Category: <span>Safety</span>

RT3 Member Harness Software Acquires CertGround App, Hires Founder

CertGround app is used by union locals to manage training and its founder, Sean Campbell will join the Harness development team.

Harness Software announced today that it has agreed to acquire CertGround, an app used by union locals to manage training & track certifications for their membership.  Sean Campbell, the founder of CertGround will join the Harness development team.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed and the transaction is scheduled to close in the summer of 2021.

CertGround founder Sean Campbell, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in London, ON Canada is a self-taught developer and initially created CertGround to help his local union chapter better manage training & certifications.

“When I met Sean, I was immediately impressed with the high level of skill he has as a developer.  The fact that he has worked for over 10 years as an electrician before learning to code gives him an insight into our users that is invaluable.  I’m so excited to have him join our team,” said Tom Whitaker, CEO of Harness Software.

Existing CertGround customers will not be adversely affected as Harness will continue to support them separately for the foreseeable future.  Eventually, the features of CertGround will be incorporated into the core Harness Safety App.

Harness Software currently serves thousands of daily active users and allows construction companies to easily deploy & manage a strong health & safety program.  Companies using Harness have safer job sites, fewer injuries, lower insurance costs, and are better able to recruit & retain workers.

This is the first acquisition in the company’s history.  The company isn’t done making noise and has plans to announce more major initiatives soon. 2021 is going to be a momentous year for our company,” said Whitaker.

RT3 member Harness launches free app to help contractors battle COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The App will help businesses keep workers informed, safe, & productive during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Harness Software announces the availability of a FREE Safety Meeting/Toolbox Talk App that will enable construction companies to disseminate virus-related information to their remote workforces and help them document employee meetings. This app is immediately available to all construction companies in North America

The app includes access to the latest content from reputable sources such as the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and National Institutes of Health (NIH).  All information within the app will be organized into short talks with emphasis on points relevant to construction workers.

  • The app will be updated automatically as more information becomes available
  • All material will be available in English & Spanish
  • Foremen or Supervisors will be able to quickly capture names and signatures from the attendees of each safety meeting/toolbox talk
  • PDF records of each meeting can be automatically emailed back to the office

“Construction workers don’t have the option to work from home.  Companies need easy access to the information necessary to protect their employees and keep them as productive as possible during this crisis.  We are all in this together.  That’s why we’re launching this free resource,” said Tom Whitaker, CEO of Harness Software.  Existing Harness Software customers will also receive enhanced resources as part of this program to battle fear & the spread of the disease.

Find out more and access the app at

Safety bonus encourages crews to stay compliant

RT3 member Ken Kelly says that Kelly Roofing is vigilant and forward-thinking in its safety program.

Before any employee is released to work, they must attend our boot camp. This two-hour training is comprised of more than just safety, but safety is a primary focus. This stems from a story a friend of mine relayed that happened to him years ago. As a roofer in Nashville, a crew was working remotely in Knoxville. The crew showed up on the job and realized the tear-off was more difficult that they thought. To help stay on schedule, the foreman went to the local Home Depot and picked up day laborers to help the crew. The very first morning of job start, the crew and new laborers met on the flat roof to discuss staging and project planning. While they were all standing in a circle, one of the new laborers slowly stepped backward. Before anyone could say “watch out”, he stepped right off the roof. His death was instant. The foreman called my friend to tell him what had happened. As my friend was racing from Nashville to Knoxville, the one thing that kept going through his mind was, “I don’t even know his name. I don’t know his family. Who am I going to call? What am I going to do?”

Our program approaches safety from three angles:

Reward: We offer a 6% safety bonus on all jobs. This bonus is shared by the crew, not just individuals. It’s the crew’s to share and is based on the total pay for the crew’s job performance, which is often hundreds of dollars. All safety equipment is provided to the crew. Inspections are performed daily before use. Any defective or worn items are tagged, taken out of service and a replacement is given. We train weekly on safety, which is mandatory.

Penalty: Individuals go through a gradual enforcement step-up in severity that resets after six months. We start by a verbal warning, which is actually tracked in our HR entity under the employee’s record as a safety violation. The second offense is a formal written warning. The violation, corrective action and cure steps are noted. It is signed by the employee and supervisor. Next is the first fine of $50, which is written as well. Then a $150 fine is assessed if the violation continues followed by suspension for the day. Lastly, termination is required if the employee continues to refuse compliance. Furthermore, safety meetings are mandatory. Attendance pays for the hour. However, if missed, a $35 fine is issues.

