Why do we need HazardZone Access Control?

Date:
28.10.2021
By:
Matt Young
Topic:
HazardZone
Safety
Technology

We all know costs can spiral out of control in a construction project.

One week you have a lone worker who has fallen down an embankment causing a severe injury to both legs, pushing you back days with hours spent reporting, recording and trying to influence change, oh and don’t forget the time it takes for our people to get back up to speed when they return to work.

The next week one of the team hits a known buried service. Not only have you got to repair or replace, costing you valuable productive time, but you have unknowingly knocked out the whole internet connection for the residential area, requiring you to pay massive fines to the telecoms operator and the local authority. Wow, these costs are really starting to add up.

Costs can spiral out of control in a construction project.

In the third week of the month, everything goes to plan! No accidents or incidents on site. Phew! But how do we know we are getting the most out of our people? Where have they been? What has progressed? More importantly, how can we increase our productive time and claw back some of those lost hours and days?

The fourth week of the month someone is hit by a piece of heavy plant machinery. They are rushed to hospital with a crushed arm, broken ribs and in immense pain. They didn’t have the right role or qualification to be working in close proximity to the excavator, but who really cares about that right? So now we have all the issues we had before with a severe injury on site; the down time, the incident reporting time, the time taken to report the incident to HSE. But now we have the risk of a legal case. The typical insurance claim is £30,000, and that’s for an accident with low severity! These costs could spiral out of control, eating the margin day by day.

The typical insurance claim is £30,000.

But what if there was a way we could digitize hazards on site, to reduce that risk of human error? A way that we could restrict access to certain places based on their role, responsibility, and purpose, in the aim to reduce the impact of people and plant?

That’s why we created the PLINX HazardZone Access Control system.

HazardZone Access Control is the way of restricting the wrong people and plant from dangerous places. That could be controlling people/plant interactions, or protecting places (think underground utilities/residential buildings/ecology zones etc) from the impact of machines, or even keeping people safe from people (anyone remember the pandemic?!).

HazardZone Access Control is the way of restricting the wrong people and plant from dangerous places.

But why would a construction company need a HazardZone Access Control system, and where is the value?

Let’s look at our month on the typical construction site.

Week one we had a severe accident on site to a lone worker, who fell down an embankment. We spent hours investigating the cause and trying to make the site safe again. We forgot to mention this person had been isolated without contact to the site support teams for over 30 minutes before they had managed to get help. What about in the future we could create a HazardZone around the embankment, ensuring that the wrong people are kept out of the dangerous environment? We could use TeamTags and the Affect Platform to alert workers in real time of the hazard, monitor their movements in and around the zone, and if something does go wrong, we are able to react in immediately when the SOS pull tag on the TeamTag is activated.

We’ve now significantly decreased the risk of injury, and if something does go wrong, we are able to react immediately, saving us time and money.

Significantly decrease the risk of injury. We are able to react immediately, saving us time and money.

Week two we hit a utilities cable. We knew about this fibre optic cable, in fact we had laid it 2 years before! We had a massive fine from the local authority. What about in the future we create a HazardZone around the buried service area? We could use a series of HazardTags or within the Affect Platform, ensuring that people and plant are alerted when they enter into the red zone.

We’ve now alerted our teams of the hazard before they dig. All of a sudden the mind set has shifted. We aren’t digging here today. That fine from the local authority is now non-existent, the overrun cost has gone and we are able to continue with the project, coming in on time and on budget.

Week three we had a good week. But how do we know? We didn’t have any incidents or site, but have we optimized the flow of work, understood some of the risks on site and have a robust audit trail to make sure we have the right people and plant in the right place? We could use a series of MachineTags and TeamTags to monitor our productivity on sites, tracing the flow of people to ensure that we aren’t wasting time and effort.

Proactively use data to create smarter and safer decision, increase the ability for better planning and reducing the potential for incidents.

We’ve now got a productive team who understand the risks on site, but are proactively using the data to create smarter and safer decision, increase the ability for better planning and reducing the potential for incidents.

Week four we have an excavator crushed the arm of an untrained operative working in close proximity to the machine. What about a future where we create a HazardZone around the machine? We could use a series of MachineTag, TeamTag and the Affect Platform, ensuring only the people with the correct role or purpose are working in close proximity to the machine. We can give a Thumbs Up to allow the team to work near to the machine, reducing that potential insurance claim and making sure that our people go home safe.

The costs of accidents, insurance claims, quality issues, rework and overruns can be staggering. By implementing a HazardZone Access Control system, a large amount of these costs can be reduced or removed. The return on investment argument is simple, and proven.

The return on investment argument is simple, and proven.

We speak about a future where these incidents could be reduced or eliminated. What if that future was now? A system that can provide an alert warning alert, to individual people and plant based on their experiences. A system that can monitor the movement of people and plant in real time. A system that harvests data that can drive continuous improvements.

Human error will always be an issue on construction sites. But by implementing a HazardZone Access Control system, the risk can be lowered by digitalizing hazards, creating early warning systems, and making sure the wrong people and plant are kept away from the wrong places.