Going Digital For Construction Safety: The Future of Reporting

Posted 30.11.23 by:

Imagine you have a construction site where your field crews are arriving to begin their day. You sip on your morning coffee while the notifications roll in from each crew as they sign in and complete their daily pre-shift safety checks.

If you’re not using a digital solution to manage your teams, you’re likely not sitting and relaxing with your cup of coffee. Instead, you’re probably swamped with a thousand things to do and seemingly endless paperwork.

How can you escape the monotony of sifting through equipment reports, site checks, and pre-use equipment inspections? In this article, you’ll find out how you can save hours each week merely by streamlining and transferring documentation tasks to a digital platform like 1st Reporting.

You’ll learn how you can make dynamic digital forms that your teams can complete right on their smart devices in the field. Our solutions solve multi-location, mobile, and field crew safety and incident inspection and documentation challenges in the construction industry. So buckle up. Let’s see how you can save time and money and increase team member safety all in one go with 1st Reporting.

The Challenges of Traditional Reporting in Construction

Traditional reporting in the Construction industry is typically quite challenging. On the one hand, you have workers who are used to their way of doing things – grabbing their walkie and radioing in information regarding incidents. On the other hand, you’ve got regulations and standards to follow, complete with documentation requirements. 

In a fast-paced and complex construction project, managing the paperwork alone often requires multiple managers, supervisors, and administrators. With 1st Reporting, you can shave hours off the work needed to address ‘paperwork.’

The Fragility of Paper Reports in Construction

Paper is fragile, easy to damage, easier to lose, and even harder to find, review, and analyze when the quantity is high. Just think, have you ever had to pull a whole year of reports and find meaning in them? If they’re paper reports, you’d better not hold your breath; it’s going to take some time.

Construction workers are not known for their gentle, soft touch or their clean hands. The amount of paperwork that goes back to the office soiled is likely relatively high. I know it was a definite point of concern when I managed mechanical service crews, I can tell you.

As if the fragility of paper were not bad enough, as a manager, you’ll also have to face construction worker writing. The misspellings, the lingo, the handwriting that’s less than desirable – all these spell disaster if you need to review all the details.

If you’re not getting the picture here, consider this: For each document that needs filing, business costs are about $20. Typical labor spent to find a misfiled document is six times more at $120. Lost documents? Well, those will cost your company, on average, $220 to reproduce(1).

Recall and Analysis (and More)

One of the other significant challenges to using paper-based reporting is trying to make sense of it after the fact. It’s easy to see what writing is on a piece of paper, but what about the last 30 days of paperwork? How about the last quarter? Or even last year?

The point here is that paperwork is a nightmare – it’s no wonder there’s a stigma about having to complete paperwork that’s akin to a bad joke.

A report by Forrester for Adobe(2) found that 97% of organizations lacked digital documentation processes. That means that most of your competition likely doesn’t yet have efficient operations, providing you with a huge opportunity to take your organization leaps and bounds ahead.

I could go on and on about how paperwork delays information, offers you seemingly endless points of pain, and helps you lack a real-time oversight capability, but you already know these things. Let’s talk about how you can solve them, all of them, at once.

A Digital Transformation with 1st Reporting?

A construction supervisor completes his site report in the field where a new construction site is being prepared. Learn about construction safety reporting at 1stReporting.com.

You know how challenging paper-based reporting is, so what’s the solution? Your best bet is a digital platform that’s easy to learn and practical to operate. It would be best if you had something collaborative, secure, and customizable to your specific job sites and needs. You need 1st Reporting.

1st Reporting is a cutting-edge digital application designed to revolutionize how construction teams handle reporting and documentation. This app empowers your teams to document incidents, conduct inspections, and manage various forms of reporting directly from their mobile devices – be it smartphones, tablets, or laptops. 

By integrating this technology into your operations, you can address several critical issues inherent in paper-based reporting systems.

Snapshot: Key Advantages of 1st Reporting Over Paper-Based Systems

Real-Time Data Access and Sharing

With 1st Reporting, you instantly transmit and access reports. Unlike paper-based systems that require physical handover and manual entry, the app ensures that information reaches the relevant personnel immediately. This feature is crucial for timely decision-making and enhances overall efficiency.

Enhanced Accuracy and Reduced Errors

Manual entry in paper reports often leads to errors and inconsistencies. 1st Reporting minimizes these risks by enabling direct data entry, reducing the likelihood of mistakes that can occur when transcribing or interpreting handwritten notes.

Cloud Storage for Easy Access and Organization

The app stores all documents securely in the cloud, ensuring that your team can access and retrieve reports from anywhere at any time. Our centralized data storage eliminates the clutter and misplacement risks associated with physical documents.

Customizable Forms for Specific Needs

Every construction project has unique reporting requirements. The 1st platform offers a powerful form customizer, allowing you to tailor forms to meet specific project needs with flexibility that paper forms can’t match.

Improved Safety Compliance and Incident Reporting

A scene showing construction safety apparel and a tablet where the 1st Reporting app could help manage incidents and safety reporting. Learn more at 1streporting.com.

In construction, timely reporting of incidents is crucial for safety and compliance. Our app enables immediate documentation of incidents, helping you maintain high safety standards and comply with regulatory requirements. But that’s not all. With the convenient space provided to include a user library, you can have anything from specific equipment manuals to company SOPs.

GPS Integration for Enhanced Oversight

The built-in GPS feature tracks where reports are submitted, offering you a geographical overview of activities and incidents. This capability is instrumental in managing large-scale projects and ensuring that issues are addressed promptly and accurately.

