Reading Time for Construction Document Management article: 5 mins 20 sec
Positioned at the heart of every construction project, your role as safety manager is more than Construction Document Management– it’s part caretaker, part inspector, and part coach… it just happens to come with a hefty amount of document management.
You have the ever-evolving task of looking after your workers, communicating between head office, the project managers, and on-site contractors, all while ensuring regulatory compliance at every step of each project.
Starting a new project brings a raft of health and safety administration to get your on-site workers ready to go. With an increase in the likelihood of random site inspections, you’ll need to know exactly who is on-site, have all the correct paperwork from your team, and ensure they’ve completed the site-specific orientation or training.
However, with an overwhelming amount of administration to do, things can and do go wrong.
With the help of our GoContractor customer success team, we’ve found six ways safety managers can save time using GoContractor when managing construction projects with our construction document management software solution:
1. Complete all paperwork in advance for on-site workers and subcontractors
Building sites are complex; due to the workload, your subcontractor might send different people each day to cover the contract. Instead of being able to collect all the paperwork on day one, your on-site admin has to repeat the task every time new workers show up. Because this includes checking that they have the correct trade qualifications, personal protective equipment (PPE), and certifications such as working at height and manual handling, collecting this information can take a significant amount of time.
If you don’t have all the construction documents prepared in advance of their arrival, workers will be on-site without you knowing exactly which of them are qualified to be there.
Alternatively, as the general contracting company, you can use GoContractor to prequalify workers due to attend your project site.
Doing so is easy. First, you send all subcontractors an invitation email, which they can then forward on to their workers to set up their own profile.
Next, workers create their individual profile and add their trade qualifications and OSHA card details into the app themselves, so instead of collecting paperwork when workers arrive, you eliminate all of the admin work related to this worker on-boarding journey.
What’s better, if you utilize our QR Code Stickers, when workers arrive on site, you simply need to scan their QR code to check that they’re qualified to go on-site. This feature is an improved tool that can even replace outdated or expensive badging systems.
2. Connect your site access control with your schedule and GoContractor
Most large sites have access control systems to verify who is working on-site on any given day. As the safety manager – potentially looking after multiple sites – GoContractor gives you peace of mind–you know exactly who is on the project and that they’re prequalified to work on-site.
If it suits your requirements, GoContractor can even integrate or link with your project schedule and access badge control system. This means you can plan in advance with the project manager to ensure the right number of workers are available.
Those workers can show up at 7am, get on-site and start work straight away, instead of spending time waiting for the office to open at nine to check what training they’ve done, or completing forms or sorting out missing pieces of paperwork. GoContractor streamlines your construction document management because you can access everything in a single place.
3. Conduct online orientations for all onsite workers
Orientation training can typically take up 3-4 hours if conducted in-person on-site. However, workers can arrive late to site or start a day later – creating a scenario where you end up repeating the orientation every day.
To save time, you can create a high quality training pack and tailor your content to each specific site by adapting it into a PowerPoint or video and upload it to your GoContractor project profile.
Once workers have their individual profile set up and are prequalified for working on-site, you can send the training to them and monitor when they’ve watched it or completed it. You can also adapt the training and ensure it’s relevant to the workers.
For example, if you need to create training in multiple languages, you can do so with GoContractor. It’s not a problem if your workers do not speak English because GoContractor translates your orientations into the language that suits your subcontractor workforce.
Even better, if you’re challenged with the thought of verifying whether every worker really did complete the training, GoContractor can also help.
When using our platform for your orientations and construction document management, you can utilize our identity capture feature – which verifies the worker using the phone camera or webcam on their smart device.
This ensures the correct person finished the whole training and its truly them completing their orientation. To read more about the advantages of online orientations, visit our project manager’s guide.
4. Locate the correct paperwork when an onsite inspection happens
The NY Department of Buildings is committed to increasing safety on construction sites, having recently passed Local Law 196. This affects all construction workers across New York.
To get their Site Safety Training card, workers now need an OSHA 30 or an OSHA 10 plus proof they’ve completed the required 20 hours of additional safety training.
To monitor this, there has been an increase in frequency of random spot checks on sites, with fines of up to $15,000 for non-compliance.
As the safety manager, you’ll need to respond instantly to locate all the paperwork for any worker, proving that your workforce is compliant and safe on-site. With GoContractor’s construction document management, we can set it up, so you have immediate access to the workers’ profiles on your phone or tablet.
Effectively, you have a network of live profiles, which have reminders when the expiry date for their training is near. Because the profile is unique to the individual, it stays on GoContractor and can transfer with the worker if they’re attending any other sites of yours in the future.
5. Ensure there’s due process in place for any on-site incidents
It’s almost impossible to prevent incidents from happening, even on the most successful construction projects.
Depending on the severity, there’ll be an immediate investigation where you’ll need to prove that the worker/s involved had been properly processed. The NY Department of Buildings, for example, will want to check whether they had been made aware of any hazards, that they had completed the orientation, and were familiar with core safety concepts before starting work.
Having all the paperwork and training in a single profile on GoContractor makes it easy for you to access this information instantly when needed.
Centralized construction document management and incident reports can help you share better information with the workers about likely hazards on-site, helping the workers to become more aware and proactive to avoid these.
6. Create a culture of accountability for safety
When building out your safety plan, your construction documents, and your risk assessment and method statement (RAMS), you can focus on ways to create a culture where the workers take safety seriously.
Having a proactive approach and a culture of ‘safety first’ protects your reputation as the main contractor. By ensuring all the requirements for your safety routines are loaded into GoContractor, workers can take responsibility for their own learning about safety – with policies and procedures designed to help them collaborate to keep the whole team safe.
“The customer success team is here to make the GoContractor set-up process simple; we sit down with you to understand common questions and how to fulfil your requirements. Once the system is live, you can easily contact us if you need to extend a project, change your requirements or add new information into your safety toolkit.” –Teresa Kelly, Customer Success