Safety is a top priority in all workplaces but rarely more so than in non-office spaces.
These work environments are traditionally within the construction industry and this means there’s an enormous number of things that could create an unsafe workplace.
Heavy duty machinery, sparks flying from equipment and working at precarious heights are just three examples of hazardous situations your workers could find themselves in.
We’ve highlighted three examples of tech that have (and are having) a positive impact on the non-office spaces that are a feature of the construction industry.
VR leads to safer training for heavy duty equipment
VR isn’t a new technology. The U.S. military began using computer tech in its flight simulators during the 1980s to train pilots how to deal with combat situations without placing inexperienced personnel into real-life battle situations.
VR is now a permanent feature of military flight simulators and the technology has extended to jeeps, ships, submarines and tanks. And while the visualizations it provides doesn’t replace traditional vehicle familiarisation, VR is a great support tool that makes for safer training programmes.
This approach is also being used to help non-office workers in the construction industry learn how to use heavy equipment and heavy duty vehicles.
Online VR safety programmes introduce construction workers to the equipment they’ll be using. They show them how the machines work and the role employees play in making them operate. The employees receive a certificate at the end of the course to demonstrate that they have the skills and knowledge to use the equipment in real life.
This is safer because it means people don’t risk having an accident while they’re getting used to how heavy machinery works.
So, how has VR impacted the safety of non-office workplaces?
VR has given people a way of learning some of the key requirements of heavy duty machinery without having to physically get behind the wheel. This means that when they do come to drive these vehicles they’re prepared for them, reducing the risk of mistakes being made, accidents happening and people’s lives being put at risk.
Tracking software helps promote safer driving
Being watched, followed or tracked is something people have been interested in for centuries. As long ago as the 1st century, people were employing the most up-to-date technology at their disposal (ladles made of lodestone) to track their location and use this information to help them take the best journeys.
The ladles rested on a flat surface and used magnetics to point south, helping people to track their position and make sure their journey stayed on course.
Today we have much more advanced tracking tech than a ladle and it doesn’t just help non-office workplaces map their journeys. It also gives them the data they need to promote safer driving in the workers who are making these journeys.
They get these features from fuel card telematics, technology that records data on driving behaviour. The key behaviours recorded are how harshly people brake, how quickly they take corners and how erratically they drive. They show fleet and transport company managers all this information by producing online reports that highlight each of these data points. The managers can then use this to score their drivers.
This leads to safer driving because a company rep can say to their drivers that they need to brake less intensely (harsh braking is one of the biggest causes of accidents), take corners more gently or drive more consistently.
So, how has tracking tech impacted the safety of non-office workplaces?
Tracking tech has provided managers with the data they need to make their employees safer drivers. They can review how their employees are driving their vehicles and highlight if they’re braking too harshly or speeding. This means that when they next take to the road they’ll be more responsible drivers, reducing the chance of them causing an accident that not only harms themselves but other road users too.
Incident reporting apps allow you to log accidents
For people of a certain age, apps aren’t a new thing. Indeed, if you had a Nokia 6110 then you’ll know that the phone came with Snake, a game some people consider to be the first mobile app.
We won’t make any false claims about Snake having any safety benefits. Indeed, it could be said that the game promoted unsafe behaviours, as it was a distraction that took their attention away from things they should have been focussed on. However, modern apps do help to lead to safer conduct at non-office workplaces, particularly incident reporting apps.
Using incident reporting apps allow your workers to log incidents, accidents and near-misses in a matter of seconds. The technology works in a fairly straightforward way. Your employees note an unsafe practice and then report on it using their app. The information is then logged and your company can take the necessary steps required to remedy the situation, conducting investigations and then implementing their recommendations.
This makes for a safer work environment because it allows your company to highlight unsafe non-office workplaces (such as construction sites) and then make them safe.
So, how have incident reporting apps impacted the safety of non-office workplaces?
Incident reporting apps have given site managers a way of getting a live feed of the status of their outdoor work environments, allowing them to see precisely what needs to be done to address any safety issues. This reduces the risk of an incident happening at all because issues are tackled before they can get to the stage where it endangers people.
VR, tracking software and incident reporting apps are great examples of how tech has impacted the safety of non-office workplaces in a positive way.
While it’s not a given that all of the examples we’ve listed will be relevant to your company, we’re certain at least one of them will be.
So, take a deeper look at the suggestions we’ve made and then introduce those that are appropriate to your business at the earliest opportunity.