Balfour Beatty has adopted a mobile phone app that allows employees contactless entry and helps them to maintain social distancing.
The app from construction workforce technology specialist MSite is being used on 60 Balfour sites in the UK.
Downloaded directly onto employees’ mobile phones, the app provides each employee with a digital identity, enabling contactless entry to site using biometrics. The technology reduces the need for employees to touch surfaces when entering sites, as well as collecting data to accurately monitor attendance levels.
The app also uses Bluetooth technology to alert users when they come within two metres of another device, helping them to maintain social distancing measures on site. Additionally, the app gathers data to help identify potential activities that require closer working, allowing operations to be planned in advance to either remove or mitigate this risk in line with Balfour Beatty’s covid-19 site operating procedures.
Balfour Beatty and MSite are investigating how the app can evolve further still, using Bluetooth technology to notify employees when they enter exclusion zones around plant equipment on site and therefore helping to make sites safer still.
The app was first launched in July 2020 and as of today, 60 Balfour Beatty projects are now using MSite, including Highways England’s M4 Junction 3 – 12 improvement scheme and A63 Castle Street scheme in Hull.
By September 2021, Balfour Beatty plans to have rolled out the MSite app across all UK sites.
Chris Johnson, Balfour Beatty chief technology officer, said: “The covid-19 pandemic has catapulted us into a new digital era as we have adapted with agility to introduce and embed new ways of working.
“This app will ultimately contribute to keeping our employees safe and is a paradigm shift in digitising site operations to improve productivity through streamlined processes.”
Neil Norman, MSite CEO, said: “The construction sector is at a pivot point in the adoption of digital workforce technology and it is refreshing and encouraging that the UK’s leading infrastructure group is embracing our technology with gusto, further demonstrating Balfour Beatty’s commitment to continuous improvement through innovation.”