Challenging the Safety Status Quo: One Conversation at a Time

September 23, 2019/by Barry Nelson

As a large general contractor in North Texas, ANDRES Construction has trade partners performing hazardous scopes of work on several projects on any given day. A longstanding safety requirement for these projects is crew completion of a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) covering the work to be performed, potential hazards and ways to prevent accidents at the start of the day.

The problem?

The JHA was a written form that ultimately was a one-way communication. ANDRES’ safety team wondered: Does the crew performing the work really understand the risks? How is this information being communicated or understood?

They recognized that there had to be a better way to deliver JHAs. SmartTagIt provided the opportunity to convert the JHA from a one-way to a two-way communication process. Starting with a few key trade partners, ANDRES provided communication coaching and simple app instructions to test SmartTagIt.

How ANDRES Continues to Improve

The SmartTagIt process is simple: a crew foreman opens the app on his cellphone, and instead of reading a form to a disengaged audience of workers, he records a conversation about work hazards, engages the crew to identify hazards they may face that day, and shares how they can be minimized or eliminated. Once captured on SmartTagIt, the conversation is automatically uploaded to a server so that project and safety management teams have instant access to it.

For ANDRES, having a documented way to verify meaningful two-way communication between the foreman and labor forces closest to the work has been a game-changer.

With over 600 videos collected in the past six months, the safety team has experienced a vast improvement in the delivery and receipt of vital safety information by using SmartTagIt. The conversations and communications continue to improve. The safety team designates the best recorded conversations as “Rock Star” status, then shares these with teams so that everyone can improve and become masters at meaningful field conversations.

“ANDRES has always been committed to continuous improvement and to ensuring the safety of every person on our projects. The SmartTagIt app is just one more step we can take to make sure we are doing everything we can to provide the safest environment possible,” Warren Andres, President of ANDRES Construction, explained.

“Our labor force and trade partners are our most important asset, and if technology and communication can potentially provide a safer work environment, then that is our next direction. ANDRES never accepts the status quo.”