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How Technology Creates a Safer Construction Site

 

05/04/2021

42 Minute Watch Time

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John Klobucar:
Hello, I’m John Klobucar with InEight and I’d like to welcome you to our webinar, How Technology Creates a Safer Construction Site. You’ll be hearing from three speakers today. First off will be InEight Product Manager, Brandi Heffner. Brandi drives the development of InEight compliance, which solves regulatory compliance challenges for contractors, owners, and engineers. Prior to joining InEight, Brandi worked for 20 years for Kiewit in various roles. I’d also like to welcome Rusty Brown, a certified safety professional and Director of Corporate Safety Control at Kiewit. Rusty is an author, speaker, and construction safety expert who has a passion for training and developing the next generation of safety professionals and all things related to learning new techniques. A leader in the safety community, Rusty has more than 25 years of industry experience.
Our third speaker is Charlene Szmyrko, the Corporate Safety Manager of Controls at Kiewit. Charlene’s passion for her work revolves around developing systems and reporting that are user friendly and efficient. In her current role, she’s responsible for compiling and analyzing data to detect company and industry safety trends. If you have any questions as you watch the presentation, please enter them in the question box located on the right hand side of the webinar screen and our speakers will answer them in realtime. We also ask before you leave that you rate the webinar and leave any feedback you might have using the heart scale rating located above the screen. And now, it’s time to get the presentation start. So, I will turn things over now to Brandi Heffner. Brandi?

Brandi Heffner:
Thanks, John. Welcome everybody and thank you for joining. Today, we’re going to discuss technology and how it impacts construction safety programs. Studies show that over 70% of construction companies are actually still using antiquated methods such as spreadsheets and paper forms to collect information. Today, we’re going to talk about how technology has helped one construction company transform their safety program. So, Rusty, why do you think that so many companies are still not taking advantage of technology?

Rusty Brown:
I think there’s a couple of reasons. Probably the main reason is change. It’s hard to change and I think people are scared to change, and that fear drives other things like excuses. One of the biggest excuses I hear is that technology costs an enormous amount of money. Frankly, that’s just not true. A lot of times, technology will save you money. It’s just a matter of embracing that change and embracing the technology and deploying that across your systems and your organization.

Brandi Heffner:
Awesome. So, what actually drove your team to include technology in the safety program?

Rusty Brown:
A few years ago, our CEO had actually, I think he’d gone to a meeting with several clients and one of the things that was discussed there was technology in construction and what really is being used. What he realized was that the construction industry seems to be behind when it comes to technology. Manufacturing embraces technology a lot quicker than construction. So, we started to take a hard look at that as an organization and then specifically as a safety department, we started looking at it and saying what could we do to embrace technology in our or on our construction sites? So, we found a myriad of different types of technologies that we could deploy throughout the system.

Brandi Heffner:
Awesome. Char, with your program bringing in so much technology, has that changed the way that you guys actually set up a project program or conduct your training?

Charlene Szmyrko:
Yeah. I believe it’s actually saved us a lot of time, effort, and money overall, at the same time adding a lot of value to our programs, and I’ll explain how. With the capabilities of being able to set up the forms once at an organizational structure level and utilizing those forms throughout multiple different project was kind of a win-win for us. It not only provided consistency, it also gave us an opportunity to really go through what we had in place overall, the different countries and industries, to determine what was the best for the task at hand.
We did a lot of deep dives with our programs and systems in place with a lot of subject matter experts to ensure the forms were not only for us, but make sure that they worked for the people in the field, the craft that are truly using them, making sure that it was easy, making sure we’re asking the right questions, and also while you’re still trying to capture the right data. In doing that, we realized gaps throughout and we overall created an easier program and system for the users to use.
You may ask how do you do this with working with so many different industries and clients involved and still keeping it simple? The great thing about technology is the form builder. It allowed us to tailor the form by using the logic and making the form smarter. So, when you open one question, it opens the next questions and the next sub-forms that were applicable. So, you really don’t have a long form. It’s really simplified for the users who are using it.
As for the training piece, this has helped us structure our training so that it was used by overall. You didn’t have so many different trainings on different project levels or districts, and it was consistent. We were since sending a consistent message across so you don’t have a different message, I guess was the biggest thing. It’s particularly nice if you’re coming off of one job and going to another or doing different industries period if you’re coming off one or another. It’s pretty seamless. The transfer is seamless for the users as they’re used to the form, they’re used to the processes, and it eliminates a lot of training time.
One of the other big advantages that we saw in the system is that you’re also able to set up guided efforts throughout our forms. For example, adding reference links, adding information bubbles that they can hover over to put in supporting text, and even documents. You can build those within the form, so it is super user friendly and at the same time of using the form, it’s providing them training, clarification, and what the expectations are while they’re completing it.
You can also automate. This is one of the biggest thing that I like as well is you can also automate your assignments. So, no more having a person spend … have an administrator or whatnot spending hours setting probably a new project manually with permission and getting everyone in there. You can now actually automate and sign all staff and craft to their associated projects. It’s time consuming and that has eliminated a lot off our plates while setting up a new project in this case.
Last but not least, we know as our industry changes, whether it is lessons learned on past incidents or from regulatory changes, with this technology, we have the capability now to easily change these forms and stay up to date with them without having to retrain and take all those resources. It’s a really easy process. So, and I think that’s how it’s affected our programs and trainings, especially on new projects.