Cultural: By sharing the safety bonus between the crew, it creates a culture of self-policing. When near misses or injuries do occur the individual affected is brought up front to share their story about the incident. They discuss what they were doing, what happened, how it affected their life and the lives of their family. And they always finish with what they could have done to prevent it. This helps overcome the macho mentality that is common in dominant male and Latino workforces.

If you have questions about our program or would like to discuss strategies we have used, please email me

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App Aims to Reduce Injuries and Save Lives

By Karen L. Edwards, RT3

A Professor at Glasgow Caledonian University in the UK, Billy Hare, has developed an app geared toward architects and designers to help them improve the health and safety of construction workers, as well as those who will eventually occupy the building.

Using videos and images, the app notes health and safety issues related to a specific building’s design. Hare, a professor in Construction Management in GCU’s School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment, said in an article on the school’s website, “Academics in the past have attempted to create systems that tell architects and designers the ‘safest’ design option, but this approach is too simplistic and those who make design choices don’t work that way.”

“We wanted to create a knowledge database that recognizes there are many design options, and each has its own pros and cons when it comes to health and safety. Therefore, designers can make informed decisions.”

During the research phase of development, Hare worked with a sample of 40 designer, half were new to design and the other half were seasoned designers. They were all asked to review a set of CAD drawing to identify hazards and make design decisions.

The randomly selected half of the sample using the app identified hazards 599 times, or three times more than those who were not using the app.

The project was funded by a grant from grant from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). According to IOSH up to half of the accident in the UK are related in some way to the building design.

Mary Ogungbeje, Research Manager at IOSH, said in the article, “In today’s age of technology, being able to utilize digital training resources to help designers do just that is great. Such tools can make a real difference in upskilling professionals, irrespective of their level of experience. Architects and civil engineers can identify hazards and come up with better controls when developing and reviewing designs. Ultimately, this will reduce injuries and save lives.”

Hare says that he is now looking for partners to develop the digital prototype so they can release the app for industry-wide use.

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Slip on a steep roof leads inventor to build remote inspection robot

By Karen L. Edwards, RT3.

When Mike Slawinski was living in Atlanta, a friend of his asked him to help do some roof inspections. Mike wasn’t a fan of heights but agreed to help. They were in a subdivision that featured multimillion-dollar, large homes with very steep roofs.

“I got up on the front of the house and went over to back side, which was four stories because it was a drop-off lot, and I started sliding down the roof,” Mike explained. “In my mind I got to two feet from the edge and there was a concrete patio down below. In reality, I was probably more like 20 feet from the edge. I scrambled over to a valley and got off that roof, swearing I’d never get on another roof again.”

Being an inventor and innovator, Mike decided to try out some tools and technologies that he might be able to use for completing roof inspections from the ground. Nothing he tried worked so he found a partner to do the coding and created the Roof Rover, a robotic roof inspection device. The first model that they developed was bulky, weighing 25 pounds and wasn’t easy to get on the roof. He waited a few years and as technology improved, he developed the model that is available today.

The new robot weighs six pounds and is equipped with sensors and two cameras – one is very high-resolution inspection camera and another camera is used for driving. “The way you use the robot is typically by just moving the cameras around,” said Mike. “The cameras move and record from up to 60 – 80 feet away, so you just move the cameras and scan the surfaces. If I see anything of interest, I can drive over there and take a closer look.”

The robot is equipped with lasers that can measure within one millimeter or less than the thickness of a penny. It can measure thickness of shingles and even distinguish between a blister and hail dent. An accelerometer measures pitch and roll of the roof and the optical encoders allow for measurements while driving within a fraction of an inch. Edge detection sensors keep it from rolling off the edge of the roof.

“It has a surface temperature gauge on the bottom, and I can tell you that when I was using it in Atlanta, we recorded two temperatures of 250 degree on the roof,” explained Mike.

The Rover uses a 22-foot telescoping pole that raises it to the roof. A platform attaches to the gutter allowing the robot to drive on and off the roof. The rover is operated using a windows tablet and a joystick and a 40-square roof can be inspected in less than 20 minutes.

The robot requires little to no maintenance. The treads will need to be replaced every three to four months and it’s a good idea to keep a second rechargeable battery on hand so they can be swapped out. The Roof Rover includes the Windows tablet and controller and is easy to learn how to use – just watch a 15-minute video and the operator is ready to begin inspecting.

