Instant communication is of vital importance to construction workers the world over. Radios are part of the lifeblood of the construction business. It is not a real understatement to call using walkie talkie systems vital to the wellbeing of our industry, not only within the interests of communication and efficiency, but additionally for safety.
Busy construction sites are actually one of the more difficult places for radio networks to navigate. Construction sites present many challenges for two way radio networks, like background noise, signal coverage, ground to crane communications, security issues and subcontractors requiring access to the system.
Moreover, the hardware itself must be dependable and resilient. A construction-site two way radio should able to tolerate harsh weather conditions, heavy impacts (like being dropped) and potential exposure to water, paint, adhesives and sawdust, without adversely affecting performance. That is quite a tall order, however the 2 way radios are up to it.
David Ashfield is an skilled British I.T consultant who’s worked on numerous sites throughout the country being a subcontractor. He very kindly spoke to us about his experiences with building site two way radio systems.
“When I was on location, I usually had 2 walkie talkies at any particular time” he said, “the corporation I was working for had its official set and the site contractors had theirs. We used our personal set to communicate with our individual team, mostly to clear the traffic on the main network. However, our team required access the main network as well. While I was working on software, let’s say, I required to stay in continuous contact with the electricians.”
Mr. Ashfield believed that, during his most recent site job, five different teams of subcontractors shared the exact same network. A main office switchboard connected the teams. Trained professionals operated the switchboard, filling yet another key role in any key construction job.
Safety was of paramount significance at all times, he said. The secure channel was used for emergencies only. It’s primarily employed to inform the teams of impending safety tests and fire drills.
Building sites are put up quickly and efficiently and, over time, structures are born from those. These impressive efforts are accomplished through the proficient teams of engineers, architects, electricians, builders and, of course, people like Mr. Ashfield, who go in every day and work jointly to create new and exciting places.
Yet, these achievements can be far harder if it was not for the two way radios they regularly employ.