Intelex Experts Examine How the Construction Industry Is Flexing its Technology Muscle

The construction industry has been engaging more and more in technology solutions for challenges such as regulatory compliance, safety analytics, training tracking and more. Join our panel of experts for our latest Expert Connect session, “Construction Builds Technology Muscle” on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, from 10am-10:45am EDT

Chuck Pettinger, Ph.D., Process Change Leader – Implementation for Predictive Solutions Corp., will be our moderator. Chuck has over 30 years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating culture step-change initiatives. His major interests include developing large-scale corporate behavior change initiatives, assessing industrial safety cultures, using advanced predictive analytics to develop leading indicators and conducting organizational leadership workshops.

Chuck will guide our experts through a discussion about some of the technologies being used by world-class companies in the construction industry to protect workers and the business. Existing challenges like compliance and safety have been compounded by new challenges brought about by economic slowdowns caused by the pandemic, and our experts and audience will talk about solutions and trends surfacing in the construction industry.

Intelex: Why is the topic of interest to you and why is it important to EHSQ professionals and Expert Connect attendees?

Chuck: Construction GC/CMs have dynamic data collection needs. They have short and long-term projects that may last a few hours to a few years. Their data collection solutions need to be flexible and easily configurable to meet the demands of ever-changing obstacles and job hazards. SMS that are too complex, hard to configure and require programming expertise will never be used.

Making the data easy to collect via mobile devices with automated reporting for weekly meetings have the biggest impact on keeping contractor partners safe. Any SMS can provide an abundance of information; the challenge is developing an easily sustainable data use strategy to drive the value of the information from the project team down to the craft workers.

Intelex: What are the takeaways you hope to leave with attendees?

Chuck: Strategies on how the project team can use their data analytics to identify gaps in their processes and systems, and a sustainable method for tracking and closing out issues.   

Intelex: Please share an example of a personal or professional experience you’ve had related to EHSQ leadership or the topic of the session.

Chuck: Construction managers are challenged by many variables due to the different nature of the projects, the phase of the projects and even weather, which can impact safety, quality and scheduling. Many construction projects collect safety data but fail to use their valuable observation intelligence. If the project managers, superintendents and safety professionals see no value in the data collected, the information will be “pencil-whipped” and ultimately ignored. Developing a “data-use-plan” can help bring value to the safety analytics gathered, and drive craft and contractor engagement.

When working with construction clients, I always create a process where they share their safety analytics at their weekly project team meetings. This data-use-plan has two sections: The “week-look-back,” and the “week-look-ahead.” The week-look-back is a review of critical safety data from lagging indicators (incidents and first aid cases) to leading indicators like safety inspection and audits. This helps the team identify potential gaps and develop action plans. The next phase, the week-look-ahead, narrows the focus on what was identified in the week-look-back and also helps the team think about potential hazards based on the upcoming activities and unique jobs like a deep excavations or heavy technical lifts.

This helps drive home “why” the team is collecting all the safety data and drives home the value. Furthermore, with safety information getting more detailed attention, the quality of the data also increases, allowing better planning and action plans to eliminate death on the job.

Intelex: What do you think are some of the most pressing EHSQ/supplier management/risk management/sustainability issues facing corporate leaders and safety professionals in the construction industry in 2021 and beyond?

Chuck: Keeping ahead of the technology advances like IOT and video/audio real-times analysis. There will be more data collected than ever before and without a process for assimilating that critical life-saving information, it will be not used, misused, or worse yet, ignored.

For more information on Expert Connect, including registration, click here.

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