While construction continues in many states, social distancing is remaining a rule on worksites, and it often makes things difficult for workers to move around the building—and especially difficult for site managers to patrol them and make sure they’re following the rules. And not following the rules could, in many areas, land them heavy fines.
Software companies and tech solutions are coming to the rescue, using construction apps imported from around the world to help out our American workers.
One such company is the Israel-based Genda Tech, which has expanded to the United States to help in the cause (though the CEO and co-founder Erez Dror says they were making the expansion prior to the virus; the virus needs just sped them up). The application uses biometrics and contact tracing to keep a virtual eye on workers as they move about the site.
When workers arrive in the morning they fill out a health questionnaire on the Gendar app. If no red flags are raised, they are able to work and given a battery powered tracking beacon that monitors where they are at all times and makes sure that they at least six feet apart (or as far apart as the app is programmed to measure).
One of the biggest benefits of the software is not the pinging reminder that they’re too close to another worker, but the fact that the data is recorded. That way, if one day a worker shows up to the site and fills out the questionnaire reporting a fever, it is easy to go through the contact tracing data to see who they’ve had contact with and who else may have become infected.
The Gendar app has been rolled out so far in North Carolina, Washington, and the United Kingdom.
Another software tool that is gaining traction is Smarvid.io and their Vinnie artificial intelligence unit. Using cameras onsite, Vinnie can identify where workers are, and if they’re not wearing the proper personal protective equipment—it can even tell if a worker is missing a mask or a single glove.
Also making a big entrance is Kwant.ai, a construction analytics platform that uses wearable sensors that, like Gendar, can detect how many workers are in a given space and if they’re staying the appropriate distance apart. The tracking can penetrate walls and use sensors to even read how many people are in an elevator or a restroom. Using alarms or text messages, Kwant.ai notifies workers of potential hazards.
It is all of these software applications and more that are making the most of a bad situation—introducing tech solutions that can be used down the road when the virus has gone.