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Sat July 11 2020

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Bewley’s buzz bands maintain social distancing on site

9 Jun Hampshire house-builder Bewley Homes is deploying vibrating wristbands to its site workers to keep them two metres apart.

The wristbands vibrate when workers get too close
The wristbands vibrate when workers get too close

The buzzing bands have been trialled by the building firm and are now set to be rolled out.

The wristbands contain in-built sensors which can recognise each other and are programmed to generate a low vibration should one wristband come within two metres of one another.  They have been developed by One.site, a division of construction communications provider UK Connect.

Over the last three months Bewley Homes has explored ways to protect its workforce from Covid-19 transmission. It is also introducing remote induction and contactless sign in when it reopens its sites this month.

Managing director Andrew Brooks said of the buzz bands: “This is another way of giving confidence to workers to return to a Bewley site.”

He continued: “Nearly every aspect of life has changed, if not forever, certainly for the next few months. Construction sites are no different and how we work on site has moved on. Putting the onus on our subcontractors to meet the new health and safety requirements is not enough. We need to put easily implemented in place to ensure a productive and safe day’s work.

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“The challenge is about changing habits of workers on the construction site, which have been engrained over many years. Unless the message is continually reinforced, human nature takes over and people will gravitate back to how they have always behaved. So, we are introducing these wrist bands to help keep social distancing protocols.

“It’s not the only answer for the continued, important fight against the coronavirus, but added to the other important measures we are installing, hand on heart, we can say we are doing everything we can to keep workers safe.”

Unlike other such systems, One.site’s bands have no data capture capability – all they do is buzz – which is fine by Mr Brooks.

It was imperative we didn’t infringe on people’s privacy, so the technology doesn’t track and trace workers movements.,” he said. “It’s there as a reminder for workers to keep their distance. It’s worked incredibly well and we are very pleased with the trial so far. The next step, this month, will be to roll out the wrist bands across all our sites.”

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MPU

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