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At Construction Sites, RFID Tracks Arrivals, Departures

ADR Software's Workforce Monitor system uses EPC tags to identify workers, enabling general contractors to track who enters or leaves a site.
By Claire Swedberg
Dec 23, 2011General contractors and builders at more than 30 construction sites within the United States are employing an RFID-enabled solution provided by ADR Software to track the number of workers on those sites, as well as their identities. By utilizing the Workforce Monitor service, construction projects' managers and supervisors can capture the identity of each worker entering or leaving a site, by means of Workforce Management Stations—RFID portals that read EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags attached to hardhats.

ADR's Workforce Monitor software application processes the data from readers related to individuals passing through the portal, providing a user with such details as which contractors have employees on site, the number of workers at that location, whether those personnel have the necessary training or certification required to be there, workforce demographics and the workers' zip codes—thereby enabling a user to know how many local jobs were created by that project. The solution also provides such information as which workers have gone belowground on sites in which trenches or tunnels, for example, are being dug. Thus, in the event that an emergency occurs, supervisors would know, in real time, who was below grade.

ADR Software's portal contains an Alien Technology reader and four antennas to identify personnel.
The system has been deployed at multiple sites, and has registered approximately 15,000 workers to date, from hundreds of contractor companies, says Bruce Labovitz, the cofounder and president of ADR Software, a startup company based in Reston, Va. At the construction site of the Washington Marriott Marquis Hotel, located in Washington, D.C., the system has been in operation for about two months, says Kenny Arnold, the general superintendent at the project's general contractor, Hensel Phelps Construction Co.'s mid-Atlantic district. The solution is designed to be easy to install and use, the company reports, thereby enabling it to be temporarily set up for the duration of a construction project, and to then be removed. Users pay a monthly service fee for the entire solution, which provides them with use of the hardware, as well as access to data on a personalized Workforce Monitor Dashboard, located on ADR Software's hosted server.

With the system in place, each worker is provided with an adhesive-backed Alien Technology Squiggle RFID tag fastened to the front of a hardhat (on its exterior or interior surface). The tag's unique ID number is then linked to that individual's name and address, along with other details, such as the worker's employer and training history.

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