When it comes to safety, plant and equipment can be one of the major risks on any worksite. RMIT researchers have found there are many ways they can cause fatalities, including faults in a piece of plant or equipment, or ineffective onsite risk management. In some cases, a piece of plant such, as a crane, might fail so publicly and tragically that there is suddenly an inspection blitz of all similar cranes across all the worksites in an entire city, as happened following the fatality at Box Hill in 2018.
This can leave a site supervisor, project manager or HSEQ manager scrambling to find the plant induction paperwork from whichever filing cabinet drawer it was filed in–– which is just one of the issues associated with paper-based records of plant and equipment.
While inductions of plant and equipment are an important part of Australian workplace safety regulations for the construction industry, Procore users say it takes a considerable amount of time and they have limitations on how quickly they can access the information when it’s needed.
“Australia is one of the world’s leading countries when it comes to safety compliance and workplace safety culture,” says Procore VP Asia-Pacific Tom Karemacher. “But around one in four fatalities on the worksite is related to equipment or vehicles.”
Better management of plant and equipment records is key to helping reduce this figure, which is why Procore recently launched a new Equipment Management product specifically for the Australian and New Zealand industry.
Procore’s Equipment Management enables a project manager, site supervisor or HESQ manager to enter all relevant information required. It also helps ensure all the appropriate details have been covered such as inspections, maintenance details and specific parameters for operation.
“We really want to help create a safer workplace,” Karemacher says. “It’s not just important to ensure everyone goes home safe at the end of the day, it‘s also about helping contractors put business processes in place that encourage compliance.”
The Equipment Management product makes it faster and easier to record plant and delivers real-time visibility during a project. For example, if the HESQ manager at the head office spots a news story about an issue with a specific piece of plant or equipment on another contractor’s worksite, they can log in to Procore and check the induction records to see if they have the same type of plant and decide if it needs additional checks.
It will also make reporting to Safe Work Australia, or any other agency that may require details of plant and equipment on site, a much simpler and faster process.
Karemacher points out this level of visibility could also have a bottom-line payoff. “If a contractor has multiple sites and a particular piece of plant or equipment is needed, they will be able to easily check if and when it might already be in use at another site, and organise for it to shift across to where it is needed, when it is needed, rather than doubling up on the item for both sites.”
The Equipment Management product (which you can learn more about here) also improves inspection processes, by keeping everything connected and accessible through the Procore platform. Photos, sign-offs, near-miss reports, milestones, tool-box meeting notes, certifications, and other crucial information can all be linked and added in real time by any authorised user.
“While this product doesn’t guarantee all plant and equipment will be compliant, it helps facilitate efficient and effective processes so those responsible can make the tools of the trade on our worksites safer,” Karemacher explains.
This is Procore’s first product developed specifically for the Australian and New Zealand industry, and it has been informed by feedback Procore has received from its ANZ users.
There are five main challenges Procore is hearing from its construction partners. They are:
-Compliance requirements for plant and equipment.
-The cost of project delays from equipment failure.
-Poor visibility of equipment on worksites.
-The burden of administrative work associated with inductions when they are paper- and pen-based.
-Building accountability for safety processes on site.
“We consider our software-as-a-service provision to be a partnership,” Karemacher explains. “Our people are regularly out on worksites across Australia and New Zealand talking with the people who rely on our products so we can keep delivering solutions to the industry’s pressing needs.”