If you use a construction camera, you probably accomplish a lot of different things with it. Depending on your camera system and your project goals, you might benefit from enhanced marketing and communication with key constituents, the ability for project managers to track multiple projects remotely, and improved efficiency of the build and overall project. But what about job site safety?
The construction site is among the most hazardous workplaces, where workers are at risk of falls, accidents involving machinery and heavy equipment, electrocution, and other hazards. Most of these risks can be minimized when everyone involved in a project – from the trades and general contractors to owners and suppliers – adheres to safety protocols.
OSHA increases penalties
OSHA has made sure safety is top of mind for the construction industry with its first fine increase for safety violations since 1990. Effective August 1, 2016, penalties increased 78 percent, making anything from serious job site safety shortcomings to failure to meet posting requirements a violation that incurs a penalty of up to nearly $12,500 per violation. A repeated violation can come with a fine of ten times that amount. In states that operate their own Occupational Safety programs, penalties can be in excess of OSHA’s.
Using construction cameras to make job sites safer
Construction cameras can contribute to job site safety the same way they contribute to the quality and efficiency of the build.
- The Observer Effect: Researchers in biology, physics, and psychology know full well that the simple act of observing someone or something changes the behavior of whatever is being observed. On the job site that change can be for the better. The presence of a construction camera, coupled with clear communication about safety regulations and practices, can increase workers’ compliance.
- Just-in-Time Delivery: Regular project monitoring via a construction camera enables planners to schedule delivery of materials according to the pace of the project, reducing the time they’re sitting at the job site and the risk of damage. This not only protects materials – it protects workers too by having a safer, neater job site.
- Prevention and Correction of Mistakes: With so many eyes on the project, quality issues that can result in costly errors get noticed and corrected quickly. The same can be applied to safety issues. Project owners and site superintendents, for example, can check in on the job site anytime to look for correctible hazards.
Protecting workers from injury and project owners from penalties may not be the primary driver behind the development of construction webcam systems or of the decision to use them on projects. But the constant, anytime job site visibility they afford makes monitoring the job site for safety – as well as for quality and efficiency – a natural, value-added application.