Keeping an Eye on the Jobsite: The Advantages of Construction Cameras
It is a challenging time for the construction industry with the potential for great rewards for those businesses that can adapt to a changing world.
Companies now struggle to recruit skilled workers, manage multiple projects with reduced crews and deal with growing accident and crime rates. Remote monitoring technology can be leveraged to help address these problems.
Trend reports predict increased competition for construction projects throughout 2017. Under pressure, firms are increasingly turning to technology to increase their competitiveness. High-tech jobsite cameras can give supervisors and stakeholders access to real-time project information that speeds decision making and project completion. Cameras that include time-lapse video functionality, security recording features and remote control via a web software interface can provide protection and project management tools.
SKILLED LABOR SHORTAGE
The skilled construction labor pool has not recovered from the downturn in the housing market after 2006, which drove an estimated 30 percent of construction workers out of the field. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reported in August 2016 that more than 60 percent of construction firms are still having trouble filling hourly craft labor positions.
Under these constraints, project managers need to be able to get the most results from the least effort. The placement of construction cameras around multiple jobsites gives project managers the ability to track progress on several projects on a real-time basis and better manage the workflow of the smaller crews.
Project managers can determine issues that could cause delays through streaming video and time-lapse photography. The use of encryption protects the camera feeds from interception to ensure privacy.
JOBSITE ACCIDENTS AND THEFT
Accidents on construction sites endanger workers and can mean big penalties if safety standards were violated. Companies can risk getting hit with a maximum OSHA penalty of $126,749 per willful or repeat violation.
The use of construction cameras can document potential safety problems early on before they result in injuries. They can also track violations that do occur. The footage can be reviewed to develop procedures to prevent similar problems from occurring again during the project.
In addition, construction cameras can help secure jobsites against theft and be used to provide evidence in case a crime is committed. The construction industry suffers more than $1 billion in losses each year in the theft of heavy equipment alone, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The majority of jobsite theft happens on weekends or at night when there is no one around to watch for intruders, but construction cameras can be used to monitor the jobsite remotely. They also offer a psychological deterrent as knowing they are under observation can discourage would-be thieves.
The adoption of new technology has traditionally been slow in the construction industry, but construction firms and related businesses can no longer ignore the need to do so to remain competitive. Properly used construction cameras can offer a significant return on investment in increased productivity and liability prevention.