Brandi Heffner:
So, it sounded like you’re setting forms up at a top structure level. You’re creating one form and it’s cascading down through the company. So, that training, it’s already done. Basically, when they do it once, it’s done, no matter what job they go to, right?

Charlene Szmyrko:
Exactly, and it’s easy enough as well. That’s the biggest key there. For someone that’s brand new that’s never been on our jobs before, it’s also setting up those forms easily enough that they can just jump right into them without a lot of questions.

Brandi Heffner:
Rusty, what are some of the ways that you’ve cut risk in your organization through using technology?

Rusty Brown:
Yeah, that’s a good question. I want you to think back to the seat belts. When seat belts were first introduced, it was this big revolutionary thing to keep people inside their vehicle. As you have continued through time and the generations of new safety equipment on vehicles, our company has added backup cameras, backup alarms, things like that, and that’s really helped us reduce the amount of equipment on equipment injuries or incidents and equipment on personnel. So, that’s one type.
Another type that we’ve added is RFID tags inside of our hardhats, and that really helps detection of our equipment around our people. We feel like that’s helped us reduce the amount of risk that we have of running over someone. These blind spots on these pieces of equipment are big and you can put a couple spotters there and still miss people walking in our around equipment in tight areas. So, adding those RFID tags has really helped identify when there’s someone around that’s not a spotter and allows us to stop the vehicles and reduce the potential for someone to get run over or killed.

Brandi Heffner:
Yeah. Yeah. I was reading OSHA the other day, something about some OSHA cases, that that’s one of the top items or top incidents that happen there is between equipment and human, either getting ran over or crush points or anything like that. So, that sounds really awesome to have that technology in there. So, Char, with bring on all this technology and capturing all that data through all those forms, you get a lot of data, I assume, and you’re receiving that realtime. Is that helping you make decisions, changing the course, improving your program? Then with of that realtime data, you’re also getting those realtime notifications. Is that increasing preventive management instead of reactive management?

