Immediate communication is of significant value to construction workers the world over. Radios are part of the lifeblood of the construction business. It is not a real understatement to call the use of two way radio systems vital for the wellbeing of our industry, not just in the interests of communication and proficiency, but also for security.
Active construction sites are instead one of the more challenging places for 2 way radio networks to navigate. Building sites present abundant challenges for 2 way radio networks, such as background noise, signal coverage, earth to crane comms, protection issues and subcontractors requiring access to the infrastructure.
Additionally, the hardware itself must be reliable and robust. A construction-site walkie talkie should capable of tolerate harsh weather, heavy impacts (like being dropped) and probable contact with liquid, paint, adhesives and sawdust, without adversely affecting performance. That’s quite a tall order, but the radios are up to it.
David Ashfield is an experienced British I.T advisor who’s worked on several sites in the country as a subcontractor. He very kindly spoke to us about his experiences with building site radio systems.
“When I was on location, I usually had two two way radios at one specified time” he said, “the corporation I was working for had its own set and the location contractors had theirs. We woked with our own set to communicate with our own team, mainly to clear the traffic on the main system. However, our team required access the main system as well. While I was acting on software, for instance, I needed to stay in constant contact with the electricians.”
Mr. Ashfield believed that, throughout his most recent site job, 5 separate teams of subcontractors shared the exact same system. A main office switchboard connected the teams. Trained specialists operated the switchboard, filling yet one more pivotal role in any key construction job.
Safety was of supreme importance always, he said. The secure channel was used for emergencies only. It’s mostly utilized to signal to the teams of impending security tests and fire drills.
Building sites are put up quickly and efficiently and, over time, buildings are born from them. These amazing labors are accomplished by the talented teams of engineers, architects, electricians, builders and, of course, people like Mr. Ashfield, who go in every single day and work together to produce new and interesting places.
But, these achievements can be far harder if it was not for the 2 way radios they regularly utilize.