Job Site Choreography

Fluor “designs and builds the world’s toughest projects,” according to its website, which means things like remote petrochemical plants and complex infrastructure systems that require tasks with risks commensurate with their importance.

“Lots of safety planning goes into our critical field activities,” said Ashly Coggins, project engineer, noting that there can be thousands of people working on a larger project at any given time. Each work day begins with crews planning their work and identifying ways to avoid potential hazards. It’s called a “safe task assignment,” or STA.

Coggins was working on such site in late 2015 when her site manager challenged the team to find the “hidden gorilla” – critical hazards that could be hiding in plain sight. She thought about her fire protection crew. Most crews work focused within specific work areas. They performed their STAs in those work areas and included hazards created by other crews working within the same area.

“I wondered how well my crew, whose work moved them throughout numerous work areas in a given day, were able to anticipate and avoid hazards created by other crews, especially new ones that emerged during the day [and weren’t able to be captured on the STAs],” she said.

“What if they could get an alert, something to notify them of new hazards based on the location they are working?”

Read the entire essay at Innovation Communicator