Digital construction forms make it easier for contractors to track, manage and analyze documents related to waivers and jobsite inspections.
Published March 25, 2021 . 0 min read
Safety Forms for Construction — a Digital Approach
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Safety forms for construction vary widely from contractor to contractor, but given the importance of safety to any contracting firm, handling these documents with maximum efficiency and accuracy is always a wise move. This is why ProNovos gives its customers the option of creating digital construction forms that are easy to share, track and analyze.
By switching from paper-based approaches to our form-builder, construction contractors eliminate the headaches associated with lost paper forms, as well as the need for jobsites to scan those documents or transport them back to the main office.
Safety Forms for Construction: From Static PDFs to Dynamic Forms
Other contractors have taken a step away from paper to rely on writable PDFs for their construction jobsite safety forms. To be sure, writable PDFs are fairly easy to use, and they do have some advantages over paper-based approaches.
For example, in writable PDFs the actual entry is clearer because you don’t have to decipher handwriting. And of course, you don’t have to walk around the jobsite with a clipboard physically distributing paper copies.
Nonetheless, writable PDFs have some distinct disadvantages as well.
For starters, they cannot be written back to a database, says Demetra Nastopoulos, ProNovos’ Customer Success Manager, a business analyst and project manager with more than 15 years of experience in optimizing technology for diverse companies.
The ProNovos form-builder allows construction contractors to create all kinds of custom forms just by dragging and dropping different elements in our easy-to-use interface, and the data it collects is ready for analysis, now and in the future.
“When you’re working with digital construction forms by ProNovos, you can pull in that data and store it instantaneously,” Demetra explains. “You could report metadata or metrics on it, or go back and provide a holistic view of the project or a particular inspection.”
On a daily basis, those important metrics could include lost-time incidents and injuries, near misses, or violations related to the likes of PPE, fall-protection, scaffolding, lockout/tagout or hazard communication. “Our customers are interested in bending those curves downward,” Demetra explained. “The ProNovos form-builder allows them to track this kind of information over time for the entire company, by project and by superintendent. As a result, they can identify trends and opportunities for improving safety. You can’t do that with a static PDF.”
Attaching Photos to Custom Forms
The ProNovos form-builder also makes it easy for you to work with photos. “Let’s say you’re working with one of our digital construction forms in the context of a plumbing inspection,” Demetra said. “You can snap a photo showing the exact state of that valve at the time of inspection, and then attach that photo to the digital construction form. Along with automatically logged metadata, you now have evidence that goes beyond just a written description and a signature. It’s very useful.”
The Greater Flexibility of Digital Construction Forms
Back in 2019, the idea that a global pandemic would affect every construction jobsite in the country would have been an eyebrow-raiser. But when the unthinkable actually happened, our customers were able to quickly create digital Covid-19 forms using our form-builder.
One of our customers, Scott Marko, President of Zernco, Inc., described that process in a recent webinar on his company’s use of ProNovos. “It’s extremely versatile,” he said. “You can build any forms, templates, checklists—anything you want your guys to have.”
Marko also showed the audience a custom form for an aerial-lift safety meeting. A section of the form allows superintendents to log all attendees, a valuable record in the event of an OSHA interaction.
Construction jobsite safety forms change over time. When companies have multiple stakeholders across their different projects, those older approaches to handling forms can lead to some team members “not getting the memo.”
Another advantage of the ProNovos form-builder is its ability to put revisions into everyone’s hands simultaneously, Demetra notes.
“You create a new revision, and from that point forward that form is published and everyone has the update immediately,” she said. “Let’s say there’s a new Covid-19 or drone-safety form. In ProNovos, it’s right there in your ‘Forms’ section. Anybody with access to the system and that document can see it on their phone, laptop or tablet as soon as it’s uploaded.”
Easy Sharing and Scheduling
ProNovos makes it easy to share your construction jobsite safety forms with internal and external stakeholders. Many of our customers set up group email distributions for this purpose. And if you need to share a static document, you can convert any ProNovos custom form into an email- and printer-ready PDF file. You don’t lose anything when you make the transition to digital safety forms for construction.
Right now, our implementation teams are implementing custom forms for several ProNovos customers. “We’re also working on a major update of the user-interface, which we plan to launch by the end of the year,” Demetra said. “So stay tuned.”