Bewley turns to technology for site return

Bewley Homes says it is in “no rush” to reopen its sites and will tur to technology to promote a safe working environment once its workers do return.

The Hampshire-based housebuilder, which aims to restart its sites at the start of June, “if all goes well”, said it intended to use a system which will see subcontractors undergo an induction at home. They must pass this before accessing any of Bewley’s sites.

Bewley plans to adopt digital sign-ins “so we know who is on site using a tablet or smart phone,” explained Andrew Brooks, Managing Director. “Workers’ mobiles will act like a digital passport. Once they have been inducted, they are able to work on any Bewley site and their credentials will always be accessible.”

He said that regular methods of signing into sites – “sharing a pen, punching into a tablet or fingerprint scans” were no longer viable options. “The old way of inducting ten people in a small room has long gone.”

The housebuilder said it would use UK Connect’s – a health and safety site management platform – for all its sites.

It plans to mobilise its sites from the second week of May before commencing full site roll outs.

“There’s a huge logistical challenge to get 400 workers back on site at once and it needs methodical planning,” Brooks said. “It’s not just the logistical changes to get subcontractors to respect the two metre rule plot by plot and to navigate around the entire site, there are also new onsite safety measures to put in place and guides our subcontractors must follow.”

PJ Farr, founder and md of UK Connect, a construction communications provider, said: “ technology not only streamlines the induction and sign in process through contactless technology but overall makes their sites safer and smarter.

“We are by no means through this pandemic so offering as much protection to onsite construction workers as possible is non-negotiable.”