Construction laborers are now being tagged and registered using RFID (radio frequency identification) at a rate of more than 1,000 per month. This, at least, is one company’s claim as it uses the innovative technology as part of a labor monitoring service at the jobsite. This is just another step toward tagging the entire jobsite.

While the construction industry might still be years away from ubiquitous adoption of technology likes RFID as a means for tracking tools, materials, and other key assets (workers) on jobs, this is not holding back experimental projects that continue to push the limits for what connected technologies can bring to construction.

ADR Software, www.softwareadr.com, Reston, Va., operates a national network of portals that monitor construction site labor for owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and project managers. Late in 2010, ADR launched a service in the Washington, D.C., and Denver, Colo., metropolitan markets, set up to monitor and record labor time on construction sites using a combination of stickers embedded with RFID tags affixed to hard hats, onsite monitoring portals, and some proprietary software.

Called the ADR Network, the company just announced it has surpassed 10,000 laborers registered using the service. Given it was launched roughly 10 months ago, the average rate of workers being “tagged” is 1,000 per month. Bruce Labovitz, president and cofounder, ADR, hopes that, given the current rate of growth, 50,0000 construction industry laborers will be tagged and in the company’s database by the end of 2012. Labovitz says the plan is to also launch an extension to the ADR Network in the near future called laborlynk.com to provide personal and professional benefits to the construction laborers that are tagged and in the database.

Such news revisits the ongoing debate about the role of RFID on construction projects. We are already seeing the technology play a prominent role in such actions as tool and material tracking, and some truly innovative companies have even incorporated the technology into an inventory-management system that ties directly to a 3D model on a project.

But tagging workers is a different story. Success with using such a setup with laborers could open the door to tying a whole range of business-critical information from workers to backoffice systems. This includes things like tying payment approval or time-tracking metrics. The possibilities are endless; it would just take some strong investment in the technology infrastructure to make it work.