Charlene Szmyrko:
So, yeah. You’re correct, Brandi. There is a lot of data, and as I mentioned before, I would say it was really important for us to make sure that we were capturing what we really needed and to simplify it as well and how much you can automate. That was the biggest key there. But this piece, I find most critical is the realtime data. It’s helping us in many different ways, helping us make decisions, which in return, gets us ahead of the curve with improving our program. The biggest thing I find is empowering the people in the field to make a difference and to work towards our goal of nobody getting hurt.
Example, how many times were you on a project in the past where people were completing those paper observation cards throughout multiple operations and you may have a drop box they were putting them in? You may not have seen those results back in the field until you had someone collect them, read through them, and manually populate all the data. So, really, you may not have seen the true data for a week or so. With all of that, you know by the time you receive that information, in most cases, it was kind of too late. This now allows you to get realtime feedback that you can react immediately in the field.
Example, on an observation conversation card now, when you see the safe result come through, you can help recognize those behaviors, which creates a better morale overall. You can learn through them, the initiatives and best practices that they’re doing onsite through the craft themselves and the different operations. I have to say we have also noticed this hugely empowering the craft, as I mentioned, in the field. Just by seeing the outcome from other craft members or peers having that conversation, it’s helped them, and even myself, to know where and how we can make a difference and help them understand what to do if they were in that same circumstance and by seeing what other people said or done to correct the hazards and seeing that others are … just by knowing that other people are even watching out for you, to your best interest, to make sure that you’re going home safe.
That goes a long way and speaks a lot for itself right there. It’s not a tattletale card. It’s to start great conversations and solutions. As for the at risk items, you may have seen where a person could not or did not know how to mitigate, which sends and immediate notification to the right person to get and to provide that support that they need in the field to mitigate those hazards and eliminate any potential incidents. You can even see what’s outstanding there, what needs to be worked on, and then start tracking those trends of how can you improve? How can you get better with your trainings or in your programs?
Another example, which I kind of like, is you can assign tasks and notifications across shifts, which is kind of neat. Say if you’re on a night shift and you’re dealing with some weather issues or equipment issues or whatnot. You can actually assign that to the day shift person, which helps them. Before they even start the work, they’re aware of the risks. So, they’re aware of them and what they need to do or put into place before that next shift starts and before they start the work period has helped big time.
Even sharing communications on preventing incidents. The one thing that we found most successful right now is what’s called an incident snapshot, and what that is is it’s a way for us to be transparent and communicate any potential severity events or recordable incidents. So, this stuff, when I say potential, it’s the stuff that if not for luck could have lost a limb or life. We’re now able to take that data and automatically report it out on a daily and weekly report to every single employee within our company. Not only that, we have a realtime dashboard that anyone can go in and not just see those incidents, but open it to the company wide and filter down to help them with their operations at hand. They can now take this information and even automatically print out an alert and have it as a tool box top for their operation to see what can they do to mitigate their risks at hand and what can they do to learn.
From that, you aren’t learning the same things over and over and getting an incident alert weeks ahead. This has really allowed us to get way ahead of the game by communicating fast and it’s easy to find. One thing we struggled with, I’d say, honestly in the past was where to find stuff, where to find this incident or that or, hey, how do you find incidents related to rail work? How do you find incidents related to cranes, or so forth? Now, this is a click of a one easy button and it filters everything down for them. So, that’s been huge for us, as well as I’d say we take all this data, I’ve seen on multiple projects they do this where we’ve been pretty successful is where they’ve taken all the data on past alike jobs.
Say if you had the same market type if you’re doing transportation. Say you’re doing road construction or say if you’re doing marine work, stuff like that, they can actually take all that data on previous alike projects and see … How do I say this? Engineers can grab that data in all project to see what risks are they going to potentially face and where do they need to focus their attention? So, which they’ve taken this information and they’ve built work plans based off of the information on past jobs. They’ve built standard operating procedures, best practices, initiatives. So, that’s been really successful as well.
Another one that we’re getting a little bit newer in, but I’m quite passionate about, is the predictive solution side. You say what do you do with all this data that’s sitting there over the years, and now you can combine this data with demographics. You can learn from past incidents and past projects, taking a look at even the percent complete on jobs to your manpower to your hiring rates, stuff like that, weather, even if it’s a factor, and seeing past incidents with management or so forth, but to see and understand this realtime risk to mitigate them, to work that into your programs and training plans. So, that one’s kind of neat now that we have the capability to do with this data.
So, to sum that up too, in your question, you brought about management being proactive. I think now with the realtime feedback and the capabilities we have, this brings it to a whole nother level where it’s not just management. It’s now empowering the craft to be proactive and be more involved in the field, which they’re the ones performing the work and then the ones at hand. So, that’s kind of [inaudible 00:17:27].

Brandi Heffner:
It’s interesting that you say not only is it improving your program and you’re taking steps to put corrective actions in place, but what you alluded to is it’s actually boosting morale-

Charlene Szmyrko:
It is.
Brandi Heffner:
… which is interesting because a boost in morale is always going to give you a better employee. Right?
Charlene Szmyrko:
Correct.

Brandi Heffner:
They’re going to want to work harder and work smarter and look out for other folks on the job site just by default. So, that really awesome.

Charlene Szmyrko:
Even with that, they can do now a comparison to see where their job’s standing to other jobs or for their district or region immediately, which even helps grab the rod how they’re doing because they are being very safe and successful on their projects. So, it should be celebrated.

Brandi Heffner:
Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely, and this gives you the data to celebrate that.

