The Regina Bypass is the largest infrastructure project in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. Planning began in the 1990s, and today the $1.2B project is well underway.
Josh Binkley, Area Manager for Phase One of the Regina Bypass (RDBD) project, explains just how much is involved in the construction process for his portion of the bypass: “In Phase One, we are building 9 bridges, we’ve got 20 km of new highway, 40 km of service road and all the services associated. We’re moving millions of cubic meter of earth, placing 250,000 tons of asphalt and placing 10,000 cubic meters of concrete.” The phase makes up about one-third of the overall project, which has over 500 people working in the field and 70 office staff.
Binkley oversees materials, safety, quality, and more. With such a massive project, this is no easy task—so he turned to construction software to help.
According to Binkley, the elements that take most of his time are safety and quality inspections. It’s crucial that he resolves issues quickly, so the team can continue with construction. “You’re in the field dealing with the various problems that come up with the foremen, crews, and superintendents,” he explains. “You’re putting out fires, talking to the engineers to sort out any issues with design, and resolving them quickly so we can continue to build.”
Construction software and safety
To resolve safety issues faster, Binkley turned to Bridgit Tasks. Part of the RDBD Project Safety Management System includes a weekly formal safety inspection. “Before we used a piece of paper. You’d write all the issues down, hand that piece of paper to someone, and they would correct all the deficiencies and pass it back for signature.” By implementing Bridgit Field, his team has reduced the paperwork required for these inspections, and reduced the time spent on communications.
With Bridgit Tasks, safety issues can be logged and assigned right away, from Binkley’s phone. Issues are automatically communicated to the person assigned. “The inspections are done so fast,” says Binkley. “You complete it right then and there, on the site. Issues go directly to the person responsible, and when they fix it they can send a picture to show that it’s done.”
The real time-savings lies in this automatic, digital communication between the person logging the safety inspection and the people resolving issues. According to Binkley, the team has significantly reduced the time spent on information sharing, and the time it takes to resolve issues: “Before, it could be days from when I share an issue with someone on-site, to when they complete something, remember to give me an update, and I hand it off to our safety team.” With Bridgit, these updates are shared right away, and issues can be fixed sooner.
Features that improve safety
During their safety inspections, Binkley and his team made use of tagging and photo features to improve on-site safety and resolve issues faster.
“The tags are something that help us the most in Bridgit,” says Binkley. “You’re able to nail exactly what you’re looking at, and they allow us to filter our issues to see trends.” His team uses a variety of tags to categorize safety issues under high, medium or low hazard. They also use tags for more specific categories, like barricades and fall potentials.
Once issues are tagged, Binkley can use the Bridgit app to filter by these categories: “When I filter by the tag, I can identify trends. So if we have 20 tasks under one category, I know we have a problem with that safety issue.” When trends like this arise, his team may opt for some extra education on that topic to prevent the issues from happening again.
Photos help the site team resolve issues quickly, because they know exactly what to look for. On a large infrastructure project like RDBD, this feature saves time with clear way-finding. “Even the guys who are not so technically inclined have told me that they enjoy using the software,” says Binkley. “They really like the photos, because there’s no confusion. The photo is clear and you can’t miss the issue.”
Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more. Follow Lauren on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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