Triax: A Tool for Improving Safety and Efficiency
BY DEBRA WOOD
Jobsite connectivity with Triax Technologies' Spot-r technology delivers data-driven information about worker location and equipment use, leading to improved safety at the jobsite.
"It is a tool that can be used on project sites, which helps you better manage safety," says Don Naber, senior vice president and director of risk management for Gilbane Building Co. in Providence, Rhode Island, a member of multiple AGC chapters.
Triax’s mesh network uses proprietary radio frequency connectivity to blanket a construction site, offering full coverage for wearable clips worn by workers and sensors tagged on equipment, explained Pete Schermerhorn, president and COO of Triax Technologies in Norwalk, Connecticut, a Colorado Contractors Association and AGC of Connecticut member.
"This technology was developed from the ground up for construction," Schermerhorn says. "The key is power availability, scalability and ease of use."
Construction workers wear rechargeable Spot-r Clips, which provide real-time information to the management team and system administrators, including where each worker is located on the jobsite.
"It is important from a time and attendance and productivity standpoint, but also from a safety standpoint," Schermerhorn says.
The Spot-r device alerts managers and safety superintendents in real time if a worker has fallen.
"You have an opportunity to respond to the fall immediately," Naber says. "It also allows you to understand the circumstances around the fall in order to help change behaviors and improve upon the overall job safety."
A jump from one elevation to another will also set off an alert, and the supervisor can educate the person about safer behaviors. Additionally, a worker can push a button on the Spot-r Clip to call for help.
The Spot-r Clip also helps in speeding jobsite evacuation in a catastrophic situation.
"This gets the same message out to every-one on-site at the same time," Naber says.
Contractors also can monitor how many workers are active and how much equipment is in use at one location and redeploy them as needed to improve productivity. The system provides man hours, so man-agers do not have to tally those manually.
Naber says initially some people feel the device is invasive but once they understand its purpose and that it’s non-GPS, they become more comfortable with it.
"This is about keeping a safer worksite, not keeping tabs on someone," Naber says.
Contractors also can use the Triax sensors to track equipment. The equipment sensor and worker clip connect with each other to let managers know who is using what and ensure the person operating the equipment is authorized to use that piece of machinery.
"Having utilization and run-time statistics about all equipment on site is incredibly useful," Schermerhorn says.
Triax cost includes the software as a service, which covers installation and maintenance of the system, user access and data collection, and is determined by factors including size and length of project, plus the devices, which cost $100 each.
Insurers have noted the benefit of quicker identification of an injury and data collection, Schermerhorn says.
"Clearly there are benefits we see with Spot-r to improving safety and behaviors to help reduce overall insurance costs, and insurance carriers recognize and understand the same benefits," Naber says. "When you can know about and respond to an incident quickly, you are better able to address the cause of the incident and most importantly, if there is an injury, you can provide immediate and appropriate care to the injured party."
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