Guest Contributor: Jim Welsh, Payroll4Construction.com
As construction sites begin to open across the country, worker safety will continue to be at the forefront of discussions. While it can be useful to rely on expert predictions for what’s to come, the truth is that nobody knows exactly what a “typical jobsite” — if there ever was such a thing — will look like over the next few months. But as the old saying goes, it’s always wise to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
As a contractor, taking steps to incorporate reasonable measures of appropriate distancing, as well as limiting unnecessary face-to-face interactions, will become increasingly important to ensure workers’ safety — at least for the time being. One way to accomplish this while also benefiting office efficiency is to make use of available mobile technology.
Limited Interaction, Increased Communication
As jobsites begin to see an uptick in activity, it’s likely that they’ll also carry increased regulations in regard to worker safety, whether implemented by the business, the government or the project owner. If the past few months are any indication, the bulk of these regulations will likely come in the form of increased protective wear and personal distancing. While mobile software won’t help to address the first issue, it can help with the second if it’s used correctly.
The first way technology and mobile apps can help with worker safety is by allowing for appropriate distancing between teams, particularly between the teams in the field and at the office. And while distancing can help keep workers safe, it’s crucial that these teams not lose much-needed communication. By putting the correct tools in place, effective communication can even increase throughout the office, regardless of how close in proximity they are.
For instance, with access to the right mobile technology and apps, workers from the field and the office can quickly exchange more accurate data. Using applications like those built for entering timecards from a mobile device, a supervisor out in the field can enter and approve each employee’s hours and sync them directly back to the office. Beyond the convenience for the payroll clerk to not have to reenter all of this information for employees to get paid, syncing data directly from the field also removes the need to transfer physical documents to the office in-person. This keeps any necessary distancing in place while ensuring that accurately detailed information transfers from jobsite to office.
Distanced Work, Remote Access
Mobile technology can also be used to gather necessary project information while helping to limit access to the worksite. Integrating drone imagery with 3D BIM imagery software, for example, can help provide project managers and architects with interactive images and data rendered from the site without the need for a physical visit, making the site a more contained environment for workers in the field. With remote access to this data, necessary team members can quickly get the information they need without needing to physically canvass the worksite or risk increased exposure for all workers involved.
Similarly, with remote access to tools like project management software, PMs can compile and sign off on digital documents — like RFIs or change orders — no matter where they are. As a result, PMs can abide by any recommended distancing policies, while work orders still get fulfilled and jobs progress.
While some site visits will remain unavoidable, providing team members with access to necessary data from anywhere will keep projects moving efficiently while creating a safer work environment for workers by decreasing the amount of foot traffic on the jobsite.
Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer as to how jobsites will look over the next few months. Making sure work is done efficiently is important but keeping workers safe throughout the job is the most critical. While mobile tools won’t solve every problem, when they’re incorporated correctly, they can help to minimize employee exposure while increasing office communication.
Payroll4Construction.com delivers construction-specific payroll features, like processing multiple states, rates and trades on a single timecard, and automated reports — including electronic and print certified payroll — with standard payroll processing. Together with a mobile app and integrations with popular accounting software, Payroll4Construction.com has the tools to help contractors save time in the office or field. To see how Payroll4Construction.com can help your business, visit us at Payroll4Construction.com or call (800) 949-9620.
Jim Welsh started at Payroll4Construction.com in 2010, bringing with him both industry experience as a mason and sales knowledge as an insurance agent. As a national sales representative for Payroll4Construction.com, Jim works with contractors to fully explain the benefits of outsourcing their payroll and how a construction-specific provider, like Payroll4Construction.com, can easily handle their processing, taxes and reporting tasks.
Phone: (800) 949-9620