Applying RFID to Highway, Street & Bridge Construction

Highway, Street & Bridge Construction in Canada and the U.S. primarily comprises of the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation and repairs of highways (including elevated), streets, roads, airport runways, public sidewalks, and bridges. Contractors and Managers of Highway, Street & Bridge Construction encounter a unique set of asset management, operational and safety challenges.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), reports that roadway work zones are hazardous to both motorists and construction workers; there is a significant risk of fatal and serious nonfatal injuries driving by and working in and around a Highway, Street & Bridge construction jobsite. During 2003-2007, 639 workers were killed while working at a road construction. Overexertion, vehicle crashes, slips, trips and falls due to poor site management of equipment and personnel are to blame for most fatal and nonfatal injuries.

These hindrances often lead to costly setbacks such as work stoppage, higher insurance premiums, contractor liability lawsuits, and failure meeting specifications and building codes, to name a few.

GAO RFID understands that there is rising need at Highway, Street & Bridge Construction for solutions to tackle the common challenges faced in the industry, including:

  • Managing, tracking and maintaining equipment
  • Checking the inventory of building supplies and tools
  • Tracking on-site personnel and authorizing on-site visitors
  • Tracking and managing personnel time and schedules
  • Securing and worker-free zones and protecting job sites
  • Securing entrance and exit points

RFID technology can be applied to help systematize on-site productivity to ensure the efficient operation of equipment, tools and personnel and increase safety and security to prevent costly losses and unforeseen expenses.

Exploring RFID in the Highway, Street & Bridge Construction Industry

The availability, visibility and working conditions of equipment, supplies and tools as well as visibility of personnel and visitors on-site are critical for efficient production and security during each stage of operations. Our experience in customizing RFID solutions for various industries can be applied to  ensuring the accessibility and visibility of various assets and personnel for optimum efficiency and cost management on job sites.

Applying Equipment Management

According to NIOSH, construction vehicle related accidents make up continue to be a leading cause of death in Highway, Street & Bridge Construction work zones in the U.S. and Canada. Injuries include transportation incidents, fatal hits by dump trucks, and contact with falling objects. These incidences are mainly attributed to the poor or very limited visibility around equipment.

Using the fundamentals of RFID tracking technology, construction managers and contractors may be able to track and monitor all construction vehicles and equipment on-site. Using Rugged RFID Tags that are attached onto each asset, managers and contractors can become aware of the location of all vehicles and are able to coordinate precise movements of vehicles and equipment, greatly reducing the risk of loss or downtime, avoiding costly project setbacks.

In addition, RFID utilizes RFID Readers that are powerful enough to endure harsh weathering such as mud and rain, and enables managers systemize and automate the analyzing of equipment inventory, usage and conditions of equipment, increasing efficiency and productivity.

Applying Inventory Management

Construction supplies used to build, repair, or rehabilitate highways, streets and bridges such as small equipment, masonry, barriers, pylons, signage, safety gear, should all be easily accessible to operate in a timely and safe manner.

RFID is not only limited to tracking large equipment; small RFID tags can be deployed to track the most miniscule item in the construction zone. The ability to track allows contractors and managers to monitor the usage and whereabouts of supplies and products in real-time and enables a quick systematic and automated tracking of tools at the beginning and end of each shift/day. Managers and contractors can also easily track when inventory is running low and setup the system to alert them or automatically replenish the job-site quickly and avoid any time-loss.

Applying People Tracking

Overexertion and unmonitored access are key factors in Highway, Street & Bridge Construction job-site fatalities and injuries. As labor costs on-site comprise approximately 40 percent of overall construction project costs, superior management, which includes overseeing personnel tasks, hours and schedules, is critical for cost efficiency.

We can apply our knowledge and experience that we have gained from our experience using RFID ability to track people ensure project managers to oversee their contractors and calculate productivity in correlation to actual hours of personnel labor; by providing every worker with an RFID Tag that can affixed to their hard hats, tracking personnel to locate their exact positions as well as tasks assigned on site, makes it easy to predict and assess cost and hours of labor as well as increasing safety and preventative measures. And in cases of emergency, if the location of an employee is required or during the performing of a roll call, the RFID can help managers pinpoint exactly where a missing personnel is located on the job site.

Applying Access Control

Controlling access to zones in construction work zones is crucial to decreasing accidents or unauthorized entry. Establishing entering and exiting points using RFID Portals lets you control access of dump trucks, bulldozers, graders, and even personnel. Every vehicle or worker is assigned an RFID Badge, and this badge is programmed with specific access rights. Only those with the proper access can gain entry into zones, ensuring a safer and more secure job site.

Many Highway, Street & Bridge Construction projects require that hundreds of workers operate on-site as well as visitors such as engineers, inspectors etc., to assess the project, making it difficult for managers and contractors to keep track of people entering and exiting the job site.

The ability to track people allows contractors and managers to ensure only personnel with the correct credentials and trainings are able to access the site or specific areas of the site; this greatly reduces the chances of avoidable slipups on-site. The system is also ideal for estimating the ideal number of workers for each phase and task of the construction process; this not only optimizes operations but also keeps budgets on track.

Integrating with your Existing Management Software

Once developed, our systems can be deployed as a standalone solution or can be integrated with other existing management systems, according to each customer’s needs.

At the core of our solution is GAO RFID’s AUTO-ID Engine which incorporates middleware and essential RFID functions that perform RFID data collection and information processing. Our AUTO-ID Engine seamlessly integrates with a wide variety of construction management systems so that you can access the data it collects directly via the system or systems you currently have in place.

Our team comprises of seasoned professionals that can combine our RFID experience with your industry experience and provide a customized solution that will smoothly integrate the appropriate GAO RFID Solution with your IT architecture. The result is an RFID solution that is seamlessly unified with your construction management system. We can work with you to integrate the RFID tracking data collected from our custom solution with today’s leading information management systems in your industry.

List of Relevant Information Management Systems

Contact us for more information on how our RFID Systems can be customized for your organization.