The journey to better safety on construction sites never ends. Involving everyone on-site, it focuses heavily on open and clear communication about safety, risks and mitigations. Layering safety communications such as inductions, daily site briefings and toolbox talks, is having a positive impact on reducing harm.
But we haven’t reached zero-harm industry-wide.
Is it time to rethink how we deliver some of these safety messages to get better results? Research indicates that this is needed as only 25 – 50% of the information discussed in a site briefing is retained.
Some businesses have tried to address this gap. By attaching diagrams to site noticeboards and hiring translators to attend site briefings for large migrant workforces. These solutions go part of the way to reduce the information loss, but they also impact the bottom line and aren’t accessible for every company.
One solution is to digitise site briefings, as doing so puts critical safety information needed daily into the hands of contractors, when they need it.
Digitised safety briefings can be used as a stand-alone briefing mechanism or as a record of the in-person pre-start briefing, that the contractor can then refer to later during the day as needed.
The benefits of digitising site briefings include:
- Increased flexibility: If an unanticipated safety issue crops up during the day, all workers on site get a notification of the change - which asks them to read and acknowledge new risks and mitigations. There is no need to interrupt everyone to complete another briefing.
- Improve access to critical information: When briefings are digitised, workers can access the information at any time during the day. With information at the contractors’ fingertips, they can refresh their understanding of the risk mitigations immediately before starting the work. And once again, there is no need to interrupt their day by traipsing down to a centralised noticeboard.
- Better shared resources: Sharing information and links to videos, presentations and diagrams. A handheld video of a contractor translating key briefings for workmates, for example, can be easily made available at near zero cost and then shared widely.
- Audit trail: An easily accessible record of who has read and acknowledged the briefing.
- Less paperwork: Often means less effort and cost.
How do briefings work in EVA Check-in?
Using EVA Check-in you can digitise your daily briefings and toolbox talks, as well as broadcast urgent issues using messaging.
Starting with daily briefings. Some companies operate a ‘what’s on today’ approach using the ‘daily alert’ capability in EVA Check-in. This sends a SMS/email/app notification the first-time people check-in for the day. The text in the message can be modified daily to highlight major events – which could be safety related or even inform the team that a VIP is visiting site (you can find these settings under Site Information Options –> On-site alerts -> Daily alert).
A short message is great, but in many cases a daily briefing needs more information –and acknowledgement. Backing up these messages with more detail is done using the Onsite forms/info module. You can add an information form for daily briefing here - covering whatever safety and project delivery content you want. It’s easy to change daily and supports images and links to video as required.
If you want to ensure your team has read and understood the briefing, you can require a checkbox or signature on submission. Then in the ‘who is here’ report you can see who has (and has not) acknowledged the briefing.
Below you can see Sam has completed the daily briefing while Bill has not. It’s easy to use EVA Check-in’s broadcast messaging (‘send alert’) to remind people who have not done it yet as shown in the video.
You can also use this feature to broadcast a message to all on-site – be that to gather for a meeting, for new hazard notifications, or to initiate an evacuation.
Presentations used in toolbox talks can also be made available to everyone or selected groups via Onsite forms. It is easy to create a library for talk topics and then publish a rotating topic to your sites on a weekly basis. Like daily briefings, you can either have just content in the toolbox talk, or also require acknowledgement and track this. By making resources available after you’ve held an in-person toolbox talk, you’re ensuring that contractors who missed the meeting or those that start the day after the talk, have the resources they need to keep themselves safe.
Any daily briefings or toolbox talks that have been acknowledged are recorded in the EVA Check-in activity report – which can then provide evidence of compliance if you are audited.
If you’re ready to give your contractors access to the key safety information when they need it, rather than relying solely on recall of key messages from a pre-start briefing or toolbox talk, then it’s time to take a look at EVA Check-in. Getting underway takes just a few minutes – just sign up here for a free 14-day trial.