Case Study: Builder Takes Safety Seriously

Codewatcher Safety week 2019

Builder Clayco celebrates Safety Week by highlighting how it ensures safety, including hardhats of the future, an “arm” that can suspend a jackhammer in midair, and photo documentation AI.

Clayco has joined more than 80 construction firms across the U.S. and Canada in support for the Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) 2019 Safety Week, an annual construction industry-wide education and awareness event.

To further underscore the company’s commitment to achieving excellence in safety, Clayco not only reported it has achieved the highest level of jobsite safety in 2019, but also launched three new initiatives to better safety for the industry at large.

1. Developing New Innovative Equipment

Hard Hats of the Future. Students from five different countries studying a variety of four different majors and minors at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) joined forces with Clayco to come up with a modernized hard hat design with elements that are sustainable, durable, lightweight, comfortable and safe.

Within the team, the students’ major studies included design management, equestrian study, graphic design and industrial design. The diversity of the team’s skill sets allowed them to derive multiple design approaches to inventing original, complex and cutting-edge designs.

Click here for more information on the Hard Hat Redesign initiative, including photos of the new hat concept.

Ekso ZeroG arm in use on a scissor lift. The use of the Ekso ZeroG arm provides tremendous relief for our employees. When attached to the railing system in a boom lift or scissor lift, the arm is capable of holding a 35 lb jackhammer suspended in mid-air.

The employee now only has to direct and apply pressure to the jackhammer where they want to demo concrete while the jackhammer remains suspended in the air. This significantly reduces the amount of energy exerted by the employee to keep the tool above their head for a prolonged period of time, significantly reducing the stress on the body and lowering the risk of overuse that leads to soft tissue injuries. This also allows those operating the device to better understand their surroundings and make better decisions as it relates to their safety and the safety of others below them.

Touchscreen gloves. New ergonomically designed level three and four safety gloves are stronger, cut resistant and more pliable, meaning those on site don’t have to remove gloves to use screened devices on site.

2. Leveraging Smarter Technology This is a photo documentation app that uses AI to manage safety requirements and compliances. Using any mobile devices’ camera, the construction specific algorithm scans site progress images and recognizes safety infractions like non-conformers not wearing gloves, glasses or hardhats. Low tech in equipment, but high tech in what it is helping to detect via algorithm.

The potential with this technology is it is helping provide the data teams need to see the trends and help to mitigate issues before they become an issue.

BIM360. iOS platform allows project teams to track safety issues in real-time on an app. The platform provides an area to log safety audits/checklists on a weekly basis. This is how the teams are documenting safety behavior in the field and communicating across site between all subcontractor teams.

The platform is increasing communication and holds subcontractors accountable as issues or “opportunities for improvement” are assigned directly to the subs to address before work can resume. All data from the platform is measured in the company’s dashboard proving Clayco with real time performance analytics from all of our job sites across the country.

3. Commitment to Research and Data-Driven Planning

Ergonomics. Clayco and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis received a $1 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the CPWR Center for Construction Research and Training. Together the team identified the most common causes for injuries and incidents across residential and commercial construction, and setting out to train and remedy challenging scenarios.

The focus on this study was ergonomics and the reducing of soft tissues injuries, or strains and sprains injuries that are compounding. Ergonomics led Clayco deeper into seeing why the injuries were happing and it had helped to support updates to Clayco’s pretask checklist procedure, materials handling policy, which requires such things as wheels to reduce lifting, and the requirement of a 50 pound carry limit.

Ergonomic analysis is built into all areas from onboarding, to preconstruction, to training. Clayco also helps subs with ergonomic assessments. Pretask ergonomic planning happens every day, where crews discuss the day’s tasks and they talk about how to de-risk the projects. This is a real-time safety awareness reminder.

“Every team member is required to complete at least one quality safety audit per week. Clayco also maintains a commitment to safe work plans, conditions, teamwork, communication and peer leadership on every job site and before each project start. Tool-box talks, seminars and peer-to-peer learning programs are also available to all team members on a regular basis. These practices are table stakes to us, our culture, and they keep all of us safer.”

Clayco team’s plan from real-time performance metrics received from BIM360. This data allows teams to see issues and trends before they happen. Every site is facing different challenges and complexities that could affect the safety of its personnel. This focus on real time safety performance helps provide awareness and focus on key issues, which are discussed at the tool box, craft-by-craft. The topics range from specific tool usage, systems and best practices that pertain to tasks the teams are completing on site.

“Safety is an established core value across all divisions at Clayco,” says Todd Friis, Vice President of Risk Management for Clayco. “Our people are our greatest asset and we want to do our part, not only for Clayco employees and teams, but all of the groups we work with and the industry at large. We are excited to be a part of Safety Week and proud of our new initiatives and technology that will make jobsites better and safer places to work.”