Bewley Homes’ Andrew Brooks and UK Connect’s PJ Farr

News

Wristbands ensure social distancing on housebuilders’ Reading site

9 June 2020

Construction workers on a housebuilding site have successfully trialled a high-tech wristband to help them practice social distancing.

The device has been developed by One.site, a construction H&S software provider launched in May 2020 which has been testing the device with Bewley Homes at its Arborfield development near Reading, Berkshire.

The device helps workers social distance and comply with site protocol on busy sites. The wristband contains and an ultra-sensitive sensor, which emits a low vibration when it comes within a 2m proximity with another wristband, reminding those wearing them to stay apart.

The first tests have been successful, and Bewley Homes is expecting to roll out the wristbands across all its construction sites later in June.

Over the past three months, Bewley Homes explored a number of tech-driven ways to protect its workforce against contracting Covid-19. Teaming up with One.site, part of UK Connect, the company is also rolling out a number of measures including remote induction and contactless sign in when it reopens its sites this month.

Andrew Brooks, managing director of Bewley Homes, explained: “The social distancing wristbands will be a very useful tool in addition to the other important measures we are bringing in when we re-open our sites in June.”

Brooks added: “Nearly every aspect of life has changed, if not forever, certainly for the next few months. Construction sites are no different and how we work on site has moved on. Putting the onus on our subcontractors to meet the new health and safety requirements is not enough. We need to put easily implemented measures in place to ensure a productive and safe day’s work.

“The challenge is about changing habits of workers on the construction site, which have been ingrained over many years. Unless the message is continually reinforced, human nature takes over and people will gravitate back to how they have always behaved. So, we are introducing these wristbands to help keep social distancing protocols.

He continued: “It was imperative we didn’t infringe on people’s privacy, so the technology doesn’t track and trace workers movements. It’s there as a reminder for workers to keep their distance. It’s worked incredibly well and we are very pleased with the trial so far. The next step, this month, will be to roll out the wristbands across all our sites.”

PJ Farr, managing director at UK Connect, said: “We have already worked successfully with Bewley Homes, through One.site, to roll out digital inductions and contactless sign-ins across its developments, getting them ready for operations to resume this month. We’ve now gone a step further, trailing our new proprietary PPE technology – a digital wristband which will aid and encourage social distancing.”

Farr claims that the wristbands retails at a 90% lower price point than other similar devices.

The wristbands are the latest addition to a portfolio of health and safety solutions offered by One.site, which includes offsite induction solutions and contactless sign-in systems.

Image: Bewley Homes’ Andrew Brooks and UK Connect’s PJ Farr