With construction Safety Week 2018 upon us, and the winter ski season coming to a close, I find myself thinking about my love of skiing and how it relates to our mission at Triax Technologies. Our mission is to lead construction’s transformation through intelligent, innovative technology and real-time data to make projects safer, better, and faster.
The Importance of Communication & Technology on the Jobsite
At Triax, we know that safe environments depend on each of us – no matter where we are or what level of an organization we’re at – and acting safely is in the best interest of everyone. Strong communication and technology play a critical role in accomplishing this, whether I’m on the jobsite or exploring my passion for backcountry skiing.
Backcountry skiing, like construction, is an inherently hazardous activity in a changing, physical environment. Like construction, there are so many factors that need to be analyzed and assessed in real-time to be sure that you remain safe. What is the state of the snowpack stability? Are there any persistent layers? What direction were the winds blowing last night? Was there any new precipitation? What are the temperatures? The list is endless and correlates to the constantly evolving jobsite with new workers, more equipment, material deliveries and so on.
This is where strong communication comes into play. When I am out in the mountains, there is a constant dialogue both with myself and my ski partners. We approach route finding and snowpack assessment as a collaborative effort; We look out for each other and use technology such as radios and avalanche beacons to identify and communicate hazards to each other. It is this constant vigilance, communication, and concern for myself and each other that helps us travel safely, synthesize all the information available to us to make smart decisions, and return to the trailhead at night safely.
Creating a Safer Work Environment
Construction projects, large and small, are no different, and what’s more, technology plays a tremendous role in creating safer jobsites. With transient workforces, loud noises, and different tasks at hands, there has to be a way to easily communicate with each other without relying on cell phones, emails, or in-person updates. Having the ability to identify and notify of site hazards, for example, helps keep the entire workforce safe and notified in a timely manner. It can also help prevent – or investigate – any near-misses. In the backcountry, an “almost accident” doesn’t mean our practices are so sound we strategically avoided an incident rather that we were lucky. We take those occurrences as an opportunity to reflect on what we’re doing well and what we could improve.
Safety Technology that Allows a Birds-Eye View of the Jobsite
Further, with comprehensive jobsite visibility, including a birds-eye view of worker headcounts and location by floor and zone, the workforce can now be accounted for should an emergency or injury occur at the jobsite. Technology is an ally when it comes to construction safety, giving workers a partner to report or learn about issues and supers an extra set of eyes to know of potential safety incidents.
We choose safety because it allows us to return home to our loved ones to enjoy another day and to give everyone around us an opportunity to do the same. For Safety Week 2018, I challenge everyone to think about past experiences where safe choices – large or small – made you stronger and safer. Think about situations where communication could have been improved, facilitating better choices and decision-making. After all, safety doesn’t happen by accident.