Charlene Szmyrko:
Correct.

Brandi Heffner:
That’s great. So, you talked a little bit about task management or assigning those tasks. With the ease of accessing that you were alluding to as well, all that information and the transparency that it’s providing to not only the managers, but the others, do you see more accountability in the team?

Charlene Szmyrko:
I’d say most definitely, especially with the live data. It’s kind of packing to deal there. Right now, we’re also able to create easier ports, which are more accessible by everyone in the company, which is providing better accountability and transparency overall. So, for example on that, the task piece is we know for our incidents currently, we assign a corrective action for every single causal factor or contributing factor. In the past, they were kind of lump sum together. They were hard to track, hard to measure. But now, by doing that, we have the technology and the capability to split them out to truly see what is our contributing factor and what is our corrective measure?
Not only that, as I mentioned, you can actually assign someone, track it, and measure it so you can see now, what do you have still open? Right? What’s still pending that needs attention? You can see how many days did it take to even close out? Is there an issue there? Or how fast are we reacting to these? What scale or potential and severity are they at? What is also, yeah, still open, needs attention? You can now set reminders. We all get busy nowadays and it’s a go, go, go industry. So, setting that reminders and staying on top of this stuff has been really helpful and we can also learn from this and finally share this information.
Another great example is on our potential severities, there are three, fours, and fives and recordables. With that real live notification, we’ve actually created a first protocol and severity protocol where we track all of our, what we call SPIs, safety process improvements, on different ownership levels, whether it’s a project, district, or corporate. What that is is they were what our findings were from our deep dives on these incidents, and what did the company do or put into place to eliminate the risk for our workers? A lot of times in the past when we were doing surveys, they would hear the big incident, but they wouldn’t see the alert for a while, and they didn’t know, what did the corporation or what did the district or project truly do across to help our workers?
So, with this capability, you now can see exactly what we did, who’s in charge of it, so if you have any questions, you can actually go directly to that person and you can also see live updates of where they are and if it’s been completed and see the outcome, the final result. We also even share that into our safety post that we send out to all employees. So, for that example, say you discover a training plan that needs to be updated or a policy that requires some revisions or a new one to be created. You’re able now to immediately communicate that throughout your organization quickly.
Like I said, if they have any questions on who’s managing it, they can go directly to that person or to that group, and we even have different levels of notification with our task RSPIs. So, example of that is if it’s a project ownership, say if a project orientation needs to be updated, then that actually goes straight to the project manager and project safety manager, which we’ve never had before. So, that’s that really key, not just accountability, but just communication, and we’ve found that there’s just been huge success with just overall communication. You don’t have to send an email. It’s automatically done for you.
If it’s on a district level, it goes directly to the district manager or to that district safety manager, and then corporately, it goes to myself and Rusty and we weekly review with the directors and our VP, our safety VP. So, that’s been a huge success for us in just keeping us on track. Another neat part of it too is say if you have one person that transfers from a job. Right? We’ve all had that where now we need a different resource on another job, so they grab him and we bring someone new in or vice versa. You can now have the accountability because those get lost. Oh, the guy left the job. How is he going to close it? Or we just lose that sometimes. It’s because it’s in a binder or whatnot.
Now, you have the capability to automatically transfer those to another employee. So, that information does not get lost and still provides a transparency and accountability overall across the entire company with a quick two clicks of a button. So, that’s been really beneficial where you can even set up automation reports and subscriptions to go directly to you on specific items you’re concerned about or want to look at.

Brandi Heffner:
So, elevating that conversation even a little bit more.

Charlene Szmyrko:
Yes. It’s a big, with change management, I feel that’s a piece that we’ve done well in communicating solely. This has just brought us to that next level and made it a lot easier for us to use, to manage, and to control overall.

Brandi Heffner:
Yeah. Yeah. It sounds like it, and it sounds like you have a lot of reports and dashboards available with this data so it’s easy access.

Charlene Szmyrko:
Yes.

Brandi Heffner:
It sounds pretty important for me to be able to easily access that data, which is interesting that you have so much. You touched on that you’re capturing these lessons learned, but you’re capturing them just in time. It’s more of a just in time kind of feedback, a loop that you’re getting that you can actually communicate out that lesson learned. Not only use it for the future, but you use it right now.

Charlene Szmyrko:
Yes.

