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How to ensure (and prove) safety and quality under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

April 12, 2022

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act introduces new standards for construction and engineering firms. Companies seeking federal funding must now comply with various oversight and evaluation criteria. These criteria span state, local, and federal levels. Compliance is essential for firms to qualify for infrastructure projects under this act.

And one of the more important criteria will likely be the level of quality and safety of a company’s work and operations, and that of all their subcontractors.

How funding bodies will decide on contracts has not been set, but we have to look no further than the current Department of Transportation’s project evaluation criteria to see how the agencies disperse funds at this level. To be considered for DoT funding, for example, companies must be able to show that they:

  •         effectively and reliably measure performance goals
  •         have a successful previous record of project delivery and/or funding management
  •         encourage safety policies, including identifying safety concerns that they plan to address
  •         accelerate the implementation and delivery of new technologies
  •         use innovative technological approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery.

All of these, of course, point to the clear advantage of deploying digital tools to meet these criteria.

In our digital age, there is now an array of user-friendly inspection platforms that use data-driven methods to undertake quality and safety operations. These do more than just improve overall work quality and make job sites safer – they are also better at proving and reporting this.

Let’s take a brief look at how a leading mobile inspection platform like Fulcrum can help you not just consistently ensure safety and deliver higher quality work, but can efficiently, consistently, and reliably report to oversight bodies.

Consistently ensure safety 

Custom-built digital checklists can also guide both the safe execution of work and its inspection, regardless of who undertakes the work. For example, safety managers can tailor checklists to collect or share the exact safety data they need from specific equipment, tasks, or roles, all of which is shareable with field teams.

Everyone is connected across sites and devices, ensuring access to the same, current information. This approach guarantees that safety protocols are readily available and adhered to consistently. In the event of a potential hazard, it can be swiftly managed and mitigated.

When purchasing new equipment or introducing new regulations, the need for additional training arises. Similarly, new types of installations often necessitate updated inspection procedures. In these scenarios, digital checklists provide a flexible solution. They can be modified instantly and in real-time, adapting to evolving circumstances. With versatile features like drop-down menus, options to attach photos and videos, and the ability to hide extraneous fields, digital checklists adapt to new conditions as they arise.

Checklists integrated into workflows become the standard-bearer for executing and inspecting work, offering precise and consistent data collection in a streamlined, efficient way. This reliability is the backbone of your safety posture. It aids in preventing and remediating potential hazards. Moreover, it reliably demonstrates your commitment to safety. It reassures oversight bodies that work will proceed in the safest possible manner.

Worker performing inspection of construction work - How to ensure (and prove) safety and quality under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Reliably report data 

During the tendering or work phase, digital platforms enable construction companies to consistently demonstrate their safety and quality to oversight bodies. Importantly, these platforms offer a robust, data-driven approach for transparency.

Initially, the process starts at the foundation, where employees contribute valuable information to digital checklists. Specifically, they add photos or videos of their tasks, verifying the work’s quality and safety. Furthermore, connected tools allow supervisors and other stakeholders to remotely and instantly review this work. Consequently, this capability ensures quality control and assurance without disrupting operations.

Additionally, digital tools excel in the reporting process. They allow you to easily compile quality-related data into your preferred format with just a button’s press. Whether for ad hoc purposes or regular reporting – be it annual, weekly, or monthly – these inspection platforms generate various reports on demand.

Finally, platforms like Fulcrum focus on making data easily accessible. They provide companies with the flexibility to effectively track and showcase their work’s value. This efficiency applies regardless of the project’s size or the frequency of reporting demands, catering to any stakeholder at any time.

‍The journey to a quality and safety orientation

Delivering quality work in a safe environment is critical to both ongoing operations and future success: if you want to maintain your reputation and bottom-line, you need to consistently demonstrate positive quality and safety outcomes.

Digital tools speak volumes to how seriously you approach quality and safety issues — which is fast becoming shorthand for “reputation.” A platform like Fulcrum empowers employees to deliver, measure, and communicate quality work and safety issues. And when you can capture, analyze, and share data in this free-flowing way, you are harnessing the power of data to serve as reliable evidence for stakeholders of your commitment to quality and safety.

This key advantage – the efficient circulation of reliable data – does more than just improve productivity and cost savings. It also consistently proves your commitment to quality and safety, becoming a key differentiator that makes your company stand out from the middling crowd of competitors all scrambling for funding but unable to prove their worth.

Have infrastructure work coming your way and you’re looking to get a leg up on the competition? Fulcrum’s got you covered with its powerful field inspection management platform to help you better leverage your field inspection data to drive safer, higher quality, and more compliant outcomes. Sign up for a free trial to test it out for yourself!