In construction, safety and security is the name of the game. Information technology continues to play a critical role in helping builders and contractors track, manage, and reduce risk on the jobsite. Mobile applications that track safety metrics are on the upswing, but telematics is playing a key role in this process as well.

For example, heavy/highway contractor Dement Construction, www.dementconstruction.com, Jackson, Tenn., recently announced the additional of some realtime analytics, via telematics, into its equipment. The company is working with the company Webtech Wirelesss, www.webtechwireless.com, Vancouver, B.C., which provides a platform that combines GPS, digital mapping, and wireless communications to provide realtime analytics.

In particular, Dement is using the company’s Quadrant product, which when equipped to a vehicle can gather location and vehicle-diagnostic data. By receiving data from GPS and transmitting it via cellular networks to Web-based servers, the product allows the fleet managers to view realtime data on such things like vehicle speed, direction, and routing, among other information.

Of course, some might view this type of monitoring as being Big Brother. For Dement, the deployment is all around the idea of driver safety. According to company officials, the product helps to keep up with drivers automatically without having to use the phone.

In fact, the product helps Dement comply with regulations in the state of Tennessee that prohibit drivers to use cellphones while driving. Being in the middle of National Driver Distraction Awareness Month, this seems as being another added bonus to using the technology.

As the need for driver safety continues to escalate, information technology may play a more critical role than ever before for construction companies. In the end, a system like telematics not only provides value to the bottomline for builders and contractors, but could end up saving a few lives along the way too.