In the last five years, security technology traditionally used by large corporations has become available to the construction industry.
Despite this, many job sites choose to stick with trusted security devices like fences and security cameras instead of jumping on the technology bandwagon.
“We pretty much stick with the basics,” said Roger Fulmer, Division Safety Manager for Hunt Construction Group. “Through my experience, cameras get predominately used. They’re simpler and we know they work.”
As a result, security companies have to find ways of getting new users comfortable with the products.
“That’s been a big hurdle with technology, a lack of understanding in the product,” said C. Brent Lowder of HGB and Associates. He added this lack of faith has led many jobsite managers to mainly ask for large box containers for after-hours storage.
“There’s very little [technology] used right now.” said Christina Keeling of APSI Biometrics.
Keeling has made a point of working with her clients to find out what can be done to make the biometric technology better conform to the user’s needs.
“The last thing we want is for them to get frustrated with the technology,” Keeling said.
While some feel intimidated, others feel unsafe with the personal information required for the technology. Some biometric scanners work by reading fingerprints and matching them to a database, an idea that can make workers uncomfortable.
“A lot of people are afraid of that. You know, Big Brother is going to have my fingerprint,” Keeling said. “That is not the case. This technology does not do that.”
Depending on how a database gets created, Fulmer said it probably would not bother the workers.
“If it’s created at a job level, it wouldn’t affect them,” Fulmer said.
Newer technologies have also become mobile. Scanners and cameras can now be packed up and moved to each different jobsite. Many of these systems have also become easier to use.
“If someone can walk in and plug in their laptop, fax and phone, they can use this. It really is that simple,” Lowder said.
While the industry constantly evolves and newer technologies become available, Fulmer said their usage hinges on the equipment cost and applicability on a jobsite.
“If the technology is reasonably priced and within the job scope, we’d consider it,” Fulmer said.