Brandi Heffner:
That’s awesome. We’ve talked a lot about these job sites and keeping them safe. If we bring our focus out to the field where the boots are on the ground, how has technology changed how they’re working, where the work happens out there in the field?

Charlene Szmyrko:
That was [inaudible 00:24:38]. That’s one of the biggest feedbacks we’ve always gotten throughout the systems. I’ve been with the company quite a while and the biggest thing we found is with this technology, sometimes we were fighting against it and having to pull so many people out of the field to create reports, to compile the data, to put it together and all of that. Now, I find, I’m pretty excited, we’re finally at a really good place in the last year or so to let technology finally work for us. So, I think that’s the biggest advantage that we’ve seen is you now don’t have to leave the field to complete your work. You can continue that conversation right there with the operation, with the people in the field. Like you said, boots on the ground. You’re right involved in the work. You don’t have to leave it anymore.
You can actually take pictures right there when you’re with them with this application that is now available. Nowadays, with technology, there’s apps everywhere. So, with this app, being in the field, you can take photos right then and there, you can annotate them by adding even a date, time, or stamp. You can add text showing supporting text, the measurements you wanted to show, draw or highlight items so you can provide clarity. They always say a speaker speaks a thousand words. So, that’s really nice. By the time you get back to your office or trailer, we’ve all done this before, and you’re sitting there, you’re compiling it all into Word, you’re trying to pull your pictures off your phone and put them on a computer and stuff.
That does take a lot. It’s easy, but it’s very time consuming. So, now, with the app capabilities, by the moment you fill out a form and sync it to the web, by the time you get back to the office or trailer, you’re able to print and see an automated report including the pictures of your findings. No more pulling them out of the field to just compile this data. It’s realtime. I’ll give you another example how we use this. Where we found a lot of benefit is our project safety assessments. You’re in the field doing a project safety assessment working with the craft, they’re going back, throwing out a PowerPoint. In this case, we have a one to two pager that’s a simple report of just the findings, and then we also have a PowerPoint, which shows all the action items, the comments, the pictures.
So, they can really help relay that information and communicate and help think of a plan of what needs to be done on the site or to praise of the great things that they’ve seen on the site. Another prime example, which I’ve seen big benefit of this, is doing a safety tour. Now, we’ve struggled in the past with remote jobs, and I’m sure a lot of you guys have there too, but where you don’t have cell phone service. You don’t have wifi access. You’re actually setting up transmission lines in the middle of nowhere. So, the neat features that technology offers now, you can have an offline app, but you can sync it ahead of time so you have offline capabilities.
So, while you’re in the field and don’t have cell phone service, you can still fill out the form, and once you get back into service, you can sync it to the web. Again, once you get back into that office or trailer, the reports are all available. How many times I know myself has done a safety tour on the job on a piece of paper, go back in the office, I spend so much time compiling that information to put it in a binder and then flip back every meeting to see what’s still open in that, where now by using this offline app, it automatically does everything. No fighting with photos anymore.
But some of you may ask as well, well, some clients don’t allow technology or allow cell phones on our projects. What do you do in that case? To tell you the truth, what we’ve done there, a lot of places, you can set up a kiosk mode or have a community iPad, as, I don’t know, I call it, the community iPad that you can share or lend out. In that case, this kiosk can be set up in foreman’s trailers, lunch trailers where they’re easily accessible. Right? Not only that, non-employees can use them and fill out the forms.
Say if you have a subcontractor or joint venture or client or vendor that’s on your site. You can set up these in public areas where they can utilize the form and you can still accomplish that data. If, say, a client says no technology is allowed within there or they aren’t allowed having their personal cell phones, this eliminates that. So, there isn’t that struggle and it helps the operations too. Another one where we’ve seen advantages of this too is the kiosk mode as a nuclear power plant project. You have to have a place where it’s anonymous, right? So, usually a lot of times, it tracks it by the user. This allows it to be anonymous because it’ll be signed into a generic, say, account and they can actually utilize this.
Anyone can go up to a kiosk and enter in a form or report an incident or report anything into these forms. So, that’s been really a huge advantage to us, and just the automation of the application, as you mentioned. Okay. We solved the problem of getting out of the field. But then with the offline app too, one thing I’ve noticed is sometimes the online doesn’t work the greatest or the form’s not easy enough for them to use. One thing that’s great about the current form builders that we’re using is we have advantages like people picker or date automation.
So, they see the date and the date’s automatically in there. They don’t have to click it. It’s one less click. The time is automatic if were doing an assessment. The time’s already in there the moment you start the form. That’s two less clicks already, and then you have the people picker. You aren’t getting the bad data of typing everybody’s … trying to spell my first name and my last name is challenging. I’ve probably seen it spelled a hundred different ways. But the people picker allows even better data quality for your reporting, and again, the users like it a lot more because it’s intuitive. They can use it. It’s easy. So, I think that’s kind of, probably that answered it, but the functionality of the mobile app is a huge win for us essentially over all of our projects.

