Tag: <span>Safety</span>

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 www.harnessup.com/covid19

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 Ken@KellyRoofing.com.

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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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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

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 www.forconstructionpros.com.

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

Wearables can improve worker safety and health

At this year’s International Roofing Expo, there was plenty to see on the show floor with technology being a key focus. In fact, the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) presented a contractor panel where they discussed emerging technologies as well as existing ones and how these solutions are making an impact on their businesses.

Discussions focused on how augmented reality will change field service, how robotics and automation both on the roof and in the air will impact the industry, how GPS and other tracking can save thousands and how technology will change the way the industry interacts with home and building owners as well as with insurance companies.

One solution that has a promising outlook for the industry is the use of wearable technology to improve worker safety. The wearable technology can be as simple as a GPS tracker in a safety vest that can send an instant alert when a worker enters a predefined danger area on a job site, such as being within so many feet of the roof perimeter. There are exoskeletons that have been created to assist workers with lifting heavy loads, thus reducing the chances of back injuries or strains.

While visiting Microsoft’s Internet of Things (IOT) lab last fall with RT3, we saw smart helmets that could detect impacts and wearable monitors that could track workers’ vital signs such as heart rate and body temperature – valuable information that can let you know when a worker should stop and take a break.

While all of this data can be lifesaving, contractors implementing the use of these devices should be prepared to ensure that their workers’ privacy and data is protected. The good news is that most companies that are providing a technology solution should have the infrastructure in place to make sure that the data is protected, and privacy remains intact. However, as we have seen time and again, data breaches are not uncommon in this day and age.

RT3 member Trent Cotney of Cotney Construction Law said that contractors using new wearable technologies to keep employees out of harm’s way should revise their employee manuals to provide information on how to properly use the wearable technology. Further, contractors should include in employee manuals that the wearable technology will better assist in keeping employees safe, but that it is not a guarantee and the workers should still exercise caution when performing dangerous activities or working in hazardous areas.

The World Wide Web just celebrated its 30th birthday and we have seen so many changes over those 30 years. We’re excited to see what’s coming next and how worker safety will benefit from new, emerging technologies. Stay up to date on the latest news in the industry when you sign up for the RT3 Smart Brief newsletter.

Using Technology to Keep Workers Safe

By Cotney Construction Law.

In 2015, 937 people died while working on construction sites. This tops all industries and is a long-held source of concern for all of us in the construction industry, from contractors to construction attorneys. What’s more alarming is that these numbers are increasing. Year by year, as the labor shortage lingers and the demand for new construction increases, companies struggle to keep their workers safe.

While traditional tactics such as training and the use of personal protection equipment will always be a part of safety programs, new technologies are entering the mix. These tools can take worker protection to next level.

Much of the technology that you see in construction focuses on making specific processes more efficient. While this is important, there is another part of the construction experience where technology can prove vital.

Statistics show that construction is one of the most dangerous industries in business. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one in five worker deaths come from the construction industry. However, new technology is turning that around by allowing companies to better sense physical conditions among workers and on the job site and by taking dangerous jobs out of the hands of individuals.

Here are some of the technologies that are making construction work safer and more efficient:


It sounds like something out of a science fiction or superhero movie, but exoskeletons are starting to weave their way onto construction sites everywhere. These suits can be used to lift heavy loads and provide relief for workers by distributing load weight to different muscles. These suits also come with sensors that can measure the amount of exertion being placed on a worker’s body.

Driverless Vehicles

These trucks not only make workers safer by taking them out of potentially dangerous situations, they are efficient because they drive more precise routes and deliver materials quickly. These vehicles can be operated remotely and use GPS technologies to ensure that it always finds the proper location.


Sensors on equipment has become a critical part of detecting wear and tear and location. When sensors are placed at various locations throughout a site, it can measure a variety of conditions accurately, including silica dust, chemical fumes, and temperature. This information helps contractors make adjustments to working conditions as needed.

Virtual Reality

VR is making safety training more effective by presenting hazards to workers in an environment where they can learn about them without being in harm’s way. Workers can also learn how to use equipment such as excavators and cranes in a safe environment.


Drones are taking the construction industry by storm, largely because of the amount of ways that they can used. In terms of safety, drones can do jobs that are unsafe for humans, such as surveying damaged roofs. Drones can also review worker activities to ensure safe behavior. The latter use of drones provides the additional benefit of ensuring OSHA compliance. For additional methods of achieving compliance, talk to one of the Jacksonville construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law.


Wearables, including smart vests and helmets, can effectively measure an individual’s physical health and allow you to make decisions based on that data. Other wearables have airbags that can deploy if a worker falls. Also, new helmet technology allows for workers to train more thoroughly through the use of augmented reality and spot hazards before they interact with them.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Source: Cotney Construction Law.

COINS Grand Challenge fosters innovation

Every day, three workers die on US construction sites. There are simply far more job sites than safety inspectors, and many sites don’t receive nearly enough inspections to ensure the safety of workers. That is a problem Ardalan Khosrowpour is tackling with his company OnSiteIQ. A startup venture that began in 2017, OnSiteIQ provides users with weekly virtual tours of job sites based on high-resolution photographic scans. This allows inspectors to see more job sites, thereby increasing the number of safe sites around the country.

“It’s pretty much like Google Street View for the construction site,” Khosrowpour said. “We enable our clients to document the site remotely, inspect the site, and do progress updates.”

While this is a great idea that can certainly benefit the entire built industry, sometimes it can be hard for a startup like OnSiteIQ to find footing or traction. Hoping to spread the word in the industry and receiving some feedback—Khosrowpour entered OnSiteIQ into the COINS Grand Challenge, an open competition put on by COINS, a leading built industry software company based out of the United Kingdom.
“We are trying to uncover the next generation of innovators and entrepreneur in the built environment,” said Robert Brown, the CEO of COINS. “We are really just looking for people who have genuinely innovative ideas that will potentially make a difference in the industry.”

Brown stressed that the competition has two main objectives, which is why COINS has hosted it for the past four years. Not only does the company want to make the construction industry a more appealing and attractive industry, but COINS also sees this as an opportunity to give back to the industry.

“We genuinely believe that with success comes a responsibility to give back to society as a whole,” Brown said. “That’s part of our core DNA as a business.”
The competition is divided into two categories – the open competition that is open to anyone over the age of 18, and the undergraduate portion, which is exclusively for university students. In each of those categories, entrants compete in two different challenges: New & Emerging Technology, and Leadership. Eight finalists are chosen and receive an inclusive trip to present their projects to a group of 12 judges with extensive industry experience (this year, BuiltWorlds’ own Bryant Donnowitz was a judge).

Companies and ideas like OnSiteIQ go before the panel of judges to receive feedback on their products.

“What better way to validate your idea, your business model, your team, and your technology than being judged by 12 different judges who are experts in their industry?” said Khosrowpour.

Much to Khosrowpour’s surprise, OnSiteIQ cleaned house at the Grand Challenge. Not only did the company win the open competition’s New & Emerging Technology category, but OnSiteIQ took home the Investment Award—and more importantly, $150,000. With those winnings, Khosrowpour plans to further develop OnSiteIQ’s technology, add new features, and expand the company to catch up with the application’s growing demand. He is thrilled by his success at the COINS Grand Challenge and thinks the event is having a significant influence on the built environment.

This will have a very positive impact on the industry,” said Khosrowpour.

Note: This article first published on BuiltWorld’s blog and can be viewed here.