How Orca Scan provided workforce solutions during COVID-19

An enlightened project manager at one of the top construction firms in the USA has saved their team over $10k a month by using Orca Scan to scan, track and trace QR codes registered to each of their workers - efficiently managing the safety and security of over 400 construction site workers using only a smartphone and a hard hat…

The problem…

The inspired workforce monitoring solution was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic on a project that required a cautious approach to contact tracing. A solution was needed that would enable multiple companies to work on the same site safely 👷

It was crucial to know exactly how many people were reporting for work each day and from which companies so they could track positive cases on-site and reduce the spread between workforces and crews.

As a result, the safety superintendent was required to call each company every morning to check how many of their workers would be attending the site that day. Workers that did attend were expected to voluntarily sign in and log their symptoms via a QR code on a leaflet. However, as the responses were inconsistent and the process was time-consuming, the tracing system was ineffective ❌

A little bit of context….

This particular construction project ran for two and a half years during the COVID-19 pandemic. The site had up to 400 workers per day, from 20 different companies, at any one time - meaning workforce monitoring was essential.

From contact tracking to workforce monitoring… How has Orca Scan provided a solution?

Using Orca Scan, a QR code sticker was added to each worker’s hat. As the workers come into the entrance gate, they are scanned using Orca Scan on a phone 📲

The QR code on each worker's hard hat is scanned each day.
The QR code on each worker's hard hat is scanned each day.

This data is stored on a dedicated Orca Sheet, which provides accurate workforce numbers in real-time – great for contact tracing as it enabled them to identify sick “call-outs” early in the day and prevent further on-site spread. For those who are scanned, the data acts as an acknowledgement that the worker was fit to work that day.

The product is so flexible; it didn’t take long for us to figure out the tools it offered and how it could be the best solution for us.

Whilst this solution was initially implemented for contact tracing, it has matured into a workforce monitoring system. The daily scans at the construction site give real-time insight into workforce attendance.

Each week, the data is exported, and this allows the project manager/site manager to accurately track how many hours each worker has completed; super handy when it comes to invoicing!

The construction management company had previously solved this problem by using cards, card readers, gates and turnstiles to track workforce numbers. However, this is an expensive infrastructure, and with the urgency of the COVID-19 situation, they needed a more accessible alternative that could be implemented quickly.

Orca Scan has provided this solution without adding any unnecessary process to the workers’ day.

This solution has also provided an added layer of security to the site. Each worker must complete the relevant safety training before they are issued with the sticker for their hat. This helps to identify who should and shouldn’t be on the site. This reduces the chance of people being able to sneak on the site and steal tools, as well as keeping compliant with the appropriate safety regulations 🦺

Has the solution been successful?

The implementation of this solution has saved the construction manager approximately $10k a month and several hours of time previously spent by the superintendents each morning.

Not to mention, the solution has provided an accuracy they have never had before, helping to improve payroll audits, and accurately invoice and track business costs 💰

I’ve recommended Orca Scan to a lot of other teams.

The real value continues to be the up-to-date data in the Orca Sheet, which shows exactly who is on-site on any given day. Giving the site managers more visibility to act faster in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on-site was a real bonus.

In fact, it has been so successful that other teams have enquired about using it on their construction sites. The simplicity of the Orca Scan solution means training and implementation at any new construction site is quick and efficient 👍

The digitalisation of construction is supported by GS1 Standards

Infusing digital technology and advanced automation in the construction industry is one of the seven recommendations of a 2017 Mckinsey Report into the Construction Industry. Orca Scan is GS1 UK-approved product which means you can be confident you remain compliant with GS1 standards, even when innovating.

Thank You

We’re proud of how Orca Scan helped this construction business and the other 20 companies improve safety, security and save money. Thank you for sharing your story 🙏

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