Black & Veatch has developed a geospatial tracking tool to safeguard field services and construction crews during the current COVID-19 global health crisis.
The rollout of “BV Safe Contact” comes at a time when essential power, water and telecommunications services are in high demand, making large infrastructure projects more critical than ever. Because project work must continue to ensure that these industries can provide critical services to the communities they serve, protecting the health and safety of these highly distributed field teams against the threat of COVID-19 is of paramount importance.
By connecting live health and safety data with project management data, the “BV Safe Contact” tool provides new levels of intelligence by continuously monitoring potential exposure and health threats in project areas.
To do this, the connected data and geospatial tool streams active COVID-19 case data directly from Johns Hopkins University and links it to active client project locations to provide a real-time view into active hot spots and potential high-risk areas. Armed with this information, Black & Veatch and its clients can make intelligent, proactive decisions on where to allocate field services resources, allowing them to relocate crews and project efforts to safer, less-affected areas while avoiding critical service disruptions.
“The tool was inspired by the need to make intelligent, informed decisions about the safety of our field crews and construction professionals – and those of our clients – during this current global health crisis,” said Edward A. Sutton III, P.E., program manager and systems architect for Black & Veatch. “Providing leadership with crucial project intelligence will help mitigate potential outbreaks among crews, or even prevent an outbreak altogether.”
The tool relies on a cloud-native connected data platform called Nora: Total Project Awareness, which was created by Black & Veatch’s telecommunications business last year to better manage large-scale distributed infrastructure projects by valuing relationships and connections first. BV Safe Contact is currently being used by a large Northeastern utility that serves customers in New York and New England, regions hit hard by COVID-19. The utility is using the tool to make informed decisions on where to schedule project work and relocate workers.
“Black & Veatch’s unique capabilities put us in a position to not only help manage this crisis, but to offer valuable client solutions,” John Janchar, president of Black & Veatch’s telecommunications business, said. “BV Safe Contact is another example of our ongoing efforts to lead with an innovation-first mindset, and to move quickly to adapt to an ever-changing global threat.”
Integrated Technologies Expands Insight
In addition to tracking and monitoring highrisk exposure areas, BV Safe Contact integrates with a field collection app for employee contact tracing. This provides insight into potentially unsafe sites at a person-to-person level. This enables leadership to:
● Trace interactions between employees to record potential exposures and predict future high threat scenarios
● Use advanced visualizations and analytics to alert employees of potential exposure, enabling them to quickly self-isolate and get treatment if needed
● Query, sort and view data for specific uses
The BV Safe Contact tool will have a positive impact on the telecommunications, construction and field operations industries, and may be extended to other complementary industries such as grocery and healthcare.
Visit www.bv.com/COVID-19 to learn more about how Black & Veatch is working in new ways to support workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.