Custom Notifications for Prompt Responses

You can set up custom notifications that alert managers and relevant personnel when reports are submitted. This feature drastically reduces response times in emergencies, enhancing overall site safety and operational responsiveness.

By integrating the 1st Reporting app into your construction processes, you effectively address the inefficiencies, delays, and risks associated with paper-based reporting. This digital transformation not only streamlines your reporting processes but also significantly enhances the safety, accuracy, and efficiency of your construction projects.

Available on Google Play and The Apple App Store for all your teams and all their devices.

Streamlining Operations and Management Oversight

A site foreman completes his site safety report on a tablet using the 1st Reporting app.

We looked at many of the features that make 1st Reporting the industry-standard digital documentation platform for mobile field teams. However, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what it can do for your operations management.

Assuming that you work in a team, or even if you don’t, the collaborative ability of secure, cloud-based systems that power 1st Reporting is revolutionary. As an ISO-certified provider, 1st has the power to transform your operations.

Consider the dynamic power of the 1st Reporting custom form builder. Our builder lets you make any kind of form or template you need, or you can start with one of our built-in standard templates. Next, you can enter the editor and add dynamic and automated functions to the workflow. Now, your follow-up reports can tag onto your incident reports for a seamless digital workflow without ever needing a pen or pencil again.

Customization for Specific Needs

1st Reporting doesn’t just let you customize forms and automate workflows. No, it does more. The customizable notification features make the app a mighty copilot to your day. You set the trigger and assign which individuals or groups get a notification, and our platform takes care of the rest. Imagine a supervisor receiving a message before their team has even done their report. Add the GPS location and timestamp, and you’ve got a means to manage your teams, no matter if they (or you) are out in the field or at another job site.

Real-World Impact

Two managers are happy and shake in agreement with using the 1st Reporting platform for their construction site safety reporting.

Our world is full of perils, and construction sites are no exception. As of 2021, the construction industry accounted for a staggering 21% of all deaths among all US workers(3).

Due to the extreme dangers of most construction sites, studies have been done to find the most effective solutions. One such study noted that the use of a proactive approach to hazard identification and incident prevention resulted in a safer work environment(4)

However, the scope of the study was limited to a single construction company, so there is room for more work in this field of research. Despite these facts, it stands to reason that other studies would find similar results, as I, too, found that managing construction projects with a keen eye on hazard identification drastically reduced overall incidents. Again, that was my experience, and I anticipate similar findings in other real-world construction applications.

The Future of Construction Safety Reporting

The further the hand of time moves forward, the more interconnected we seem to be. We opened the floodgates with the dawn of the internet, and we also enabled our collaboration like never before.

One of the most significant impacts that our technological marvels have provided is its ability to help us sort through and sift data at scale. Using preferred Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), we can discern trends in real-world applications with remarkable precision. The level of accuracy achieved through data-backed prediction is so profound that it might have been considered akin to witchcraft in the past.

However, unlike our historical figures, there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to technology helping you make data-driven decisions, especially when those decisions are in real-time, backed by the power of customizable forms and reports and digital collaboration on a mobile and secure platform.

The future of construction safety reporting is digital. Trust 1st Reporting to see to it that you have the cutting edge of digital reporting at your fingertips. So, you and your team will have the ability to complete any form or report on the fly, whether you’re in range of an internet signal or not.

Empowering the Future: A Digital Leap in Construction Safety

Construction safety is paramount, and we’ve shown that through proactive hazard identification, we can generally lower incident and accident rates. Furthermore, using a digital platform enables real-time decision-making, so proper management of incidents can happen at the moment.

By transitioning to a digital platform, like 1st Reporting, you’re not just upgrading a tool; you’re revolutionizing the entire ethos of how safety and efficiency are managed on your construction sites. From real-time data access to enhanced accuracy, from cloud-based organization to customizable forms, 1st Reporting stands as a beacon of innovation in the construction industry. 

It’s not just about doing things differently; it’s about doing things better, faster, and with a level of precision once deemed unattainable.

Moreover, the integration of dynamic form workflows, GPS for oversight, custom notifications for prompt response, and collaborative capabilities underscores a fundamental shift from reactive to proactive management. This digital platform isn’t merely a tool; it’s your partner in fostering a safer, more compliant, and more efficient construction environment.

As we look to the future, the role of technology in construction safety can’t be overstated. With 1st Reporting, you’re not just keeping pace with the times; you’re setting the pace. You’re not just observing industry trends; you’re defining them. In the hands of your team, this app is more than a digital solution—it’s a commitment to excellence, safety, and innovation.

Article Sources

  1. “Armstrong Archives.” 2022. Armstrong Archives. May 23, 2022. https://www.armstrongarchives.com/records-management-statistics/#:~:text=There%20are%20over%204%20trillion,%25%20per%20year%20(PricewaterhouseCoopers)..
  2. ‌Leonard, Kimberlee. 2015. “7 Stats That Will Make You Rethink Your Document Management Strategy.” Business.com. business.com. December 7, 2015. https://www.business.com/articles/7-statistics-that-will-make-you-rethink-your-document-management-strategy/.
  3. “TABLE A‐1. Fatal Occupational Injuries by Industry and Event or Exposure, All United States, 2020 : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” 2022. Bls.gov. November 17, 2022. https://www.bls.gov/iif/fatal-injuries-tables/fatal-occupational-injuries-table-a-1-2020.htm.
  4. ‌Ibukun Awolusi, Eric Marks, Alexander M Hainen, and Ammar Alzarrad. 2022. “Incident Analysis and Prediction of Safety Performance on Construction Sites.” CivilEng 3 (3): 669–86. https://doi.org/10.3390/civileng3030039.

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