This Is What Construction Cameras Can Do for Your Site

Posted by Ryan Cox on March 4, 2020

Employing roughly 7 percent of the working-age population, the construction industry is one of the global economy's largest sectors. Every year, the industry spends $10 trillion on construction goods and services according to McKinsey Global Institute.

McKinsey Global Institute's Reinventing construction: A route to higher productivity indicates that while other industries have undergone a digital transformation to increase efficiencies, construction still lags. MGI lists construction as one of the least digitized sectors in the world per its digitization index. It falls in second to last place in the U.S. and dead last in Europe.

Here's a comparison to put it in perspective. Manufacturing's productivity growth in the last 20 years is 3.6 percent. The average growth for the total world economy is 2.8 percent. Construction’s growth is only 1 percent. If it works to increase that to 2 percent — which is still below the average — it would bring up the industry's value by about $1.6 trillion.

The Causes of Construction's Straggling Nature

One of the largest side effects of construction's highly fragmented nature is poor project management and execution. Perhaps because there are no standards in productivity performance. Laggards need to take a page out of the innovative firms' books. Innovative companies have increased productivity by 50 to 70 percent.

MGI indicates that by 2030, the world needs approximately $57 trillion worth of infrastructure investments to keep up with the global economy. What this means for construction is a 4 percent annual growth rate. Again, construction's trailing in labor productivity puts them behind most industries. No wonder so few construction companies see double-digit growth. Isn't it worth making changes for this kind of increase in productivity?

Construction also struggles with standardizing operations and project reporting. While every construction project is different, it can create processes and procedures that apply to all projects and adjust as they learn from mistakes. They can also organize the construction site to increase productivity and safety.

The industry is slow to digitize. It often relies on spreadsheets and legacy systems when there are more efficient tools. Software Advice has found that 60 percent depend on manual methods, such as pen and paper, spreadsheets, and notes. Almost one-third use ad-hoc tools such as email and online calendars to manage construction operations.

Construction companies tend to operate in silos. This approach makes it difficult to optimize resources effectively. There's technology available that allows employers to collect valuable data from construction workers' smartphones. That data can improve efficiencies.

Aside from updating software, there's one way to drastically increase construction efficiency and gain other benefits: construction cameras.

How Construction Cameras Improve Efficiency

Construction project managers have a lot on their plates. They cannot be everywhere. This is especially true when more than 80 percent of National Association of Home Builders members say the cost and availability of skilled workers is a top problem.

Project managers juggle multiple projects, activities, and responsibilities. Knowing that someone has eyes on the construction site can ease their workload. They can focus on the things that need their attention like budget management and reports. They can also check on the site from any device to ensure everything is in good shape.

Construction cameras are one of those things that are so simple and yet deliver volumes of benefits. Unfortunately, many construction companies don't use them. Video surveillance systems can help with the other common construction site problems and help provide the following benefits.

Catch Problems Early

This is where video surveillance is valuable. It can help catch problems early before they spiral out of control. Project managers can check the video from wherever they are. They can even be away from the construction site and still have eyes on it.

Video surveillance and time-lapse cameras can highlight the project's progress and potential problems. Everyone knows the earlier you identify the problems, the cheaper and easier it is to fix them.

If what you see on video doesn't mesh with the progress reports, then you can take action before it breaks the budget and delays the project.

Project delays happen but sometimes they're not in your control. Construction cameras can prove external elements, such as severe weather, caused the delays. This gives you the support you need to justify the project's delay.

Help Minimize Construction Site Liability Issues

Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reveals that 21 percent of all worker fatalities in 2017 occurred in construction. The key to saving more lives is to reduce what OSHA calls the "Fatal Four." These include falls, getting struck by an object, electrocution and caught-in/between and comprise almost 60 percent of fatalities in 2017.

A company's bottom line can take a major hit when it comes to workplace injuries. OSHA estimates that employers pay more than $1 billion per week in workers' comp. The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index shows overexertion (lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, and carrying) and falls on the same level. They comprised more than 40 percent of the injuries in 2018. Construction workers are always lifting, pushing, pulling, and walking on the job. Thus, the site is at risk for overexertion and falls multiple times every workday.

Hopefully, this doesn't happen, but if someone gets hurt, video surveillance can bring it to someone's attention sooner. On the other end of the spectrum, someone looking for a payday may fake an injury. Video cameras can also uncover fraud to prevent liability claims on your construction site.

In addition, construction sites are very attractive to trespassers. The sites are dangerous enough for the workers, but when someone enters who doesn’t know where the hazards lie, it becomes even more perilous. If a contractor or project management team cannot prove they took all the right precautions, they can be sued. Monitored construction cameras can help by watching out for these unwanted guests and hazardous situations.

Video surveillance can point out when someone isn't correctly following processes and procedures. Think of video surveillance as a construction site safety tool. Not a tool for admonishing employees for doing things wrong.

You can use video surveillance as a training tool. There are employees who correctly follow processes and procedures. You can save this footage and use it to train employees in the right way and the wrong way to do things.

Secure the Construction Site

Theft and vandalism are big problems for construction sites. National Equipment Register reports construction site theft costs an average of $400 million per year. This does not include building materials, damages associated with theft and vandalism, or stolen tools. Moreover, the construction industry deals with an average of $1 billion in copper theft every year per the Department of Energy.

On average, the value of one piece of equipment stolen from a construction site is $30,000. The chances of getting it back are small as only one-fourth of stolen equipment is recovered. Thefts can also drive up insurance costs. Meanwhile, video surveillance can help drive down insurance premiums. The presence of remote video surveillance cameras shows the insurance company that you've taken steps to reduce your risk of theft and vandalism.

Construction cameras can watch the site around-the-clock, help deter crime, and limit the damage. After everyone's gone home, the cameras stay on duty. Using a combination of analytics and human intelligence, construction cameras can alert the security operator when there is suspicious activity.

The operator checks out the activity. If there are trespassers, the operator can respond by contacting the suspects through remote audio. If this doesn't drive them away from the site, the operator calls the police. Here are construction site videos that show how surveillance and trained security operators deter crime.

How to Pick the Right Construction Cameras

Like with any other technology, you'll find low-quality and high-quality products with video surveillance systems. The best video surveillance system depends on your construction site's needs and requirements. One option you might consider is mobile video surveillance.

It's important to work with a company that has video surveillance experience in the construction industry. Apartments, office buildings, and automotive dealerships all have different requirements for a video surveillance system. As you talk to potential security partners, ask about their experience in construction.

Stealth Monitoring offers a diversity of construction cameras and security options to ensure your site has what it needs. You won't be stuck with useless features that you don't need. We also look for ways to help you save on costs.

Installing construction cameras will give management peace of mind knowing there are eyes on the property, and everything is recorded. Construction site security with video surveillance amplifies your investment because it does more than deter crime. Here's something a lot of companies don't know: Remote video surveillance can cost up to 60 percent less than security guards. You'll maximize security for minimal cost, which means a quick ROI.

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Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Video Monitoring