Although construction in the UK is presently limited due to the coronavirus pandemic, and most construction work has ground to a halt, there will be the increasing need to test construction workers returning to site once building restrictions have been lifted and it is safe to practice caution and return to work.
One recruitment consultancy, Morson Group, is planning to roll out the use of an intelligent app in a bid to create a ‘safety first’ culture amongst their workforce and is prepared for testing their 3,000 remote workers with an app based technology called “Fit for Work”. The app is intended to be used before they attend sites to identify whether workers are experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus and works by asking a series of questions relevant to their shift to make sure that the worker is in line with company policy.
The app was originally intended for assessing safety factors such as if the worker has access to the correct PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and if they had received a sufficient health and safety briefing for their role. Since the coronavirus outbreak, the app has been updated specifically to ensure that anyone who is displaying symptoms does not attend work for their safety and the safety of other workers.
The app uses facial recognition technology to identify the worker and records a date, time and location stamp for the purpose of ensuring that timesheets data is accurate. Further rules that take in account the new guidance on social distancing and isolation send a message to supervisors if any data is outside the normal working parameters. Supervisors can then make a decision on whether to advise the worker to go home, proceed to the site or take alternative action.
The data can also be analysed to track which workers have been present on specific sites and who has been in their vicinity. This way, if anyone has developed symptoms of coronavirus, other workers who have been in their vicinity can be identified and informed that they could be at risk and advise on their next course of action.
Morson Group currently has over 60 sites across the UK and was running a pilot of the app onsite before the lockdown with rail workers at the Canning Town branch. After a successful test period, they plan to roll out the software nationally to candidates and clients in other sectors.
CEO of Morson Group, Ged Mason, said “The safety of all our workers is absolutely paramount to both our clients and the Morson Group. Those working in sectors such as rail and engineering are already at an inflated risk when it comes to health and safety, but to ensure we continue building, maintaining and repairing the essential national infrastructure and operations the UK relies upon, they must continue in their day to day duties until Government advice advises otherwise.
“Rolling out this technology puts the right health and safety mechanisms in place to protect them and their wider workforce – both in current circumstances and future conditions – and allows us to retain our position as an agile business which puts people at the centre.
“We are delighted to be partnering with facecheck.ai and utilising the latest technology to do so, and welcome the opportunity to lead in this field, both for ourselves and for our clients.”
Customer Director of facecheck.ai said “By taking a ‘digital first’ approach to health and safety, businesses can react far more quickly to changes in the environment to protect the welfare of workers, as evidenced by the way Morson Group has responded to the Coronavirus outbreak.
“The technology and systems required to achieve this are available, and remove the need for archaic, paper-based operations which are prone to errors and risk. Businesses need simply utilise foresight and engagement with products like Fit For Work, for the greater good of the country’s workforce.”
The software is compatible with the latest Apple iOS and Android platforms as well as the previous two versions which makes ‘Fit For Work’ accessible to the vast majority of the population.
Technology such as ‘Fit For Work’ could potentially change the way many businesses operate in the altered future that awaits us post-coronavirus. Aside from applying the technology to the workforce that is needed to retain our infrastructure, consumers may also face a different way of buying goods or socialising. Perhaps there will be health checks when entering publicly enclosed spaces such as supermarkets, sports events or hospitals.