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How digitisation can help improve safety on construction sites

Construction companies have been relatively slow to embrace digitisation and the enhanced safety benefits that flow from it.

In Australia, the construction industry accounts for almost 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Yet despite the enormous value generated by the industry, construction companies have been relatively slow to embrace digitisation and the enhanced safety benefits that flow from it.

The subject of digital transformation has been getting a lot of attention in Australian construction circles over the past few years. According to industry reports, almost half of all Australian and New Zealand construction companies plan on establishing a digital transformation roadmap. It’s an encouraging number, especially given the potential for technology to improve safety on-site.

The digitisation-safety connection

Locally, according to Worksafe Australia over 15% of workplace fatalities occur on construction sites. It’s a sobering figure. It’s also one that modern digitisation strategies can help combat.

The composition of the construction industry has led to an over-reliance on manual processes, which are time-consuming and not conducive to improving safety on site. For example, 90% of the local construction industry is made up of companies with 20 people or fewer. These businesses are unlikely to have well-staffed IT departments that have the time and expertise to implement a digital transformation strategy that contributes to better safety outcomes. The industry also has a high proportion of independent contractors, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics putting the number at 27%.

For example, on many construction sites a safety engineer is responsible for manually flagging risks and preventing mishaps. Having a sole point of contact could lead to missed data capture, if we don't give our workers the right tools, which means workers miss out workers miss out on real-time insights that could lead to safer construction sites. Access to Canon digital solutions empowers everyone on-site to potentially lift safety standards.

Communication is key to better safety standards

One of the simplest things a construction company can do to enhance its safety processes is to improve the way it communicates. Whether it’s by helping teams communicate on-site or in the office, digital communication channels, particularly mobile and cloud-based solutions, have many obvious benefits. However, they also have an important role to play in shaping a safety-conscious culture.

Digital technology can be used to identify risks, share site documentation, streamline incident reporting, store insurance records, and onboard new contractors or site visitors. From training to onsite check-ins, it’s hard to think of an area where digitisation wouldn’t lead to significant time savings and productivity gains.

By putting safety tools in workers’ hands, promoting health and safety practices, and harnessing the power of technology to identify risks, employers can not only safeguard their staff but foster a culture where safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Don’t you love it when things just work?

One of the reasons often cited by companies for not implementing a digital transformation strategy is the lack of digital expertise in their organisation. It’s a valid concern, but it’s not one that applies to Canon’s suite of digital solutions and using our expertise, we implement for you.

Digital ways of working aren’t new. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the uptake of a whole raft of new ways of working, from remote video meetings, to e-learning and the use of QR codes, which have quickly become a part of everyday life. More importantly, implementing digital solutions doesn’t have to be difficult. Canon offers a range of digital solutions for the construction industry that not only improve productivity, but are easy to use, accessible to all, highly user-friendly and backed by unparalleled levels of support. In short, there’s no reason for your workers to cite a lack of expertise as a reason to avoid digitisation.

Canon’s digital solutions are designed to be used by everyone, regardless of their level of digital know-how. And given the safety, productivity and efficiency gains that digitisation delivers, there are plenty of reasons to embrace new ways of working.

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