Jobsite QR codes for Easy Badging and Better Security

by | Sep 5, 2023

Jobsite QR Codes for Digital Badging

If you delay digital adoption, you deprive your jobsite supervisors of the data they need to get work done more safely and productively. Digital badging systems are critical for providing that missing workforce data. While near field radio and bluetooth solutions exist, jobsite QR codes are the most practical because everyone has a smartphone.

Your supervisors cannot possibly remember the names and skills profiles of all jobsite workers. A badging system identifies workers, their check-in and check-out times, their employers, certifications, licenses, training and skills.  And as we’ve discussed elsewhere, many departments in HQ need this data too:

  • Project managers to verify progress and update plans;
  • Safety managers to verify safety plans are being followed and documented;
  • Accounting to validate hourly pay and invoices;
  • HR to track performance and interpersonal issues;
  • Owners who need to know who is on their sites.
  • Risk managers, Senior Leadership, etc.

Digital badging systems using jobsite QR codes are the most flexible because they leverage consumer devices such as phones and tablets to access identity and authorization data. They don’t require physical manufacturing in an office or trailer. Digital badges are also more secure than a physical badge because they are harder to share.  And with digital badging systems, project onboarding can now happen anywhere, anytime, even on the fly without appointments.

Free up supervisor time to get work done faster. Use jobsite QR codes to equip them with the data to make better jobsite management decisions. And not just field ops, but HQ and your entire firm.

jobsite QR codes

QR Codes are Everywhere

The Many Types of Jobsite Business Risks

While only larger firms will have a dedicated risk manager role, all hard-hat and safety conscious firms have to practice risk management. And risk management is much more than just safety:

  • Project or schedule risk
  • Operational or execution risk
  • Vendor or supplier risk
  • Business/financial risk
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Technology performance
  • Physical Security and Crime
  • Legal liability
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Information security
  • External, weather or environmental risk
  • Reputational risk
  • Strategy or Programmatic

Arguably, except for Strategy, managing all these risks is part of every project manager’s or superintendent’s job!

The Importance of Knowing Who Is Onsite – The 3 A’s

Attendance data is fundamental data for managing business risks. Any zone of business operations has potential liability risk. Some are physical, like in construction, manufacturing, utility, warehouses, assisted living sites, hospitals, etc.. But digital sites too, like a company’s communications network. And in many cases, such as civil construction, the physical location moves. But in any case, managers need to know:

  1. Is this person authorized to come onsite?
  2. Who authorized this person to come onsite?
  3. Is the authorization accounted for?

These three A’s are so fundamental they become almost invisible at times. Most of us became aware of them, if at all, because of the heightened awareness of digital security to prevent hacking. Knowing who is on our networks, who allowed them in, and who kept the records is critical to prevent ransomware and other malware from invading our digital jobsites.

But no matter what type incident occurs on a jobsite, the first thing to learn is who was there, and who allowed them to be there. The accounting requirement #3 is there because not all incidents are reported in real time. You have to be able to search the daily logs.

Jobsite QR Codes Badges for Everyone

Managers in any hard-hat industry have exactly the same responsibility for a physical jobsite as information security officers. And the data required for authorization is even more extensive than for digital network access. Project onboarding is coupled with many types of authorization depending upon the type of worker including: Employees, Subcontractors, Vendors, Visitors, Inspectors, Owners…

Employees onboard into a company by HR. HR confirms they are legally allowed to work, adds them payroll, determines benefits, assigns emails, schedules basic corporate safety training, etc. Much of this data is needed by a site supervisors too.

Employment onboarding is different from project onboarding. Not every employee should be permitted on every project site — they may not be qualified or trained to safely enter a site. And for HR reasons, such as termination, their access rights might be revoked. Access permissions may come or go for many reasons. Project safety plans may differ from project to project. Even morph mid-project if a new technology or material change occurs.

Subcontractors onboard into another company which has a contractual relationship with a general contractor. Again, their personal profile data might be needed by a site supervisor, e.g. licenses, certs, proof of legal work, etc. Typically, everything that applies to an employee onboarded to a project applies to a subcontract worker.

Vendors perform deliveries or services and visitors are more transactional: Their access controls and privileges are less than the duration of the project and limited to certain tasks or visits. Still, most of the 3 A’s still apply, especially site safety requirements.

Inspectors and Owners are yet another category because their access to a jobsite is either contractual (they’re paying for the work, after all!) or allowed by government regulation. Still, jobsite safety requirements apply, and perhaps prior notice, as with most OSHA site checks.

jobsite QR codes

Scan a phone, or use a phone or tablet to scan

Jobsite QR Codes Badging is The Best Solution for Project Onboarding

Badges function like door keys, but have the advantage they can be connected to a person’s identity and the 3 A’s of access, authorization and accounting.

Badges can have unique identifier making them personal and non-transferable. Biometric data such as photo’s help prevent sharing or spoofing. Employment and project onboarding data and 3 A’s can be associated with them.

Physical badges have some advantages, such as persistence in harsh environments and visibility after site access.  But we think digital badges are better.

Digital badges exist both digitally as data, such as the jobsite QR codes created by Safe Site Check In, or printed out and laminated for use like traditional physical badges. Passwords or passkeys prevent unauthorized changes or access to private data. And without a need for physical badge creation or encoding (think hotel registration where badges have to be recoded in real time), personal QR codes can be produced instantaneously in the field for subcontractors, visitors and vendors.

The flexibility and low friction of digital jobsite qr codes badges combined with onboarding that confirms identity saves labor, time, money and risk in any safety-conscious industry.

Supervisor Excuses Against Jobsite QR Codes Badging

We’ve discussed elsewhere that a big blocker to faster adoption of digital solutions are jobsite managers. But it’s high time they got with the digital program. Excuses we’ve heard range from the quasi-rational to downright childish:

  • I’ve Got Too Much To Do Already
  • Not An Interesting Problem
  • There’s Nothing In It for Me
  • Not My Problem to Solve
  • You Can’t Make Me
  • The Project Already Started
  • The Cost of Using Paper is “Minor”
  • Nobody Needs Digital Data
  • I’ll Enter the Data Myself, Really
  • My Workers Will Quit
  • I’ll Quit or Retire
  • It Costs Too Much
  • My Workforce Doesn’t Have Cell Phones
  • I Don’t Believe It Will Work Reliably

So Convince Your Supervisors To Do The Right Thing

If you want your company to gain digital efficiencies, it requires leadership. There are many investments necessary to make construction more productive, but some are expensive and don’t apply to all projects. Digital badging using jobsite QR codes is not one of them. In fact, it’s easy, fast and cheap to adopt.

Badging and project onboarding is needed everywhere. Field and safety managers must know who is on their jobsite and whether they are prepared to safely work there. And digital badging is absurdly inexpensive relative to its return on investment. Most projects of any size will payback in the first month. And saving a full FTE of overhead labor makes your bids more competitive.

Anyone who stands in your way is just not interested in your firm’s success. Effective digital leaders don’t tolerant BS excuses.