Balfour Beatty, in collaboration with construction workforce technology specialists MSite, has adopted an innovative mobile phone application to improve the health and safety of employees across 60 of its 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 also reduces the need for employees to touch surfaces when entering sites, as well as collecting data to accurately monitor attendance levels.
Furthermore, the app uses Bluetooth technology to alert users when they come within two metres of another device, helping the workforce to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing measures on site. Additionally the app gathers data to help identify potential activities which 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 currently investigating how the app can evolve further still, utilising 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 on Balfour Beatty’s £85 million student accommodation project at Vine Street, London. As of today, 60 Balfour Beatty projects are now utilising MSite, including Highways England’s M4 Junction 3 – 12 improvement scheme and A63 scheme in Hull.
Collectively across the 60 sites, MSite has shown to improve site security and productivity data by efficiently validating employees time spent on site and providing Project Leads with a robust understanding of the total hours worked in order to support the effective management of project plans. By September 2021, Balfour Beatty plans to have rolled out the MSite application 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 application combines Balfour Beatty’s unrivalled knowledge of the construction industry with MSite’s specialist digital insights and ability to rapidly deploy technology on mass. This application 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 Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are excited to be embarking on this epic workforce digitalisation journey with Balfour Beatty. 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. The new data insights MSite will provide will no doubt support their desire to maintain their top position in the market.”