When the first COVID-related restrictions came down on U.S. construction sites in the spring of 2020, many contractors were caught flat-footed compiling information on workers and visitors for contact tracing. Moving swiftly, contractors and software developers soon deployed online questionnaires reached by QR codes to capture much-needed COVID-19 contact tracing data at jobsite entry points.
Safe Site Check In was developed to allow workers and visitors to answer basic questions quickly on their smartphone about their health before entering jobsites. Now that most of those restrictions are being lifted, these apps are finding additional uses by firms looking for better data on who is coming and going on site.
“The pandemic brought to light a lot of things, but one thing was that we didn’t have a check-in site for a lot of our jobs,” says Kasey Duffy, senior business analyst with Chicago-based Pepper Construction. “We’re conscious of having things like [Safe Site Check In] not get in the way of the jobsite workflow, but our foremen and superintendents love having all this info.”
“Early on, the app was all about COVID symptoms questions, since we were trying to get rid of these paper logs people had to maintain,” says Tom Tortolani, head of product at Safe Site Check In. “But in recent months we’ve made the system more flexible so it’s faster to update questions as needed.”
Tortolani adds that some municipalities require visitors to state their vaccination status in order to determine relevant social distancing and mask requirements.
But the app also is giving some contractors insights into who’s on their jobsites. “Safe Site is simple and not a huge burden on our jobsite teams,” says Duffy. “Tools like this can eventually help us track manpower against productivity.”