- Although many construction companies acknowledge that apps and data can be helpful for safety training, only 26% use software or a mobile app, according to JBKnowledge data cited by Business Insurance.
- Just over half (52%) of construction companies reported they do not use any mobile safety app, while 37% gather safety data using spreadsheets.
- According to the report, apps will be critical for training future generations of construction workers in safety, particularly those that can gamify the process.
Although many in the industry still resist new technologies, construction's digital transformation is already here.
For many, that process means a new era of greater efficiency and less risk as new apps and devices help project teams stay on top of their workflows and ahead of potential danger. Wearables, for one, are transforming the way project managers view the job site and the safety of those on it.
Triax, maker of the IoT-enabled wearable tracking system, Spot-r, recently joined up with software giant Autodesk's BIM 360 platform to boost job site connectivity and monitor workers and equipment on the ground. With the integration, project managers will be able to track both equipment and laborers using real-time data on their location and activity in BIM 360's 2-D building drawings and 3-D models. The system aims to offer contractors better insight into job site operations, reducing potential hazards along the way.
SmartCap, an Australia-based wearable, is also working to increase worker safety. The system features a headband and an app companion that collect and analyze EEG brain waves to identify whether a worker might be falling asleep. The Bluetooth-enabled headband will then prompt those workers with voice and vibration warnings.
Part of the appeal of apps and connected software is their ability to share real-time updates and reduce the potential for error among project stakeholders. Apps and their associated technology, too, are increasingly important for attracting young talent. And, in an industry that has long struggled to recruit younger generations, many would do well to incorporate such advancements.
Apps that can gamify formerly banal processes, such as safety training courses, could also be a boon to the companies that decide to enlist them. Studies have shown that technology's gamification of learning has been found to improve learners' engagement and retention — that's good news for companies trying to get young talent in the door and for those training the next generation of skilled workers.