Electronic Safety Audits Have Short- and Long-Term Benefits

October 28, 2013

BETHESDA, Md. – Tablets and handheld computers have become an essential part of Clark’s tool belt over the past few years. Our project managers and field supervisors have relied on the devices’ portability and connectivity to improve many facets of the construction process, from quality control to punchlist. A new company initiative uses the devices to enhance our safety effort - on both a day-to-day and global level.

Clark’s safety program requires each field supervisor to perform a documented safety audit every week. These audits have traditionally been conducted with paper checklists and forms, which are taken back to the field office, compiled, and reported to the necessary subcontractors. But now, the company’s safety personnel are combining Latista field management software and tablets into a powerful electronic safety auditing program.

The initiative is currently in place on all Western Region projects. Clark’s field supervisors now walk the site with iPads in hand, electronically documenting their safety inspections. The technology allows team members to attach digital photos to the report for clearer identification and communication of any potential hazards. Each documented item is also tagged with a responsible party who can then address the issue, log into the software program, and close it out themselves.

While electronic safety auditing can have an immediate impact on job sites, the process will have a lasting effect on the company’s overall safety performance. Examining data aggregated from multiple projects’ safety audits can reveal trends in construction activities or workforce behavior. With this data, project teams and the Safety Department can adjust on-site requirements and procedures to reduce potential hazards and keep our project sites safe.

Early adapters are working to tweak and optimize the Latista software for safety audits. The electronic safety audit process will expand to more Clark job sites later this year.