‘BVSafe’® prized as electronic alternative to thick binders of worker certifications, licenses
For Black & Veatch safety managers at job sites, keeping tabs on whether employees and contractors had the proper training, certification and licenses for the work required thumbing through inches-thick binders of the crew’s credentials. While helping ensure compliance with safety requirements, little about the logs were quick or efficient, considering that hundreds of people could be on a job site.
Those days are over, now that such recordkeeping has gone electronic, accessible in real time anywhere with just a smartphone or laptop computer. This pro-active rather than reactionary approach to project management reemphasizes safety, with managers able within seconds to halt projects or pull workers off the job if the custom-designed “BVSafe”® software shows those workers’ credentials fall short.
Black & Veatch already has the suite of apps – perfected by Kansas City-based Engage Mobile – at work in the field on construction sites, on telecom work and on a sprawling sewer project in a major mid-South U.S. city. Broader use of the still-evolving platform is expected across the company, an industry leader in safety practices for more than a century.
While helping balance worker safety and productivity, BVSafe® offers greater clarity in an often-dizzying world of regulation. Use of different crane types may require operators to have certain licenses or certifications, for instance, and some workers in elevated spaces may need special clearances. BVSafe® essentially is a repository of worker competencies, with each of the 20,000 individuals in that system so far assigned a specific bar code that managers readily can scan to see that worker’s experience, certifications and licenses, getting an alert if there’s any issue.
The software can alert managers of potential risks – including inadequately trained operators for a job – before the work begins, lessening the likelihood of an incident. It also helps workers stay up to date with automatic reminders of certifications about to expire and eliminate the need to scan or enter information into multiple safety systems.
“It makes it preventative instead of responsive or reactive, because we really can figure out what behaviors in the field we need to modify,” said Joshua Wallace, safety manager for Black & Veatch’s Telecom unit. With an app already downloaded by 1,000 Black & Veatch professionals, “BVSafe® is data faster in a platform with the ability to take our entire program and put it in the palm of your hand.”
“When the crew pulls up and starts to plan their work for the day, we now know immediately if that company or anyone working for it are qualified to be doing it,” said David Simmons, an information technology director at Black & Veatch. “That’s the real power of this whole thing, and that’s so cool.”
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2018 were US$3.5 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.