Brandi Heffner:
And it’s on their phone and everybody’s carrying around their phones, right?

Charlene Szmyrko:
You can have it on your phone, you could have it on your iPad. You betcha.

Brandi Heffner:
You talked about a lot of cost savings there actually that I heard from administrative to just filling out forms to pulling the photos off of your camera and things like that. So, that’s really awesome. Another thing that you hit the nail on the head with, the see something, say something. Those kiosks, you were saying they were in lunchrooms. That really opens up the opportunity for recording see something, say something so you can actually act on [inaudible 00:31:33].

Charlene Szmyrko:
Actually, Brandi, that you say that, one of the jobs that I visited was kind of neat. They set up realtime TVs in their lunchroom around their kiosks. They had one on each side when they were having a meeting [inaudible 00:31:46]. Even when the guys came in there for lunch, they had our dashboards of reports showing on there. So, no one even had to go to a computer anymore. They were flat out showed the results there. So, it was easy, they can see, and it’s not a piece of paper that you see on a bulletin that’s a month late. This is, hey, this is what we’re seeing today. This is what we saw yesterday. This is what we’re seeing over the month. This is what we’re seeing project to date on our site. So, that’s been actually, I kind of forgot about, but that’s been a huge feedback just that they can touch it, they can see it. They don’t have to go work for it anymore.

Brandi Heffner:
Well, and they can take action on it easier.

Charlene Szmyrko:
And start that conversation. How many times have I been sitting in a trailer, just sitting with them, having lunch, and that’s on the TV and they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t know that. Oh, I can talk to So-and-so to fix that,” or, “Hey, I got an idea there”? So, it’s created, I think, overall in general, I mentioned it before, but this craft. We have a CVIS programs, Craft Voice in Safety. It empowers them now in the field to have a say and to make a difference instead of waiting it to come from management or corporate or management from the project. There, it’s coming from them, they see that we’re reacting, they can see their own data, and they’re solving stuff themselves. It’s been so beneficial as they’re the ones doing the work. They’re the ones that need to see this data live.

Brandi Heffner:
Yeah. They’re the ones that need to keep the safest the most often.

Charlene Szmyrko:
Correct.

Brandi Heffner:
Well, thanks, Char. That’s great stuff to hear. Rusty, we’ve been talking a lot about capturing this data and things like that. But it kind of makes me think about what you were talking about before on the RFID tags around wearables and symptom monitors. Have you employed a lot of that and do they currently meet the needs of construction today? Are we that advanced?

Rusty Brown:
Yeah. It’s starting to get there. We’ve worked with a couple of companies. There’s a company we’re partnering with right now that makes a wearable that goes on the upper part of your arm and specifically around areas where it’s very hot where employees experience heat stress. They actually monitor and that goes to your smart device and you can physically see when you have an employee that is experiencing signs of heat stress so you can get them out of the work environment and into a break room. So, it tells things like the body temperature, heart rate, and then we can deploy things like cooling methods, making sure they have plenty of water and things like that so they can go back into the work environment.

Brandi Heffner:
That’s awesome. Just like those RFID tags, location is everything and knowing what’s going on with that person, whether it be in front of a piece of equipment or behind a piece of equipment or hot out there in the field. Awesome. So, you touched on a few items earlier, but what challenges has technology presented to your organization, and even at a field level?

