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Effectively managing security, safety and compliance on a construction site can be a daunting task. Construction executives are under pressure to tightly manage crews and correlate productivity with actual hours worked. They are also responsible for the health and welfare of their workers and for ensuring that jobsites are secure and compliant with owner and government mandates. 

With workforce shortages and the increasing complexity of jobsites today, a growing number of construction companies are moving away from using clipboards and spreadsheets to manage crews and jobsite access. Instead, they’re embracing advances in technology that not only automate access control, but keep workers safe, help ensure compliance, increase security and improve overall productivity.

To understand the benefits of automating jobsite access and management, it’s important to first know what’s at stake. Not knowing which workers are on site, where they are working and whether or not they have the correct training and certifications to be there can leave companies exposed to risks that can have a ripple effect across a project.

A lack of proper access control not only compromises worker safety, but also puts companies at risk for costly litigation should a worker unintentionally enter an area that poses a health threat, such as chemical exposure, noise exposure, potential for head injuries or worse. While there is no way to eliminate the hazards inherent in working on a construction site, knowing where workers are and what they are doing at all times can reduce preventable hazards, especially those that can be traced to a worker being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Using technology to manage access control allows companies to more easily monitor who is entering and leaving the jobsite, and to secure access to only those workers meeting specific entry criteria. Preventing unauthorized access to a jobsite is often done with the use of gates or with turnstiles that have one-way access into and out of construction sites and are electronically controlled. Workers may use key cards or have sensors attached to their hard hats that can communicate with a central database and be used to automatically determine if that worker is granted or denied entry. This takes a majority of the administrative burden off managing the jobsite and can eliminate the need to place a security guard at each entrance. This type of technology can also send broadcast messages to all workers on site if there is a power outage, weather event or coffee and donuts at the morning meeting.

Regulatory compliance is also an important factor when it comes to worker safety and project security. Effectively tracking certification status for an entire team of workers, some of whom are permanent and others who are transient, can be difficult, if not impossible, using clipboards and spreadsheets. A good access control system can streamline this process, acting as an epicenter of information regarding regulations and licenses, and automatically push notifications about upcoming license expirations for any employee or contractor on the jobsite. By automating the process, companies can digitally track labor data to facilitate compliance-related issues.

Considering all the moving parts on a jobsite— varying clearance levels, contractor work and even nefarious activity (to name a few) — there are numerous threats to security. Unauthorized access can have far-reaching legal implications. Contractors, safety managers and even the client who hired the construction company could all be liable in the event of an unauthorized jobsite entry.

Seizing the Opportunities that Come with Automation

There’s no doubt that monitoring the credentials and ingress/egress of workers is important, but managing this process doesn’t have to be time consuming or overly complicated. From small to large projects including office buildings, airports, data centers, hospitals and casinos, construction executives are leveraging solutions that combine automated access control with worker data and pave the way to improved productivity, compliance and health and safety automation across the industry. 

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