When there’s a large-scale crisis like COVID-19—or even a smaller, local event like a natural disaster—normal construction operations can get delayed, disrupted, or even halted. Managers and work crews could be furloughed or re-assigned, leaving jobsites with little to no human activity for an extended period of time.
Regardless of the circumstances, the health and wellbeing of work crews and the security of the jobsite is just as important as ever. Yet the unique circumstances that a crisis presents can make maintaining safety and security significantly more challenging.
Managing Construction Safety & Security Challenges During a Crisis
A crisis can introduce changes to the way your workforce and jobsite operate that impact how you address safety and security. For example, a crisis can make it more difficult or even impossible for EHS managers and supervisors to be physically present. This can increase the likelihood that potential safety hazards go unidentified, while also making it more difficult to ensure workers are remaining compliant with safety regulations and following any new guidelines specific to the crisis.
In 2018, OSHA reported 5,250 construction worker deaths, an average of more than 14 deaths per day. EHS managers already feel an immense responsibility to keep workers out of harm’s way and protect them from potentially life-threatening accidents and injuries. But that job becomes even more challenging when they’re faced with changing business conditions that hinder their ability to be present and see for themselves what’s happening on the ground.
A reduced presence on the jobsite also changes the amount of activity going on. For example, a crisis can mean there are fewer crews working or that the jobsite is open fewer hours during the day. As a result, there may be stretches of time when there’s little or no activity on the site, leaving it much less secure.
An uninhabited jobsite is more exposed to the risk of theft, vandalism, and other costly damage. The National Equipment Register estimates that construction site theft costs the industry around $400 million every year. And that number could soar even higher during a year with a widespread, ongoing crisis impacting normal operations.
A deserted-looking construction site is also at greater risk of unauthorized entry. Members of the public, whether intentionally or otherwise, could enter the jobsite and fall victim to any number of safety hazards. This is an enormous liability for construction companies if someone should get hurt, or worse.
See What’s Happening on Your Jobsite, Even When You’re Not There
With safety and security on the line more than ever during a crisis, you need to have full visibility into your construction site and workforce, even if you can’t be there yourself. A wireless camera system that can live-stream your jobsite 24/7 gives you the remote oversight you need so you can:
See in real time the entire jobsite and all worker activity
Observe potentially unsafe behavior by workers that could result in accidents or compliance violations
Monitor known safety concerns around the site, such as heavy equipment or machinery, and more easily discover new hazards
Detect trespassers, intruders, and unexpected activity any time of the day or night with visual or infrared cues
In addition to taking advantage of a camera system, choosing the right one for your needs is just as important. For example, many camera systems give a time-lapse or post-event review and are themselves at risk for theft or vandalism when human activity on a jobsite is reduced or non-existent. To have real-time visibility, you need a system capable of live-streaming events as they’re happening. Other features to prioritize include:
Quick and easy installation, with no need to hardwire cameras to an office
Cameras that can operate independently from each other
Battery- or solar-powered cameras that work even during a power outage
Accessibility by any user with an Internet connection, whether the user is onsite or located remotely
With the right camera system, managers and supervisors are able to stay alert and updated to any safety or security threats, even when conditions are risky or changing rapidly. They gain greater confidence that they can keep the jobsite secure and work crews safe, as well as intervene quickly if a dangerous situation arises.
Gain Peace of Mind During a Crisis—and Anytime
A crisis can create a unique set of circumstances on construction jobsites that threaten safety and security. With easy-to-install wireless cameras as part of a remote worksite monitoring solution, you can keep safety and security a top priority during the most difficult times and those that are less demanding.
To learn more about managing your construction jobsites and workforce during a crisis and beyond, read the white paper.