A connected jobsite lets you keep tabs on your equipment and workers with safety in mind.
Telematics can do much more than help you find your equipment on a jobsite. You can use telematics data to boost productivity and even safety.
Telematics devices are the cornerstones of a connected jobsite. Devices added to machines from forklifts to excavators enable GPS tracking and equipment monitoring through a fleet management platform such as Total Control®. That same fleet management software can be used to track wearables worn by workers and even monitor who’s using heavy equipment. In short, data from telematics devices keeps you informed about what’s going on with your equipment and your workers.
Here are five ways you can leverage telematics data to enhance jobsite safety on all your projects.
1. Configure geofences
An employee or even a non-employee may decide to “borrow” your equipment during off hours to work on their own project, and then return it before anyone notices it’s gone. This scenario could result in someone getting injured or in damage to the equipment.
Fleet management software allows you to draw a virtual fence around areas where construction equipment belongs, or doesn’t belong. Alerts notify you immediately if a machine exits or enters the geofence. Using geolocation data, you can track any equipment that has left the jobsite and quickly get it back to where it belongs.
Geofences can also be drawn around sensitive areas workers shouldn’t enter, and areas in which equipment and vehicles shouldn’t operate. Together with telematics data collected from the equipment’s engine, they can even be used to enforce speed limits within geofenced zones.
2. Implement equipment access control
Only those operators who have the proper safety training and certification should operate heavy machinery. Access management keypads require operators to enter their own unique code or swipe an RFID-enabled ID card before they can start the ignition.
Access management empowers you to limit who operates a machine. Thanks to GPS sensors and telematics data from the engine and other key machine components, you can monitor not only when and where they operate the equipment, but also how it’s being operated. By matching the operator code with incidents of speeding, erratic driving or equipment overloading, it’s possible to identify risky behavior and opportunities for improved training.
3. Practice just-in-time equipment maintenance
Employees work safer when the equipment they operate is properly maintained. Engine hours and usage hours provided by telematics devices enable maintenance managers to practice just-in-time maintenance. Compared with calendar-based maintenance, just-in-time maintenance may help to avoid under-servicing heavily used equipment and over-servicing equipment used less frequently. Alerts can be configured to notify managers when maintenance is due.
Telematics devices also provide instant visibility into fluid and battery levels as well as diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that indicate an emergent problem. DTCs allow maintenance personnel to find -- and fix -- problems before the machine breaks.
4. Track worker location
Knowing the exact location of workers on a jobsite is critical to evacuating them safely in an emergency and responding quickly to falls and other safety incidents. When a worker enters the jobsite, they can clip on a GPS tracking device such as the Spot-r Clip from Triax Technologies, provided by United Rentals.
If they suffer an injury or experience a medical problem, they can press the emergency button to request help. Because the Spot-R Clip is equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope and altimeter, it can detect falls and will automatically send an alert to designated personnel if a fall occurs.
Wearables also help speed evacuations in the event of a chemical spill, tornado warning or other emergency. They make it easy to see who has arrived at the muster point and who is still making their way there. If a jobsite emergency requires an evacuation, managers can trigger an emergency alarm that sounds on each worker’s device.
5. Remotely monitor environmental conditions
Any time workers must climb stairs or ladders or move around a jobsite at night to monitor environmental conditions and adjust heaters, they may be putting themselves at risk. A remote monitoring solution such as WEDGE from United Rentals can help to eliminate or reduce the number of people needed to be onsite monitoring conditions.
Sensors placed in strategic locations continuously measure and record temperature and humidity, and even concrete maturity and ground thaw. Telematics allows workers to access this real-time data from a computer, smartphone or tablet instead of making their way to each heater. With Smart Heater hardware from United Rentals added to heaters, they can remotely adjust a heater’s thermostat via the WEDGE dashboard.
Leveraging telematics data is one of the easiest, most affordable ways to increase safety on a jobsite. If your company’s equipment doesn’t have telematics devices installed by the manufacturer, consider adding after-market devices or renting telematics-enabled equipment from United Rentals.
Remember that telematics devices are only as useful as the fleet management software that provides access to the data and allows users to manage a connected jobsite. Choose a software solution that’s easy to navigate and offers the features you want. United Rentals customers can manage both their rented and owned equipment through Total Control.