Applying RFID to Power & Communication Line Construction

Power & Communication Line Construction in Canada and the U.S. primarily consists of the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation and repairs of power lines, towers, power plants, radio, television, and telecommunications transmitting and receiving towers. Power lines are the number one cause of electrical injuries and fatalities in the construction industry, with an average of $550,000 in insurance claim costs for line electrocutions. Contractors and managers in the Power & Communication Line Construction industry encounter a unique set of safety and management challenges.

All operations pertaining to the Power & Communication Line Construction must adhere to the strict rules and regulations of the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA). Failure to do so often lead to serious injuries such as power line electrocution involving overhead distribution, excavation digs, contact of power lines with equipment and tools , to name a few.

These hindrances often lead to costly setbacks such as:

  • Reduced productivity/efficiency and cost of rescheduling work
  • Overtime costs required due to accidents
  • Wages paid to injured and other workers for time not worked
  • Medical costs up to limit of deductible
  • Increased workers compensation premium
  • Replacement of damaged equipment
  • Liability lawsuits

GAO RFID understands that there is rising need at Power & Communication Line Construction for solution that are specifically created to assist contractors and managers of job sites to oversee, avoid and resolve common challenges faced every day by:

  • Managing, tracking and maintaining equipment
  • Checking the inventory of building supplies and tools
  • Tracking and managing personnel time and schedules
  • Securing and protecting job sites keeping track of all personnel and visitors
  • Surveying the job sites for all overhead and underground power lines
  • Identifying the activities and operations that will be of close proximity to power lines
  • Preventing possible contacts by ensuring the usage of protective technologies

RFID solutions help to 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 Power & Communication Line 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 provides a new way to look at the accessibility and visibility of various assets and personnel for optimum efficiency and cost management on job sites.

Applying Equipment Management

In the Power & Communication Line Construction industry, the project can become a logistical mess when it comes to equipment. Contractors and managers often struggle to keep track of equipment and their usage/working conditions. Construction equipment can also be a great danger if not properly used. The leading cause of accidental contacts with overhead distribution (which makes up 90% of injuries in the Power & Communication Line Construction industry) involves heavy equipment. Equipment such as cranes, drill rigs, backhoes, aerial buckets etc., often make contact with live power lines resulting in accidents, deaths and work stoppage.

Equipment must be tracked and monitored at all times to ensure all safety regulations imposed by OSHA such as the requirement of cranes to be a minimum of 10-feet away from all power lines, are met.

Using the fundamentals of RFID, equipment tracking using RFID can enable managers and contractors to track and monitor all equipment on-site; by assigning RFID Tags to every piece of equipment, you are able to systemize and automate the analyzing of equipment inventory, usage and conditions of equipment.

Applying Inventory Management

Materials stored in cranes and tools carried by workers such as metal ladders, clippers, cable pullers and poles used in proximity to overhead lines pose great dangers. Assets buried underground such as telephone wires, gas lines, power lines, TV cables can also be hazardous as excavation activity often rupture or split wires, resulting in expensive and time-consuming repairs.

RFID Readers can help detect buried key assets meters beneath the earth. Excavation digs are made safer as RFID Tags can be read in almost any environment including sandy, muddy and dusty settings without the need for line of sight, allowing for hidden power lines to be located.

Smaller RFID Tags can be used by contractors and managers to maintain accurate inventories on –site before, during and after a project. The RFID can also be used to keep a record of the conditions of tools and their workability. This increases efficiency as the necessary tools to complete projects are readily-available and always in working order.

Manual data that entry that is prone to inaccuracies is replaced with RFID tags which are reliable, durable, easily read, and best of all: automated. This saves time in labour, and money from costly counting mistakes.

Applying People Tracking

Construction project management which includes overseeing personnel tasks and hours is critical for cost efficiency Power & Communication Line Construction sites; labor costs on sites comprise approximately 40 percent of the overall project costs. We can apply our experience and knowledge that we have gained from using RFID to track people that enables contractors and managers to calculate productivity in correlation to actual hours of personnel labor; 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. Every employee is assigned an RFID Badge with their specific information. As they move throughout the day on the job site, compliance, time per task and performance measurement data can all be tracked and then used to determine milestones and activity lists as well as structuring scheduling methods. In addition, our RFID’s reduces accidents and is indispensable in emergency situations, as all personnel with RFID Badges can be tracked to pinpoint their exact location on site.

 Applying Access Control

Power & Communication Line 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.

Safety issues due to this confusion is an overriding concern. For example, in case of emergency, on-site workers must be located and evacuated as quickly as possible; the lack of tracking personnel on-site causes dangerous delays in the evacuation process.

Access to restricted zones may be controlled with our experience in RFID technology that allows only personnel with the correct credentials and training to access the site or specific areas of the site to greatly reduce the chances of lethal power line electrocution and other accidents. Every area can be outfitted with an RFID Portal. These portals read the RFID Tags worn by employees and vehicles, allowing access to only authorized personnel.

Integrating RFID with your Existing Management Software

Our specialized RFID Systems for the Power & Communication Line Construction industry can be deployed as a standalone solution or can be integrated with other software solutions, 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 is built on a team of seasoned professionals that combines 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 experience can be put to work for your  Power & Communication Line Construction organization.