Safety Management

The Role of Construction Safety Software in Risk Assessment

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Caitlin Liboiron
5 min read
May 4, 2022

Of course, all industries incur some kind of risk within their operations. That’s the nature of business and, well, living. However, these risks are exponentially greater in the construction industry. This is because of the sheer number of variables requiring proper risk assessment and management. From the physical building, machinery, and weather, to timelines, approvals, and budget predictions, danger can arise from the very onset of the project until the last coat of paint dries.

Using new digital technologies in risk assessment can be a game-changer for construction companies and the workers they are responsible for keeping safe. This guide explores the functions and advantages of implementing construction safety software.

Better Hazard Identification

Construction safety software significantly improves the identification and management of hazards. It performs more accurate risk assessments and automates important processes related to each stage of hazard identification, assessment, and management.

Since construction sites range vastly by location and type of work, site-specific reviews are necessary for hazard assessment. For example, an urban construction site will present different hazards compared to an oceanside or suburban worksite. Site-specific hazard professionals identify and analyze onsite hazards, which are mitigated by public safety plans/directives.

Construction safety software organizes and condenses data to help you gain a global perspective, while also being able to focus on on-site specifics. This enables you to examine each significant hazard and implement ways to prevent them from becoming active dangers.

Since safety managers can only be in one place at a time, these [safety software] systems prevent details from slipping through the cracks.

Although time-consuming, it’s essential to document every construction accident. This is key to establishing an effective EHS (environment, health, and safety) solution. Safety software works to optimize and automate this process.

Construction safety software allows you to easily identify repeat incidences and problem areas. Keeping all the information in a central hub with automated summaries/analyses allows you to develop tailored solutions. It also assists managers in determining whether OSHA policies are being followed, ensuring compliance, and streamlining procedures.

Digital documentation of incidents, automated analysis, and accurate insights provides concrete evidence and improves accountability for safety management and adherence. Since safety managers can only be in one place at a time, these systems prevent details from slipping through the cracks.

Cloud-Based Technology: Making Information Easily Accessible

Cloud-based technologies make documents and information accessible anytime from anywhere. Construction companies can use this to store and access compliance documentation, contract management, supplier bids, project management, reports, budgets, safety incidence records, and schedules. Changes can be made at any time and accessed remotely.

Having a single access-controlled hub of information ensures that there is no discrepancy in data. It streamlines communication and ensures all parties are on the same page.

Real-time, on-demand access to required documents leads to increased productivity. This is because decisions can be made faster and smarter based on hard data, therefore reducing risks. Access to information is granted through permission controls and multi-factor authentication, ensuring access by authorized personnel only.

In addition, cloud storage eliminates the risk of data loss through misplacement, fires, water damage—and a million other factors outside of your control—keeping your projects on schedule.

Automation, AI, and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are reducing construction accidents, theft, and vandalism while minimizing hazardous operating conditions. The integration of AI and automation also saves contractors money by predicting costly mishaps and workplace risks.

This technology uses a combination of 24/7 video feeds, thermal and night vision cameras, machine monitoring data, and sensors to obtain a 360-degree view of remote site operations. These systems work in tandem to gain predictive insights, contextual intelligence surrounding threats, and to identify machinery problems.

AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are allowing the construction sector to move away from inherently flawed, human-conducted checklists and screening procedures to automated versions. Additionally, RPA interprets and sends automatic, real-time alerts from video data analysis.

Manual monitoring approaches result in valuable data often being overlooked. With AI technologies, predictive models are fine-tuned, discovering and analyzing data from real-time video feeds. This is used to construct patterns and easily spot random events, changes in activity, behaviors, patterns, and irregular site visitors. Alerts directly to local law enforcement can be configured for active burglary detection.

An important way in which AI improves risk analysis and management is by identifying machinery and equipment that require preventative maintenance. Real-time machine monitoring (with thermal and night-vision cameras) identifies repair, maintenance, or overhaul requirements based on elevated operating temperatures/other factors. Preventing machinery breakdown not only saves money but can prevent excessive delays and safety incidents.

Streamlining The Risk Management Process

The risk management process is ongoing. It requires potential risk identification throughout every stage of construction, making modifications, recording observations and incidences, and reporting them. Construction safety software streamlines the process, reducing risk throughout the project life cycle and ensuring schedules remain on track.

The software creates a one-stop-shop for identified risks and mitigation plans—which saves time on data requests, analysis, and reports. With a risk dashboard and automated reporting, safety managers can immediately access and share risk management reports. These reports come with a detailed view of each risk, the assessment data, triggers, and mitigation plans. Some tools provide a risk heat map for an overview of overall project risks.

Actions that need to be taken can also be outlined with specific staff or vendors assigned to risk management tasks.

Choose the Right Tool for the Best Risk Management

The right software for risk assessment should assist your team in running construction projects with increased safety and efficiency, reduced setbacks, and on-time project delivery. Construction safety software improves the risk assessment capabilities of a contractor, which can lead to significant cost savings and overall improved success.

Salus offers a fully streamlined tool to manage your entire construction portfolio—from risk management and compliance documentation to schedules, real-time data sharing, and budgets. Request a demo today to discover how Salus can elevate your company’s internal communication, automate repetitive manual tasks, and reduce errors, costs, and delays—all while making projects safer for everyone.

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