- Adam Schmehl
How Does The Katapult Method Improve Field Safety?
Updated: Mar 20
We often discuss our workflows to highlight efficiency and accuracy, but there is a third element to our workflow that has become more and more important as our team and projects have grown.
Finding ways to keep our crews' exposure limited is of paramount importance, and our field workflow is designed to do just that. The Katapult method seeks to minimize field tasks, simplifying the workflow so that technicians can focus on taking good photos safely and quickly—which also limits their time in poor weather conditions.
Principle #1: Minimize Field Time
The key principle behind our field collection methodology is to perform as much of the work from the office as possible. As described previously, this means using Google imagery and Streetview to design routes instead of doing design from the field. Our photo organization and measurement workflow allows us to snap high-res pictures at each field location, then move on without completing design or measurement work. Measurements and make ready all take place in the back office, reducing the overall time spent in the field.
Principle #2: Having Somebody Watching Your Back
Another crucial piece of the Katapult methodology is the use of two-person teams to accomplish field work. These teams must work closely to complete their task (good communication is crucial to accurate photo association), and their eyes are on each other and their surroundings at all times. No matter what hazards may be encountered in the field, technicians are not alone and can be supported instantly in emergency or near-miss scenarios.
Principle #3: Photo Feedback
An added benefit of photo documentation is that project managers can ensure that field technicians are following safety and PPE guidelines for every project. If the safety policies are not being adhered to, project managers can provide prompt feedback to address the violations. Other context photos can be used to determine if other safety policies are being followed, such as signage on state roads or the way company vehicles are parked. The live nature of the platform also allows project managers to monitor each team's progress and check-in throughout the day.
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