Does Your Job Site Need Access Control?

March 27, 2020 Matthew Ramage

Safety has been a hot-button issue in construction for decades. The safety manager on every jobsite needs to walk that fine line between ensuring safety standards are being met and work is proceeding at an acceptable pace. No one intentionally puts anyone at risk, but the fact is, the job needs to get done on time and (preferably) under budget. So, the challenge persists.

Imagine, though, if you could immediately eliminate one of the biggest risks to safety on the jobsite: unauthorized or unqualified people onsite. 

If you could magically guarantee that the only people able to access a construction site are people who 1) are scheduled to be there, 2) have had the proper safety training to perform their work safely, and 3) are wearing the right personal protective equipment (PPE), how much easier would your job become? 

All three of those issues are resolved if you put adequate access control technology in place. 

What problems does construction site access control solve?

  1. Only allow scheduled workers onsite - access control solutions generally work using an RFID-based ID card, wearable tag, or other device that’s been assigned to a particular individual and needs to be swiped, scanned, or registered at a turnstile or similar “gate,” which is set up as the only point of entrance or exit from the jobsite. Without an approved “ID card,” no one can access the site. This simple but powerful security feature eliminates trespassers, but can also be linked with personnel databases to enhance the system’s selectivity. Additionally, the resulting logs of entrance and exit provide valuable labor resource management information as everyone working on a site will automatically “clock in and clock out” based on their movement through the established portal.
  2. Compliance with training and certification requirements - An entire site or specific zones can be separated with access control perimeters that ensure no one can access the site without verifiable records of the appropriate training or certification for whatever tasks are needed at the moment. And, if a certification expires in the midst of a job, the system can notify the safety manager and/or individual affected so recertification can be handled immediately.

Is this solution realistic?

Many construction companies have already invested in access control as a beneficial improvement to traditional safety and security management on their jobsites. 

For example, Barton Malow, a full-service general contracting firm, lists the use of construction site access control as part of an integrated technology initiative that has greatly improved visibility and efficiency at dozens of jobsites. Matt Hedke, senior Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) manager of Barton Malow noted, “CrewSight enables us to understand who is on site at any given time ― allowing our project managers to know if enough labor has been on site to complete daily goals. CrewSight also provides a crucial safety net, by allowing fast accounting of the workforce in case of an emergency.”

Compared to their previous workflow processes, the most significant advantages for the self-perform contractor can be seen in an elevated level of accurate, real-time reporting, which Hedke said brings a critical level of transparency, efficiency and speed to market for each project.

Check out the full Barton Malow case study here. 

As you evaluate the amount of potential cost and hazards you face without adequate access control, the answer to the question asked in this article’s title becomes a lot easier. Yes, your job site definitely needs effective, automated access control that works seamlessly with your overall project management and safety management workflow. 

To explore Trimble solutions for access management, dive into our Labor, Equipment, Materials solutions

About the Author

Matthew Ramage

Matt Ramage leads the global Trimble Construction growth marketing strategy, focused on the development of strategies and initiatives that target pipeline development opportunities, improved SaaS go-to-market and dramatically increasing demand. Matt has a history in business leadership, demand generation, inbound marketing, IoT and sales. He has led global teams through periods of rapid growth and development.

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