New locally developed app promises to improve safety at construction sites

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If you do good work, there’s no reason for you not to use the system,’ says app creator Patrick Parnis

HSEQutive, an innovative app-based system expected to revolutionise health and safety practices on construction sites, was rolled out today in a launch held at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Enterprise.

It is hoped that the app will help rebuild the industry’s reputation through increased accountability.

HSEQutive is the brainchild of Patrick Parnis, founder of Parnis & Associates, local leaders in Health Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) management services.

After years of working in the industry, Mr Parnis developed a cloud-based solution to facilitate the health and safety inspection process, eliminate time spent writing reports after the inspection, and ensure robust monitoring and measuring mechanisms are in place to evaluate a construction site’s overall safety performance.

Mr Parnis, speaking at the launch of the new digital product, said, “Although the industry has come a long way in accepting, implementing and enforcing health and safety regulations on construction sites, we’re still facing common and repetitive shortcomings, which if left undetected can lead to serious injuries, and even fatalities.”

In fact, fatalities on construction sites have increased over the last years, making up over half of all workplace fatalities between 2014 and 2018. In 2018, all work-related deaths happened on construction sites.

Mr Parnis hopes that his solution will be the driving force to change this situation and win back public confidence

Speaking to WhosWho.mt, Mr Parnis said self-regulation can work when it adds value to all stakeholders – health and safety practitioners, developers and contractors.

He says HSEQutive will add value to the sector through various means.

First, it will eliminate the large amounts of paperwork required, saving H&S inspectors the long afternoons spent writing reports. “Sometimes we can visit 15 construction sites in the morning and then have to write the equivalent number of reports in the afternoon.” This involves managing the documentary evidence and associated filing.

“This means H&S inspectors are less stressed and can dedicate their time to improved and more detailed inspections.”

The improved document management will also come in useful in cases that are taken to court. “Currently, if there’s a court case it involves a lot of trouble to find the relevant reports and compile the evidence. This way, it’s all recorded in one place.”

“The document management aspect is simply eliminated, because the app does it all for you.”

Another feature of HSEQutive that adds value to the sector is by necessitating responses to the required corrective actions flagged by the H&S inspector.

As it currently stands, contractors can “print the reports and throw them straight in the bin”.

“HSEQutive increases contractors’ engagement in implementing corrective actions,” he says, “as the system will record all the data, including the total number of corrective actions identified per site visit by the H&S inspector and the time taken to effect such action by the contractor.”

With the system measuring contractor performance, Mr Parnis is confident that his app will be a game-changer in the local industry, with contractors able to showcase their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to prospective clients.

“It’s an opportunity for promotion for contractors who take their job seriously. If you do good work, there’s no reason for you not to use the system.”

He also believes that simply measuring performance will inevitibly lead to an improvement. “As with all measuring instruments, once you have the numbers avaialble, you can focus on improvement. It’s instinctual.”

Malta Chamber president David Xuereb, who addressed the press conference, said the construction industry in Malta was in need of a serious dose of regulation and uplift in reputation.

“It’s refreshing and encouraging to see that industry leaders, such as Parnis & Associates, are bringing in years of experience, knowledge, intelligence and technology to Malta in an effort to efficiently and reliably assist serious developers, contractors and professionals improve their actions and decision-making on a construction site.

“Professional undertaking and digitalisation of this industry is set to benefit all related and affected third parties in a safe and considerate manner,” Mr Xuereb said.

The HSEQutive paperless safety management system focuses on two modules. The first covers the inspection aspect, which introduces a standard, easy-to-use method to conduct health and safety compliance inspections, issue reports, and corrective action requests.

All this can be done from the construction site itself through a laptop, tablet or a smartphone, creating an interactive system that requests the developer and contractor to reply and provide feedback on actions taken.

“Essentially,” Ms Parnis says, “health and safety inspectors can log onto the system, download a checklist of requirements as per Legal Notice 88, inspect the site and its compliance as per the checklist, taking pictures as needed and inputting them into the system, and hit send. The report is then sent to the stakeholders, mainly the developers and the contractors.”

The concerned parties will then be able to enter the system, which will require them to input evidence of the corrective action they took.

The second module presents the “dashboard” of data collection and graphical statistics where key performance indicators are set, including compliance levels on site, the number and severity of corrective action requests, the relative response time, and the top five areas of concern. It records what incidents have taken place, and the time lost because of these incidents.

The app will provide stakeholders with a real-time picture of their contractors’ health and safety performance on their construction sites.

It will also provide developers with a robust, transparent mechanism with accurate data to evaluate contractors’ performance throughout the project and in determining who to engage for future projects.

These mechanisms provide a fair and transparent track record that can also be favourably used in court, ensuring more accountability.

Mr Parnis said, “From a national perspective, I believe this cloud-based platform is a desperately needed and long overdue site safety performance monitoring mechanism and contractor evaluation system.”

He says that feedback so far has been extemely positive. “Leading H&S services companies are very interested in the app. We’re not setting up 1-to-1 meeting to present the product to prospective clients.”

He acknowledged the role of the Malta Chamber in endorsing the product, thanking them for their “invaluable” assistance.

Courtesy of WhosWho.mt
https://whoswho.mt/en/new-locally-developed-app-promises-to-improve-safety-at-construction-sites
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