• Matt Edwards

Contact tracing - We don't need to sacrifice privacy to stay safe.

Track and trace is a hot topic in Construction right now, and many General Contractors are investigating contact tracing systems to comply with COVID-19 regulations, and to protect their employees and trade partners. This is crucial part of managing safety in the new normal resulting from COVID-19, and we all need to accomodate change, but how much change? More specifically, how much liberty will we sacrifice in the name of contact tracing?


Should we change at all?

We know pen and paper Site Registers at entrances just don't work anymore. We've seen the queues outside job sites while every worker and visitor logs their name, employer and contact details. And thats not to mention the Health Surveys required in many States. With so many people touching the same pens, tables and clip boards, and the lack of social distancing in queues, we can confidently say pen and paper Site Registers are not COVID Safe.


What are the technology options?


Pen and paper is out, good, it's painful writing the same thing everyday, so what can technology do for us? Well, there's a bunch of options, from QR Codes linked to forms apps, specifically designed attendance software with apps for GPS monitoring and time tracking, through to more high tech solutions like wearables, IOT and facial recognition technology. Depending on the kind of project, and its security requirements, different solutions are more suitable than others. But if the question is "how do we quickly and easily implement Contact Tracing?" then simplicity and urgency have to be the key drivers, but this is where so many technology implementations go wrong.


Don't be tempted by feature overreach, it will cost lives.


Timing is everything, and right now we have to implement Contact Tracing fast. That means every single individual must accept your technology choice for it to be successful. Just take a moment to ponder that...

Every individual worker or visitor attending your job site has to accept your technology choice for it to work...WOW!

So lets play some of those scenarios. Will every individual accept facial recognition to track where they are at any given time? Should they? Will they download an app and allow GPS and time tracking? Will they accept wearing hardware to monitor their every movement? No matter where you stand on the topic of personal liberty and these tracking technologies, while your Superintendents are busy arguing the merits of your technology choice, the work isn't getting done, and contact tracing is failing. This will cost lives.


What is simple, acceptable and available right now?


We asked our customers what they were doing, and many told us they were using Google Forms or were struggling with solutions that involved hardware or apps. Others were searching for solutions but had not yet found a suitable option.


Google Forms is a quick and simple solution when linked to a QR Code and has proven popular as it's easy to get started. But with users having to type the same information everyday and data not reaching the project management system, which for our customers is Procore, that solution is temporary at best. Many customers reported compliance dropping off quickly due to its limited oversight and unpopularity.


So we started collaborating with those customers to create a solution that was super simple, agreeable and fully automated, the result being Attendance Bot:


By 'Simple' we mean...

  • it's easy to use (just a QR Code or Text Message)

  • it's easy to setup (No Apps or Hardware)

By 'Agreeable' we mean it just "does what it says on the tin"

  • Just keeps a record of who came onsite

  • No GPS or facial monitoring, no time tracking, no privacy concerns

By 'Fully Automated' we mean Nyfty takes care of everything...

  • Onboards new visitors and workers

  • Proactively checks-in each worker (Just reply to 1 text message)

  • Triggers Health Surveys if needed

  • Writes all data to Procore and provides live updates

The primary goal being to ensure every worker and visitor gets checked in quickly, avoiding long delays accessing the job site, and where necessary ensuring Wellness Checks are conducted by every person on the job site, or by their Foremen.


Site Attendance integrated to Procore

Nyfty creates a Site Register in Procore's Daily Log, and if linked to Health Survey Bot, will provide a Digital Certificate for conforming Wellness Checks as well as logging each survey in the Inspections Tool. It creates a Survey Register in Procore's Daily Log as well as providing live updates.

As per the image below, on the first day somebody arrives onsite they simply scan a QR code or send a text message to Nyfty. The next day, Nyfty will contact that worker to see if they are coming to site and check them in. It's smart enough to understand their responses and act appropriately.


Available right now

Attendance Bot has been working on job sites across the US with our Collaboration parters, and is now available on all our plans, including the Free Plan, for anybody with a Procore Account.


You can activate a free plan here: https://console.nyfty.ai





Reopen and stay open tools for Procore (so far):


Try our Little Robot Helpers on a free plan at Nyfty.ai


#reopenstayopen