Rusty Brown:
Yeah. It’s not too long ago that I remember siting in a conference room with a bunch of our foremen with laptops and actually teaching them how to use a laptop. It’s crazy to think about, but people don’t have technology at home even, and recently, we’ve deployed iPads with all of our foremen and we’re back to the same thing of sitting in a classroom and actually show them how to use the technology. But what’s really the biggest challenge for us is once we get this technology into our people’s hands is to get more technology and make things faster for them because what we’ve seen from the field is they’re asking more and more questions and they want more and more and more, and they want it fast and they want it now.
So, Char talked a little bit about reports and reporting and being able to see things live, and the data is amazing to me every time I go to one of our jobs and have conversation with our foremen and our craft people and go through and talk to them about what’s happening in the field right now live today and hearing something that’s coming from across the job site and normally, you would never hear about. But now, they’re actually deploying methods of not having the same issue or incident that may have occurred. They’re using real live data so we’re not waiting for incidents or dealing with observation data. It’s really cool to see those types of things deployed across our system and our organization.

Brandi Heffner:
That’s funny that they want more. It’s just like me, I want the newer … New phone came out. It has four cameras. I must have it.

Rusty Brown:
Absolutely.

Brandi Heffner:
Yeah. Exactly. So, that brings it, talking about the future, brings me to virtual reality and augmented reality, things of that nature. Do you see any value in construction companies for that stuff?

Rusty Brown:
It’s interesting you ask that. A couple years ago, there’s a company that deployed VR goggles and I got to go through a presentation where I actually was sitting in my office in Kansas City. The instructor was actually on Hoover Dam and there was people throughout the United States that were participating in his lock out, tag out class, this demo that he was doing, and the person was teaching the class on Hoover Dam and we were deployed throughout the United States and actually got to participate in a class. I thought, man, that’s really cool. Now, fast forward into this environment we’re in with this COVID environment. To be able to reach out and have conversations with individuals, but do it in a virtual environment where it’s safe and we’re separated by distance and still getting our messages across, I think is very powerful.
Recently, just in the last couple of weeks, I bought a set of VR goggles for our home and we’ve got some remodeling going on here at the house. I just thought I’d ask some of the construction workers over here what they thought about it and it was really interesting to see their expressions here in the last couple of days on what they could learn just from some of that technology, and I think about that on our job sites of deploying that in the future.
Looking at things like augmented reality, giving some of the augmented glasses to our engineers to go to a brown field site or a green field site and actually look at whatever we’re building, let’s say it’s a building or a power plant or a roadway, for that matter, and they can see what the hazards are in the facility, they can physically walk through the entire site and see where design for safety would come into play or where there might be some encumbrances with maybe a stair tower and maybe some crossbeams and pipe chases and electrical conduit, all that kind of stuff. It really is adding some opportunities that we’ve never had before by putting more technology in the hands of our individuals that are working for our organization.

Brandi Heffner:
That sounds awesome. Yeah. It almost makes me, I’m just saying, maybe just a little bit, makes me think that I would want to go on a job site again with all this technology. But [inaudible 00:39:29]. It was fleeting. No. No, but it does sound exciting now the technology you guys are using out there. Opportunities is just-

Rusty Brown:
It is. [crosstalk 00:39:40] I was on a job last week down in Texas and they’re using robots, and to see how the craft workers are actually using the robots. It was absolutely the coolest thing you’d ever see, and I’m very excited about where technology is coming into the construction environment. I think it’s here and we’re going to see more and more of it as time goes on, for sure.

Brandi Heffner:
Awesome. Yeah. It sounds exciting.

Charlene Szmyrko:
You can come join me this week. [inaudible 00:40:16].

Brandi Heffner:
Virtually [crosstalk 00:40:21].

Charlene Szmyrko:
Yeah.

Brandi Heffner:
That’s awesome. Well, thank you, guys. This concludes our conversation today, but honestly, I’d like to thank Rusty and Char for a great conversation and sharing the success with technology and the benefits that it’s had on their safety program. It’s actually truly inspiring to think that we’re changing how construction companies do work more effectively using technology, like we heard today. We work with many companies out there, not only your company. We gain invaluable insight into the processes by really listening and hearing the needs out there like you guys are talking about, and that just leads to better project certainty. So, we thank you guys for helping us through that.

Charlene Szmyrko:
Thank you.

Rusty Brown:
Thanks for having us.

Brandi Heffner:
Yeah. Stay tuned to InEight. We actually have some really exciting technology coming soon. Thanks for your time today.

Charlene Szmyrko:
Thank you.

Rusty Brown:
Thank you.