Why traditional PIN-based keypads are a disaster on job sites

New forms of technology are constantly being developed and adopted into construction sites, whether it is to increase overall productivity or improve safety standards amongst employees.

Currently, the latest advancements have centred around machinery and equipment safety. Such advances include laser and camera-based systems for construction exclusion zones and automatic disablement in suspected risk scenarios like collision events.

But just like with any new system, safety managers should assess the merits of the system based on realistic safety outcomes rather than ideal scenarios.

In the case of traditional pin and keypad-based operator restriction systems, there are critical flaws that must be taken into account.

Human behaviour negates the usefulness of traditional pin codes

Construction sites are busy environments with consistent pressure from other builders, subcontractors and tradespeople to be productive and efficient. Understandably, operators follow the path of least resistance when using technology. As such, it is a prevalent problem for pin codes to be shared amongst employees in order to maintain a high degree of productivity and efficiency. This is why traditional pin-based operator restriction systems are redundant and a risk to safety.

Why smartphone-based, iButton or RFID systems are the way to go

Ultimately, switching to a smartphone-based operator restriction system is the best way to manage equipment access because:

  • Unlike traditional PIN numbers, digital PIN codes are dynamic in nature,
  • an operator is only able to login to one machine at a time,
  • their qualifications can be used to restrict machine operation and;
  • there is no question about who logged into the machine; operators can’t share login details.

The next best options are iButtons and RFID cards as each operator is given their own pass to use an asset. Additionally, if using Teletrack, qualification restrictions can be loaded into the machine.

The next time you’re trying to improve safety in the workplace, make sure you’re considering all the factors, including human behaviour.

This article was written by AS Digital – a full-service marketing agency.

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