The construction industry is a major cog in the U.S. economic machine, with more than 7 million employees creating almost $1.3 trillion worth of structures each year. There are nearly 700,000 construction companies in the country. These vary in size, scope, and function, but they all share some commonalities. These include potentially damaging safety issues and equipment loss. Fortunately for the construction industry, new technology is creating meaningful progress on both fronts. Today, we’ll look at how field service management software can help improve construction site safety and reduce equipment loss.
We mentioned the most prominent of the industry-wide commonalities, site safety among employees. Whether it’s using heavy machinery, electricity or gas exposure, operating power tools, or simply climbing a ladder, construction work can expose employees to hazardous situations. It’s important to note that field service management software should never replace proper safety training or proper protocols. When applied in the right ways, it can help identify problems and reinforce protocols.
Any field service management software solution will include a work order module that supplies the worker with pertinent details needed to complete a job. But there’s no reason why that work order can’t also provide effective safety tips and reminders. Field service software enables this extra layer of interactivity and safety planning. For example, the work order can include a reminder to disable power to the home prior to working. The tech might be required to acknowledge the notification, providing accountability and ensuring safe practices.
The most robust of these software solutions also incorporate rich media formats. Why does this matter to construction companies? For example, video can be used to support safety initiatives that are unique to the assigned job and worker skill level. Using the work order example above, the reminder appears along with a video. The video should be highly specific to the job at hand. For example, the worker is servicing a single unit in a condominium complex. The video reflects the specific situation, demonstrating how to disable electricity safely and properly to one unit without compromising others. Savvy construction companies are wise to create training videos for each common situation that their employees face in the field.
Work orders are step-based by nature and these steps often follow a particular order. This makes it easy to include mandatory videos or quick reminders at strategic points in the work order. Between steps, the work order can include cues to wear proper gear like helmets and eye or ear protection. Small measures like these help keep construction workers safe and forces them to slow down and really process each step and action.
Safety and accountability are two sides of the same coin; each depends upon the other. We’ve discussed the safety side in detail, but what about accountability? Field service management software includes a time sheets function that requires workers to enter the hours logged in real-time. Construction leaders can combine this data with the work order checkpoints logged to get a complete picture of a given worker’s day. Expand the data reviewed and gain a view of the entire organization’s field operations, including hours worked and how. Construction companies can ensure tradespeople aren’t overworked and at risk for injury due to fatigue.
It’s true that construction is a “people business.” People are in charge of making construction happen, no matter how much technology is introduced to assist. The skilled hands of workers on the job site are useless without tools to handle. Unfortunately, tool and equipment theft is a significant problem that regularly affects construction companies.
Part of the reason equipment loss is such a devastating problem is that managing even a properly-equipped field service team is challenging. When technicians are in and out all day long, it’s easy to lose track of smaller tools. Lose enough tools here and there, and suddenly your crews are no longer prepared for work. In addition, the tools used on construction sites are often expensive and sought-after by thieves. That’s why many construction companies have turned to work order management software for help with keeping track of assets.
Software solutions enable construction companies to tag assets, which can include everything from uniforms and cellphones to heavy machinery. Some solutions even allow you to tie each tag to specific “geofenced” area around a specific area. If the asset leaves that defined space, your company receives an alert.
Work order management software also allows you to assign assets to a person on a project. This is an especially beneficial perk for construction companies navigating multiple projects at different sites. Combine this feature with contractor management to further increase accountability and asset safety.
With the ability to launch a custom platform in one month or less, EnSight+ offers one of the most flexible field service management software solutions available. Our solution includes the type of work order management and asset and inventory management modules that help construction companies keep their employees safer and their assets better protected.
Interested in learning what we can do for your construction company? Book your free demo today.
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