According to respondents of a report by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, only 19% of all construction projects utilise digitalisation to its fullest to enhance progress monitoring and encourage good health, safety and wellbeing practices.
Digitalisation has taken hold in countless businesses and industries over the last 30 years as the digital revolution has rolled onward and technologies have evolved. However, by its own admission, the construction industry has fallen behind in adopting such practices, with resistance met at every turn in favour of traditionalism and maintaining consistency with the way things have always been done.
Online inductions are one way construction sites are utilising digitalisation to not only improve longstanding processes, but to also make sites as a whole more productive while upholding solid safety practices.
What is digitalisation?
Digitalisation refers to the replacement of outdated analogue or manual processes with more modern, efficient and autonomous digital and internet-powered processes. A good example of such would be the replacement of physical timesheets with digital clock-in and clock-out alternatives.
While not without their drawbacks, digital technologies being used in such a way as the example above can help eliminate mistakes or complacency brought about as a result of physical processes. Because digital processes are often stored on a hard drive or in the cloud, there is a far reduced chance of loss or human error, with the addition of helpful digital tools we all now use every day.
Why do construction sites need to embrace the digital age?
There are countless reasons construction sites need to embrace digital technology, including but not limited to:
- General admin duties
- Document creation and sharing
- Inventory tracking
- Delivering safety briefings
- Managing time and schedules
And so much more.
How can online inductions encourage digitalisation in construction?
Induction delivery and completion
Physical inductions have their benefits, but needing to perform an induction for several new starters before they begin work can be a time-consuming process. Whereas with online inductions, new starters can be offered all the information they need and the tasks they need to complete from the comfort of their own home, or in any setting that’s better for them. In turn, this saves the construction company time and effort, as they will then only need to perform a much shorter, less in-depth induction when the candidate arrives for their first day.
Admin clerks can spend countless hours collecting, storing and/or digitising documents, ensuring workers have all the qualifications and experience they need before they start. The most awkward part of the process is that the candidate usually brings these documents with them on day 1, rather than providing them in advance, leaving admin staff with a lot of work to do. But with online induction platforms, the candidates have the chance to digitally scan and upload their documents to the system – an easy process with smartphones and cameras these days – well ahead of time. This not only cuts the time admin staff need to spend organising documents, but also cuts the chances of unqualified workers accidentally being given access to the site. Speaking of which…
Keeping track of qualifications and completed tasks
Given construction sites have the potential to be home to countless trips, slips, drops and other nasty accidents, it is essential for companies to only hire the workers they feel have the qualifications they’re looking for. However, the systems in place to collect and store these documents aren’t always the safest and can be prone to losses and even tampering.
But with online inductions, qualification documents can be uploaded and safely housed in a digital platform that is fully GDPR compliant, allowing managers to quickly see who has the qualifications they need for a specific job. On top of this, new candidates can easily be given tasks to complete, ensuring they have the skills necessary to work on-site and can put learned knowledge into action when the time is right.
Embrace online inductions as part of digitalisation for your sites
If you’ve recognised that your sites are in dire need of a digital overhaul, online inductions can be a great place to start. By digitalising the induction process you stand to save time, cut costs and boost the productivity of your sites, allowing your projects to be delivered in record time, every time.