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

April 12, 2022

Under the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, construction and engineering companies vying for federal funding will be required to meet a range of oversight and evaluation criteria at the state, local, and federal levels if they want to be considered for work.

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. Connected across site and device, everyone works from the same updated information, so that safety protocols are accessible and followed – and when a potential hazard does emerge, it can be quickly addressed.

Whether you’re buying new equipment, implementing new regulations, or tackling a new kind of installation – all of which may require further training and new inspection procedures – digital checklists can be updated on the fly and in real-time as circumstances change. 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. It is this reliability that forms the backbone of your safety posture, helping to prevent and remediate potential hazards as well as reliably demonstrate your safety posture and reassures oversight bodies that work will be carried out in the safest possible way.

Reliably report data 

Either during the tendering phase or, if awarded, the work phase itself, digital platforms let construction companies regularly and unambiguously demonstrate their safety and quality postures to oversight bodies in a powerful and data-driven way.

This starts from the ground up, where employees can directly add value-rich information into digital checklists, like pictures or video of their tasks, to confirm the quality and safety of work. Connected tools also means that supervisors or other stakeholders can then review the work remotely and in real-time, which provides quality assurance and control without slowing operations.

Digital tools shine in the reporting process as you consolidate quality-related data at the push of a button into a format of your choosing. And whether ad hoc or to meet reporting requirements on a scheduled basis – annually, weekly, monthly – inspection platforms can produce a variety of on-demand reports whenever you need them.

Safety and quality inspection platforms like Fulcrum are premised on making data highly accessible, lending companies the agility that lets them efficiently track and demonstrate the value of their work, regardless of scope or reporting demand, 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 30-day trial to test it out for yourself!