Feb 14, 2022 11:25:28 AM

The Role of Field Data in Improving Safety

Pick any construction company around the globe and ask them what their goals are. Without a doubt, their answer will be:

“To Improve Safety.”

It’s been a focus for the industry for a long time, where - we now have entire HSEQ divisions dedicated to minimising risks.

Over the last five years, HSEQ teams have spent a large portion of their time integrating technology to improve safety & compliance processes.

Here we have seen the digitisation of Inductions, SWMS, Permits, and even Hazard & Incident Reporting.

As a by-product, companies have been collecting vast quantities of field data. So how can we put it to good use?

Project Team Using Tablet on Site (Large W1200px)

At SignOnSite’s data event in 2021, we brought together Safety Leaders who discussed using data to improve safety.

Time and time again, the group talked about using data to predict the risk indicators in their workforce.

They had a desire to answer questions such as:

  • Are workers more susceptible to fatigue when travelling long distances to get to site?
  • Are workers aged 17-25 more vulnerable to injury than those aged 25-50?
  • Are workers more susceptible to injuries when they have experienced an injury in the past?

By understanding field data, companies understand risks and thus, develop more effective safety programs.

One HSEQ Manager talked about the correlation between fatigue and injury rates.

They used postcode data (collected in the Induction process) to discover that workers travelling long distances were more susceptible to fatigue and injury.

By understanding this, the company was able to implement more effective safety measures, including:

  • Hiring a high proportion of local subcontractors
  • Delivering training programs on managing fatigue, and;
  • Ensure workers took appropriate breaks

Other risk factors that the company identified included:

  • Working long hours, night shifts, or going a long period without breaks
  • Performing physical work
  • Not enough sleep or a poor quality sleep
  • Working in hot or loud environments
  • Medication or medical conditions

The role of field data is becoming increasingly important to improve safety. It is used to; demonstrate competitive advantage when submitting government tender, prove compliance through ISO accreditation and even; provide evidence of the effectiveness of your safety controls to auditors.

By digitising field processes like Inductions, SWMS, and Permits, companies can now access highly accurate workforce data to improve their safety and business operations across their sites.