San Francisco-based Swinerton is the latest general contractor to join the NEXT Coalition, through which leading critical infrastructure and construction stakeholders promote and share industry safety best practices. Black & Veatch, DPR Construction, Haskell, McCarthy Building and Swinerton are leveraging deep expertise in a campaign to ensure the well-being of crews and office team members facing complex challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

“Covid is a new safety risk for the construction industry that requires a rapid coordinated effort to ensure our employees go home safe every day,” says Swinerton Director of Technology & Information Eric Law. “Instead of every firm trying to solve the same problem, we can work together to improve safety across our industry. This approach ultimately allows for faster evaluation of new solutions in response to the pandemic.”

NEXT Coalition seeks to identify and advance processes and technologies most likely to bolster construction safety in response to the “next normal” ushered in by Covid-19. Its Construction Safety Challenge is an open call to companies, startups and other innovators with emerging safety solutions that can be quickly deployed and scaled. Coalition members will partner with entrepreneurs and developers to implement products and processes that will enhance health and safety in the field and back office. Submissions must be as close to market-ready as possible, though proof-of-concept/prototype-stage solutions are considered.

The Construction Safety Challenge seeks solutions in policy compliance, screening, tracking and tracing, along with mobile apps, disinfection methods, wearables, and personal protection equipment. Facilitating the campaign is Brightidea, an innovation management platform that accelerates the success of modern approaches by harnessing organizations’ creative potential. Ideas are submitted through a web portal, mobile app or email, then reviewed by subject-matter experts at each company.

“The Construction Safety Challenge is another example of organizations turning to crowdsourcing as the best way to generate reliable and vetted solutions for mitigating the impact of this pandemic,” says Brightidea CEO Matt Greeley. “The solutions that come out of the Safety Challenge will surely be applicable to other industries as they start to grapple with what the ‘next normal’ looks like.”