This is an excellent example of introducing technology onto the rooftop that doesn’t replace a worker, it just changes what that worker does and keeps them safer.

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How technology is improving safety conditions for roofers

By Kate Foster, AccuLynx.

Construction sites can be dangerous. The hot sun, large machines and high surfaces all combine to create a potentially hazardous environment. Luckily, advancing technology is providing roofing companies with numerous tools to improve safety conditions for their crews. Everything from virtual reality to slip and fall sensors, technology is changing the way roofers conduct business.

Here are some of the types of technology that is helping keep roofers safe.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

While augmented and virtual reality are not new inventions, their use in the roofing industry is more recent. Augmented reality allows roofing contractors to create detailed safety plans and impose them directly over the layout of the construction site so that they are accurate and easily understood. Augmented reality is also useful for training. Employees can be trained on real sites with augmented hazards, so that real life experience can be gained without the danger element.

Another application of augmented reality is to help with gathering aerial measurements. No need to get up on the roof and risk a slip or fall when you can take measurements from the ground. This ability to take measurements without being up on the roof improves safety greatly, as the risk of falling is cut down to zero.

Virtual reality also improves safety conditions for roofers. Virtual reality has been used for training across all fields, from the military to the medical field, and can be used for roofing as well. Employees can be safely trained to perform skills such as operating heavy machinery without the risk of potentially dangerous mistakes.

Wearable Technology

Another way technology is improving safety conditions for roofers is through wearable technology, or wearables. Wearables can be built into PPE safety equipment that is already used on the jobsite, such as construction helmets or vests, making it an easy element to add to your safety protocol. Wearables can include useful technology including biometric devices, GPS or location trackers, voltage detectors, and slip and fall sensors.

Biometric devices can monitor respiratory rate, skin temperature, and heart rate, helping to identify fatigue and heat illness early. Biometrics can also be used to tell if someone is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or other substances that could stand as a risk on the jobsite.

GPS and location trackers can be used to provide a workers location if they have fallen and hurt themselves or passed out from heat illness. GPS and location trackers can also be used to designate certain areas as hazardous or restricted and sound alarms or notifications when a worker comes too close to the area. Voltage detectors can provide warning if an area is charged and unsafe to approach, helping workers avoid potential electric harm.

Slip and fall sensors are a particularly important component of wearables. The leading cause of death in construction is falling, so a sensor that can provide immediate notification that a worker has fallen is invaluable in the field. This rapid notification of the event combined with biometric information and GPS location can help make sure the injured worker can get quality help as quickly as possible. When used all together, the many applications of wearables combine to ensure roofers do not have to over-worry about safety while on the job.

Site Sensors

Site sensors are another way technology is improving safety conditions for roofers. Site sensors can be placed all around your construction site and provide you with valuable information about the environment. They can measure heat, noise levels, particulates in the air, and the presence of volatile or hazardous compounds. This information allows your crews to limit their exposure to harmful environments and remove themselves from a site that suddenly becomes unsafe.

Another benefit of site sensors is that they can ensure your worksite complies with OSHA regulations. This way you can be sure that your worksite is up to code and have the numbers to prove it.

Worksite safety should always be a priority. Technology has helped make it easier to keep your workers safe from harm, allowing them to be trained more easily, monitored, and notified of hazards. By implementing these technologies, you can provide precautions against injury and create a safe workplace for yourself and your crew.

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Source: AccuLynx

RT3 member KPOST puts safety first at new Texas Rangers stadium

By Karen L. Edwards.

With more than 2,000 workers on the project, the general contractor is requiring monthly safety meetings with RT3 member KPost Roofing and Waterproofing hosting the March meeting.

Groundbreaking for the new Globe Life Field was September 28, 2017. According to the Texas Rangers’ website, “the roof at Globe Life Field will be the first of its kind in baseball. With portions made of a transparent material, Rangers fans will enjoy outdoor ambience in air-conditioned comfort. The roof will retract in a matter of minutes, bringing the great outdoors to the ballpark experience.”

Nick Post, marketing and brand assistant at KPost Roofing and Waterproofing, told us that Manhattan Construction Group, the general contractor on the project has done a great job enforcing safety procedures and hosts a mandatory monthly safety meeting. “KPost was allowed the opportunity to run the monthly safety meeting because we were nominated as the Safe Contractor of the Month for the month of March,” said Post.

KPost’s Safety Director, Luciano Perez, and Director of Special Projects, Thomas Williams, were the speakers and they discussed distractions in the workplace such as cell phones, side conversations, music.

