This week marks Construction Safety Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness of the construction industry’s commitment to worker safety and its dedication to a shared culture of care and concern. With Workers' Memorial Day last Friday and the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction next week (May 8-12), safety is top of mind for construction fleets across the country.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,836 people died in workplace incidents in 2015, and one in five of those deaths were in construction. The stats are sobering, and have prompted other groups to conduct their own studies and surveys on safety in the industry. The Associated General Contractors of America recently released the results of a three-year study of construction fatalities from 2010 to 2012, which found:
- 33% of construction fatalities are fall-related and most construction fatalities occur in the South and in the summer months
- 47% of fatalities occur in small businesses
- Accidents are most likely to happen at noon (lunch hour)
The National Safety Council just released a survey, “Employee Perceptions of Workplace Safety,” which found:
- 58% of Americans working in construction feel that safety takes a back seat to productivity and completing job tasks
- 51% say management does only the minimum required by law to keep employees safe
- 47% say employees are afraid to report safety issues
The stats above are not meant to shed a dismal view on the industry. Instead, they prompt a discussion on the need to invest in new methods and technologies to reduce accidents on the job site and on the road, as construction is an inherently risky business. Many fleets are using telematics to improve safety – and here are three common ways they’re doing so.
1. Tracking Assets
GPS fleet tracking tools provide insight into where every worker is, at what speed they’re traveling and any accidents that may occur. This information is relayed directly to managers, who are alerted if a vehicle is not where it should be at any given time – suggesting an employee may be in danger.
It’s no easy task to operate/drive on-road or off-road vehicles, and telematics can help. In-cab cameras capture and play back unsafe behavior to aid in training programs and real-time feeds allow mangers to course-correct poor performance in real-time. Audio alerts are sent directly to a driver/operator’s phone, tablet or GPS navigation tool, delivering instant feedback and preventing a potential accident.
GPS fleet management solutions automate inspection forms for vehicles and alert managers when an asset may be in need of repair. Not only does this save fleets from costly and unexpected issues, it also protects workers and the public from faulty machinery.
Fleets don’t need to sacrifice productivity for safety – with telematics, they can support and improve both. As Construction Safety Weeks comes and goes, everyone in the industry should take the time to pause and consider how they can go above and beyond to protect the safety and wellbeing of their employees, customers and the public. And they should do so year-round.
To learn more about the benefits of GPS fleet tracking software, visit: Fleet Management Software