incidents are captured but not immediately shared or used as teaching moments for crew. This causes the same issues to reoccur.
  • Construction labor shortages could cause workers to be reassigned despite proper certifications. This can result in fines, accidents, and injuries.

Contact Us Today

Safety should be a priority in the construction industry, so many companies use technology to help in this regard. However, it may do more harm than good.

The Florida contractor representation lawyers from Linkhorst Law Firm, P.A. can help you handle safety violations and other issues your construction business is facing. Fill out the online form or call 561-626-8880 to schedule a consultation.

Source:

ohsonline.com/Articles/2024/04/08/How-Jobsite-Tech-Poses-Safety-Challenges-in-Construction.aspx?admgarea=ht.ConstructionSafety

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