How construction sites use QR codes

Leigh Roberts

Customer advocate & business process specialist

QR codes are among the most common tools construction sites use to reduce paperwork. They can be used by any smartphone user, pretty much irrespective of their level of tech sophistication. And by their nature, they are very easy to roll out.

A QR code, short for Quick Response code, is a type of two-dimensional bar code that contains information (typically a link to a website or an app) that can be scanned by a mobile phone camera or by specific apps. It consists of a pattern of black squares arranged on a white background. On construction sites, QR codes can link to information and forms to make tasks easier, faster, and more accessible.  And of course, improve safety.

Here's how they are commonly used:

  1. Site sign-in: QR codes can replace traditional sign-in sheets. Contractors scan a QR code to check in and out, removing physical paperwork and making attendance tracking easier. This kind of data can be used for site safety – assisting with evacuations – and matched against supplier invoices to ensure the hours invoiced match the hours on site, for example.
  2. Site induction: QR codes at site entrances are used so that workers can complete their induction online before entering the site. Having everything recorded online reduces the time it takes for Site Managers and General Contractors to manage this task
  3. Easy access to information: By scanning a QR code, construction workers or site managers can instantly access online files like safety documents, safety data sheets, operation instructions, or data associated with a specific process on the site (SWMS/JSA). This saves contractors from returning to the site office to find the manual's hard copy, for example. QR codes can be placed on equipment, machinery, or hazardous areas to provide immediate access to safety guidelines and operating instructions.
  4. Equipment tracking and booking equipment: QR codes can be stuck to construction equipment, tools, or materials to track their movement and usage. This allows for better inventory management, reducing the likelihood of lost or misplaced items.

How to get started with QR codes

Generally, there are two options when getting started with QR codes.

A DIY approach: You can set up your QR codes and start scanning and tracking what you like using a free online QR code generator to generate a link to a web page or web form – like Google Forms. We suggest starting small with one QR code so you can understand its capability and limitations. You'll need to look out for how you can view your QR code scan data and what it tells you. Generally, with simple QR solutions as you get more and more scans, it will be harder to report useful information like who was onsite and when, and any associated form fills, without help from a developer.  

A sign-in solution: Sign-in and safety tools like EVACheck-in use QR codes to open up accessibility to sign-in and safety processes to as many contractors as possible. QR codes can be used for sign-in, inductions, reporting near-misses and accessing essential site documents. You can also create QR codes for booking equipment.  Designed to rollout without IT support and a smart backend, EVA Check-in makes it easy to understand the data behind the scans, including who arrived and when. Whether they completed an induction or not. And if there was a near-miss, whether the Health and Safety Manager was notified, for example.

Example QR code poster. Scan QR code to see worksite sign-in.

Overall, QR codes enable workplaces to give their contractors instant access to essential information and make processes easier - without the need to buy and secure tablets like iPads. For Site and Project Managers, QR codes mean that safety processes take less time and improve safety of the crew on site.

Check out how small to medium construction businesses use QR codes to solve operational inefficiencies.

If you’d like to see how EVA Check-in uses QR codes to improve safety as well as free up Site Managers for other tasks, get in touch. Or you can easily get started using QR codes with a free 14-day trial – no IT help needed.

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