The Tech to Stay in Touch is at Your Fingertips
Construction has traditionally been a sector slow to embrace technology. The 21st century is changing all that with great advances like onsite robots, drones, and mobile technology. Onsite communication will also benefit, here’s how.
The march of technology has really helped construction make strides in recent years. Here at Triple E, we love to keep an eye on our industry’s evolution. We’ve looked at how microchips, drones, and prefabs are changing the game in our previous blog, as well as the incredible construction robots getting ready to work with humans.
Co-operation is essential in our business, but it’s hard to argue against communication being the most important factor on any construction site. “What about safety?” you might ask. Without effective communication, there’s no hope for real safety or co-operation. Crucial instructions and vital information are misinterpreted or missed altogether when communications break down. Thankfully, technology is tackling this problem and making sites safer and more efficient.
The barriers to communication on a construction site
A building site is typically a noisy place. Jackhammers, drills, and diesel engines contribute to a chaotic soundscape with team members yelling and waving their arms to communicate. Sites are open to the elements too, so high winds, heavy rains, and exterior urban noise can also form barriers to effective communication. Even the best walky-talkies can face an uphill battle.
There are a lot of different types of workers on a site, too: laborers, suppliers, architects, and contractors. They may all be working on the same project, but differing roles mean they don’t always speak the same language (sometimes this is literally true). This excellent study on the professional/personal impact of poor communication highlights that it can lead to damaging conflict between upper management and workmen; the kind of resentment between colleagues that’s just as toxic as any fume or diesel spill.
The solutions for the modern site
Speed, reliability, and the visual element are the right combination to improve communication. Spoken messages can be misheard or misremembered and may take their time reaching the right ears. Mobile apps are the perfect way to reach everyone in real-time onsite or farther afield. Here are some examples on the market now:
- Field lens – This impressive app really understands how hectic a site can be. They offer unlimited video and audio recordings, which go a long way in collaborating with OSHA standards of compliance and safety. Plans can be circulated between team members who can all add comments for everyone to see, or visibility can be limited to only those who need to know that information. There’s also a valuable off-line capability (no need to worry about bad Wi-Fi) and a weather feature to keep track of how the elements might affect your build.
- E-Builder – Designed for construction managers, foremen, and owners, this app offers greater collaborative options that promise to cut site costs by 4%. Cross-platform access, job and labor forecasts, and real-time reporting all help to stay in touch and be more productive.
- Grid – Another communications app that offers plenty of instantly synced features. Field reports, punch lists, smart sheets, and more are automatically hyperlinked to all team members to keep everyone up to date and on the same page. Plan Grid has a huge number of projects under its belt from the industrial to the commercial. The photos and videos draw attention to problem areas and let your team know what needs to be addressed and where.
How battery-powered equipment improves communication
As we mentioned earlier, the sheer operating noise of a building site can hamper communications and threaten worker safety (especially their hearing as we studied in our earlier blog). Sound waves can be classed as harmful emissions just as much as toxic fumes or spills. That’s why investing in battery-powered construction equipment is such a smart choice. An option like the mini skid steer is a perfect way to start.
Our Sherpa models offer even more choice in the form of the 100 ECO and the EHD. These two battery-powered vehicles offer the same quiet, yet powerful performance. Don’t let poor communication cost you in worker safety, time, and productivity. Triple E Equipment is here to empower your site with tomorrow’s equipment, today.
We offer eco-friendly machinery that will make you more competitive and save you a fortune over time. To learn more about us, get in touch at 954-978-3440 or complete our contact form.