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September and October regional benchmarking COVID-19 safety update: Compliance remains high

If you follow our blog, you should be familiar by now with our COVID-19 safety compliance benchmarking data. But for those of you who are new to this project, here’s a quick overview. 

Vinnie, our AI, can check for COVID-19 behaviors like face mask wearing and social distancing compliance in jobsite images. It should be obvious what glove and face mask compliance means, but for clarity, we define social distancing compliance as workers standing at least six feet apart and in groups of less than 10. Newmetrix (formerly Smartvid.io) compiles anonymized data from our customers and then breaks it out regionally to show how well construction workers in different parts of the country are complying.

It’s a big sample — in our October data, for example, we had data on 42,807 workers — so these benchmarks provide meaningful insight for companies who want to compare their COVID-19 performance to their peers. And we don’t just track COVID-19 data. Our customers have access to benchmarking data on many different forms of safety compliance, which can come in very handy when you’re trying to negotiate lower insurance rates

Regarding COVID-19 safety compliance, we now have five months of benchmarking data, and we’re pleased to see that rates of face mask, glove and social distancing compliance remain high and stable across all regions. That wasn’t the case in June, when we started tracking COVID-19 compliance data. Back then, all four regions were at about two-thirds of workers complying with social distancing rules, with the South trailing the pack at 57%. Mask compliance was better, with most regions posting numbers in the 80s, but, again, the South was an outlier at  72%. 

Over the summer, however, all regions made gains, and those gains have remained stable. The South has shown the greatest improvement, increasing social distancing by 43% since June to 83% compliance in October. The South also increased the rate of mask wearing by 22% to 88% compliance over the same period.

safety compliance trends

COVID-19 trends_Sept 2020

COVID-19 trends_Oct 2020

While these results are excellent news, we’d like to see the industry push social distancing compliance out of the mid-80s and into the 90s, and mask compliance out of the high 80s and into the mid-90s. It can be done! “Catching” and rewarding people for good COVID-19 safety practice can go a long way toward encouraging people to do the right thing, and by identifying jobsites at risk for an outbreak with our platform, safety officers can direct resources to address problems and improve compliance.

But while there’s always room for improvement, the construction industry should be proud of its improvement and high compliance rates with COVID-19 safety. We’re all in this together, and it’s great to see such a high percentage of our workers working hard to keep each other safe during the pandemic.

How does your firm compare? To find out how Newmetrix can help you improve your team’s COVID-19 safety compliance, get in touch.

Written by Josh Kanner

Josh Kanner has been involved in enterprise-focused software startups since 2000 with a focus in the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) industry since 2005.

Most recently he was co-founder of Vela Systems, a pioneer in the use of web and tablet workflows for construction and capital projects. There he led the company’s product, marketing, and business development functions. Vela Systems grew from bootstrapped beginnings to include over 50% of the ENR Top Contractors as customers and deployments all over the globe. The company was successfully acquired by Autodesk in 2012 and has been rebranded as BIM 360 Field.

Prior to founding Vela Systems, Josh was responsible for product management and strategy at Emptoris (now part of IBM), a web-based strategic sourcing software company with customers including Motorola, GlaxoSmithKline, Bank of America, and American Express.

Kanner graduated from Brown University and earned an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He still gets excited to put on a hard hat and walk a job.

View more posts by Josh Kanner.

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