Jim discusses the use of smart phones on the job site. He describes many of the things that can be done to improve safety, quality, and productivity in construction using a smart phone, when properly trained and equipped.
- When I talk about technology and safety, I think it's really important to mention cell phones again, or more specifically smart phones. Smart phones tend to get a bad rap sometimes among safety professionals, and we've all complained about somebody being on the phone when they should be paying attention to someone else, or getting too many calls, or being too much of a distraction. I even talked about them earlier as a hazard when texting and driving. But while all this is true, I do think that smart phones can be an incredible tool on a construction site, as long as they're used properly.
Is it okay to chat about your weekend plans when you're walking around a construction site? No, probably not. Do I want to see the crane operator having a phone conversation when they're picking a load? Absolutely not. But I also don't want to see the smart phone banned on a construction site just because some people misuse them. This is really a case of proper training, and I think that used properly, the smart phone can do incredible things these days. Yes, I can use it to call for help in an emergency. But I can also use it to just call for instructions without having to go walk across the job site.
This could save me from doing something unsafe, or from having to navigate down several ladders to get help. But today, they go way beyond that. I can use them to document conditions. I can take pictures of unsafe conditions and immediately email that picture to the person that needs to get it fixed. Likewise, my crew can send me pictures with questions about safety conditions that they're unsure of. I can get apps to track and measure safety conditions, and even help with inspections.
I can get apps that do things like measure lighting levels and noise levels. I can get apps that measure angles, like is that ladder setup too steep? And on a large site, I can use the phone's built-in GPS to locate myself, and maybe even other people on my crew. And then, don't forget the fact that the smart phone can be used to store and read all of our safety documents, and to review safety training anytime it may be needed. And with all of this, I think we're still just realizing the things that we can do.
Yes, people need to use smart phones correctly, and they should not be a distraction that causes safety issues on the construction site. Just like we shouldn't text while we drive. But used correctly, I do think the smart phone, the one that's probably being carried around by almost everyone on the job site anyway, is an incredible tool that can help us be safer. Stick with me. Let's look at a couple more examples of digital enhancements to safety.
Throughout this course, Jim highlights some of the most notable safety and health hazards in the industry—including fall hazards, traffic accidents, and respiratory hazards—and shares strategies for integrating safety, quality, and productivity. He also explains how to leverage technological advancements such as digital drawings to help your team work safer and smarter.
- Recognizing health hazards in the industry
- Integrating safety, quality, and productivity
- Creating a culture of learning
- Recognizing leading indicators
- Using digital solutions to improve safety
- Using BIM to identify hazards early