CrewMinders Makes Safety as Simple as a Text Message
When D.W. White Construction, Acushnet, Massachusetts, recommenced work on a project at Boston Logan International Airport following the statewide shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company wanted to ensure its employees could return to work safely. The heavy civil contractor’s crews started each shift filling out safety screening questionnaires from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We knew there must be a safer and more efficient way to collect this information,” Operations Manager Peter Pavao said. That’s when the company began using CrewMinders to send automated text messages containing the CDC safety screening questions. That way, Pavao said, “We can see who is at risk before they step foot on site.”
CrewMinders, Atlanta, is a frontline employee engagement platform for the construction, manufacturing, fitness and restaurant industries. However, its roots are in the asphalt industry. CrewMinders is a division of HaulHub Technologies, the company behind e-ticketing apps DOTslip and JOBslip and a full suite of other management tools under the HaulHub brand.
CrewMinders launched in April, only two weeks after D.W. White, one of HaulHub Technologies’ founding customers, reached out to see if the technology company could create a simple communication solution.
“One of the biggest stumbling blocks for these types of companies is how to communicate with the front lines—the men and women out there doing the work,” said HaulHub Vice President of Services Matthew Valle. “The foundation of CrewMinders was rapid communication.”
HaulHub recognized that employees didn’t want to have to download an app and that there might be concerns about employers tracking them through an app. That’s why CrewMinders delivers its messages by text.
“Hourly employees don’t have company-issued phones, computers or email addresses,” said CrewMinders General Manager Rabun Lewis, “so text messages are a great way to mass communicate information.”
On the back end, management staff utilize a simple web portal to manage employee contact information, create groups, and create, schedule, and send messages. The platform can also be used to set up surveys or share attachments, such as photos, videos or PDFs.
For example, D.W. White’s COVID-19-related texts ask how the employee is feeling and include a link to a brief questionnaire on CrewMinders’ website. If an employee is found to be at risk of having COVID-19 based on his or her answers to the questionnaire, CrewMinders sends an automatic alert to their supervisor to follow up with the employee.
Heavy civil contractor Brad Cole Construction, Carrollton, Georgia, was able to complete safety check-ins in half the time after implementing CrewMinders.
Management can also use CrewMinders’ analytics dashboard to review who viewed each message and when, who responded, and to receive feedback via its analytics dashboard.
Additionally, the platform can be used to send out toolbox talk resources, job site assessments, near-miss reports and other useful safety information.
“COVID-19 will continue to be a prominent piece of CrewMinders, because there is such a need to track those safety check-ins,” Lewis said. “But, we’re really passionate about continuing to build out the platform with features to effectively communicate with frontline employees.”
Although HaulHub’s core clientele is within the asphalt industry, Lewis said he immediately saw CrewMinders’ applicability to other industries. “CrewMinders was born out of the pandemic, but it’s also addressing the existing desperate need for effective communication and engagement with front-line employees across a number of industries.”