Geo Week News

June 16, 2020

A Touchless App for Construction Site Check-In Protects Worker Health and Privacy

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.02.10 PM

While some businesses remain halted due to social distancing and quarantine regulations, the construction industry is not one that can be put on hold. The construction industry represents 6.3% of the GDP and employs more than 11 million people in the U.S., yet many construction firms have outdated and time consuming processes for job site check-in, especially with the added screening necessary for COVID-19 safety. To address a stumbling block, a new San Francisco-based company, Safe Site Check In, are launching an app to streamline job site check-in in the wake of the pandemic.

Founder and CEO David Ward stressed that the construction industry needs to find a better way to manage job site check-in.

“Meeting the COVID-19 challenge to re-open our economy is driving firms to exploit mobile and cloud technologies to keep employees safe. Safe Site Check In is extraordinarily easy to use, and addresses compliance and site management issues cost effectively while driving productivity and profitability for construction firms.”

To use Safe Site Check In, employees and visitors point their smartphone at a unique QR code posted at the job site and answer COVID-19 health-related questions required by local health directives – no download required. They are then denied or approved access to the construction site and receive a daily digital entry badge. Site supervisors and HR administrators can see the health status of all onsite employees and visitors and are immediately notified of potential health issues.

While this setup seems simple, its clever workflow means that workers’ personal health information is not shared or stored by the employer, and it eliminates the need for written or 1-on-1 check-in procedures that can be time consuming or even carry a higher risk of contact with the virus. Instead of sharing pens, each site visitor, employee or contractor can use their own device to gain their entry badge – no pens, paper, or common tablets needed.

For Tom Tortolani, Head of Product for Safe Site Check-In, both the health and privacy of construction workers was a crucial consideration.

“As a software vendor – we are always worried about health information and privacy. The way the application is designed is so that you [the client]does know that the visitor has answered health questions, but they are actually not stored anywhere in the application – we have only a check in log and a history log, and that’s what can be used for notifications.”

Personal health information is stored on the user’s smartphone, not by the construction company. This provides an added level of privacy while eliminating the risks and costs of HIPAA compliance and local data privacy laws.

Kyle Peacock, the CEO of Peacock Construction, has put the app to use on 43 of their construction sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, with approximately 200 people per day using the app. Switching to the app not only freed up site employees who were collecting screenings on their small and medium sites, but the overall process saved a lot of time.

“We took a process that was taking a site superintendent somewhere between a half hour to two hours each day, and turning into 5-10 minutes total.”

Peacock also commented on the lack of training needed to use the app.

“The only training required is effectively telling someone how to scan a QR code – and you’re off tho the races. We’ve had virtually no issues, which I thought was amazing considering some of the all the other technologies that we’ve rolled out in the field.”

If you’d like to get a taste of the app, you can scan this sample QR code to “check in” to a test site.

Safe Site Check In is available now and promotionally priced at U.S. $2.00 per day, per construction site, for an unlimited number of employee and visitor check-ins.

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