Embrace digital technology to improve site safety: that was Laing O’Rourke’s message during the Global Construction Summit.
Speaking on the first day of the Summit (22 February), Laing O’Rourke head of health and safety Europe, George Mosey, said it was increasingly important that construction workers are digitally literate, as new technologies are introduced.
“Large numbers of people in the industry still don’t know how to use the tools and that is not their fault – it is the industry’s collective failure,” said Mosey. “Not long from now, everyone will need to be a digital native and will need to be able to use the digital model to a degree at least.
“All of the 20-year-olds that are coming out of university or schools now can do this and they really enjoy it. I would just ask everyone else to have some fun with it and not to be scared of it.”
“Large numbers of people in the industry still don’t know how to use the tools and that is not their fault – it is the industry’s collective failure.”
He added: “From a Laing O’Rourke perspective, we are at our worst when we are not using the digital tools that we have at our disposal. We do enjoy the ability to identify and thereafter mitigate risk. Building once digitally and then the second time physically, it has become a bit of an old adage, but it is so true.
“When we are trying to communicate our work plans to the external stakeholders, the operatives involved, or any other third parties that might be interested, we just have a better experience when we have got the tools.”
Safety information and ISO 19650-6
Mosey was joined in the Summit webinar by Steve Coppin, chair of the Chartered Institute Of Building’s health, safety and wellbeing group, and Robert Norton, UK senior account manager at PlanRadar, to discuss driving safety performance improvements in construction.
Coppin introduced new draft guidance for clients on how to integrate health and safety within the Project Information Requirements. He presented a client’s maturity matrix for improving the management of health and safety information, as they transition from PAS 1192-6:2018 to ISO 19650-6.
“We want to help clients and their project teams to utilise digital to land and embed health and safety within their projects for their assets and our industry.”
The guidance document aims to help clients to know what is expected of them and where to get assistance to manage information correctly to reduce risks, deliver the desired outcome to meet their needs and those of their organisation and assets, as well as comply with the law.
Coppin said: “We want to help clients and their project teams to utilise digital to land and embed health and safety within their projects for their assets and our industry.”
The UK BIM Framework will host the draft guidance.
Technology’s role in the golden thread
Finally, Robert Norton presented Plan Radar’s end-to-end solution, which provides a central source of information on construction projects through the design phases.
The platform allows construction and real estate teams to collaborate and connect across a range of different devices, creating tickets using mobile devices on site with photos, text and voice memos, which can be assigned directly to the responsible person.
Norton said the platform could play an important role in helping the government in its ambition for projects to curate a “golden thread” of information. With the Building Safety Bill continuing to progress through Parliament, Norton said: “The PlanRadar platform has the features and capabilities to capture information in an easy format that anyone can start picking up and using from start to finish.”
He added: “When it comes to things like fire inspections, we have ‘stop and no-go’s’ in the platform so that people can’t continue to the next level until that initial quality assurance has happened and been captured.”
The Global Construction Summit is organised by the Chartered Institute of Building and Global Construction Review, in association with Glodon, PlanRadar and Trimble Viewpoint.
If you missed the webinar, you can register to watch it on demand.