The construction sector has always been very challenging because projects are often complex and involve multiple parties, including subcontractors and suppliers. On top of that, your workers can be carrying out dozens of different jobs simultaneously, so it can be impossible to keep track of what they’re doing. However, with the right solutions in place, you can see every task and asset your crew is working on at any given time and cut down on wasteful spending as well as safety hazards. Here are some ways construction companies can stay on top of their activities and assets.
The background story
Construction and issues related to this sector can be extremely costly. There is a high cost of losing assets, such as tools and equipment. Indeed, even simple tools such as those used for brickwork or pavement stones can drive a high loss should they be misplaced. A project can lose a full day of work just waiting to replace or receive missing tools and equipment. According to the National Equipment Register, every year, building sites record up to $1 billion in equipment theft.
Additionally, damaged equipment is an underlying cause of downtime and delay in the construction sector, with up to a 30% downtime rate. Experts estimate the cost of equipment downtime to be around $350 per hour per piece of equipment.
Finally, being unprepared to face the real challenges of a new site, such as uneven ground and hard-to-access spots, can also lead to delays, damaged equipment, and waiting time for equipment order and replacement.
But the losses in the construction sector can be reduced by better monitoring.
Activity and asset overview
The construction sector is a competitive industry where building companies and contractors can win projects based on their costs. Clients are more likely to pick a business that can provide the best service in time and at the lowest costs. In other words, the room for losses is limited.
Therefore, keeping track of all the activities and assets in the field is critical to avoid loss and maintain a competitive profile. With the use of drone technology, RFID tags for tools and personnel safety, and vibration exposure monitoring, construction companies can streamline their operations to keep an overview of what’s going on.
Heavy equipment tracking
The construction industry is a high-risk sector, but there are many ways to mitigate risks. One way is to use GPS tracking for large equipment. This can also help make sure that the equipment is always available when it’s needed for on-site use. Indeed, setting heavy equipment with adequate GPS tracking solutions can help the construction sector:
Locate equipment that is transported between sites
Find out about potential delays during transportation, such as traffic, road closure, etc.
Receive alert notifications sharing both the location and status information of the equipment
Prevent equipment theft or tampering with exact data
Drone technology for mapping
Construction sites are complex, with many different types of machines, tools, and materials. The use of drone technology to map these sites means that the construction sector can keep an overview of activities and assets. This protects both the company’s assets as well as personnel safety when approaching challenging sites. There are many key factors to consider for earthworks businesses adopting drones, such as their battery life, camera features, and the location of the site. Picking a drone that isn’t well-suited for the specific site could be counterproductive. Yet, with the right technology, companies can effectively rely on drones to gain a better understanding of a project, ensuring they can source the right equipment for their needs.
RFID tags for tools monitoring
Radio Frequency Identification tags, or RFID for short, are a wireless way of transmitting information through electricity and magnetism waves. The technology is used today for wireless Internet, for instance. It involves a transmitter, in the case of the construction sector, the tag attached to the tool, and a receiver, which can be a specialist application system.
When it comes to tools on a construction site, these are more prone to cause delays through misplacement, accidental loss, or even theft. It makes sense that stealing a hammer is a lot more easily done than stealing an excavator, for example. Additionally, as contractors are prone to multitasking and working on different parts of the same site, they could find themselves borrowing tools or leaving tools in one place as part of their day-to-day work. Therefore, using a technology that makes it easy to find individual tools on the site is a game-changer to reduce delays!
RFID tags for personnel safety
Construction sites can be dangerous even when staff follows health and safety procedures. Falling overbroad and slipping can dramatically affect contractors’ health. RFID tags are used to ensure that workers are aware of their location at all times. This can reduce serious injuries by informing staff members of their location and reducing the time spent looking for someone who is lost or has fallen down a hole. When an RFID tag is placed on a staff member, it transmits a variety of information, such as location, temperature, motion, vibration or shock, to a receiver every few seconds. Using RFID tag technology can ensure that injured personnel is found and rescued rapidly, even when there is nobody around at the time of the accident.
Vibration exposure monitoring
RFID technology can also track the safety of personnel during hazardous operations. Indeed, RFID tags can be used as a safety measure to ensure that personnel are not exposed to excessive levels of vibration. Excessive exposure can lead to serious health consequences, such as neurological disorders, loss of mobility, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. These tags provide an efficient and affordable way to monitor the exposure of individual employees who may be at risk for these debilitating conditions caused by excessive vibration. As a result, employees who are at risk may be able to limit exposure as the tag ensures:
They can’t use equipment that’s potentially harmful to them
Monitor duration of use to prevent prolonged exposure
The construction sector is often associated with high costs and delays. Yet, empowering companies to monitor their activities and assets throughout a whole project can help protect personnel from injuries, track equipment on-site and in transportation, and prevent tool loss and theft.