The new stadium is set to open for the 2020 baseball season. You can get more fun facts about this project at the Rangers website.

KPost is no stranger to working on large, complex projects. They opened their doors in January 2004 with a core group of eleven roofing professionals that together had more than 250 years of combined construction experience. Today the team consists of over 400 employees, including more than 60 specialized crews, totaling over 5,000 years of experience.

Since inception, KPost has completed over 1200 projects, valued at over $525+ million including high profile contracts such as the Perot Museum of Science and Nature, The Statler Dallas, JP Morgan Chase Headquarters, Facebook Data Center – Fort Worth, and AT&T Stadium. They have added more high caliber projects to the list this year in Charles Schwab Campus, Pioneer Natural Resources, and the Texas Rangers Stadium – Globe Life Field.

They are also the official roofing contractor of the Dallas Cowboys. The stadium will be the featured project for the Roofing Alliance’s student competition that is taking place at the International Roofing Expo held February 4-6, 2020 in Dallas.

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Source: RoofersCoffeeShop

Construction company to use robotics to build renewable energy projects

By Karen L. Edwards

Built Robotics, a company specializing in making robotic construction equipment, announced that it has partnered with construction firm Mortenson to use their earthmoving robotics on renewable projects like wind farms and solar. These types of projects then to be in remote areas that are far from traditional workforce centers, making labor an even bigger challenge than it already is.

According to Built Robotics, their “robotic equipment is able to shoulder some of the load by assisting with basic, repetitive tasks, freeing up human operators to focus on the more specific, complex and critical activities.”

Eric Sellman, Vice President and General Manager of the Civil Group at Mortenson, said in the announcement, “I see Built Robotics as the next generation of construction technology. Consistent with Mortenson’s history of ingenuity and innovation in construction, we are partnering with Built Robotics as they develop and deploy technology that enables autonomous heavy equipment operation. Mortenson and Built Robotics will work together with this technology on select renewable energy projects within our Wind and Solar groups. Our goal is to embrace the change that is happening in our industry to create value for our customers and opportunities for Mortenson and our team members.”

Sellman told Engineering News Record (ENR) that it’s a long-term agreement for the next few years to continue to expand the company’s deployment of autonomous equipment on renewable energy jobs. The company did its first project with Built Robotics in August of 2018, testing the equipment on wind farms in Kansas. Sellman said that the repetitive nature of some of the foundation work on these projects make them a good fit for autonomous equipment. ENR reported that the “machines us GPS tracking to remain within geo-fenced areas, and LIDAR provides collision avoidance and obstacle detection.”

Mortenson employees are excited to be implementing the technology. Molly Morgan, an equipment operator commented, “I’m excited about the potential for Built’s technology. Our top priority is safety — if the robot can work on steep slopes, or near unstable ground, or in challenging or risky situations, then we one-hundred percent should use it. And I’m excited to learn the new skills I’ll need to work with the technology.”

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Safety is top concern for construction workers regarding automation


A recent survey shows construction workers are more concerned about safety—rather than job security—regarding increased automation on job sites, according to

In a recent poll of construction workers conducted on behalf of Volvo Construction Equipment, 46% highlighted the increased risk to job-site safety compared with 31% who were concerned about job security. Other worries included loss of sociability (26%) and not knowing who to blame if something goes wrong (17%). However, experts say automation potentially can reduce job-site hazards.

More than half of respondents (54%) believe autonomous machines and artificial intelligence will help boost productivity, and 48% believe advanced technology will increase the speed of daily construction tasks.

Respondents between ages 25 and 44 are more likely to believe autonomous machinery could benefit areas such as productivity, speed, safety, quality and fuel efficiency compared with those age 44 and older.

Nearly half of respondents (48%) believe machine operators are most at risk of losing their jobs; three in five machine operators believe their job could become completely redundant following the rise in computer technology. Other job roles respondents believe would be at risk are engineers (21%), bricklayers (17%) and construction managers (16%). Only one in five construction workers believe no jobs will be affected at all.

From those who responded as part of the wider survey across all industries, 55% say they would rather lose their jobs to a human than a machine. AI could affect workers’ career choices, with 72% of U.S. respondents agreeing in some capacity they would consider choosing a job that will not be affected by autonomous machinery or AI compared with 45% of UK respondents.

Fifty-eight percent of construction workers are confident AI would not do a better job than them.

Source: NRCA