Success Stories

Safesite: The startup making workplace safety easy

Jenneth Orantia
Smarter Writer

Jenneth Orantia is a journalist who has been reporting on tech developments and trends for the last decade

Jenneth Orantia
Smarter Writer

Jenneth Orantia is a journalist who has been reporting on tech developments and trends for the last decade

Have you ever thrown up your hands over inefficient or outdated processes in the workplace? Everyone has thought of procedures that could streamline work tasks, but it’s actually making that idea real that counts.

While working as a construction engineer for Leighton Contractors, Peter Grant found that the process for dealing with safety issues on-site was manual and convoluted, requiring a lot of time-consuming paperwork and running between the construction site and office.

His solution to the problem was Safesite, a mobile-based platform that allows construction sites and high-risk industries to record, communicate and resolve safety issues on the go using mobile devices.

safesite app screenshots

Automating hazard reporting

“Users can raise hazard [concerns], complete safety observations and inspections, and various other safety-related processes on a construction site,” says Grant. “Once that activity is completed, any workflow or actions that come off the back of that get automatically distributed to your network via text message, email or in-app notifications to the relevant parties.”

One of the dangers of the current system for reporting hazards is that it can be too time-consuming to be completed effectively, resulting in more accidents occurring. In Australia, accidents cost the construction industry over $6 billion per year, and account for 25 deaths annually.

“With the Safesite process, we take a laborious nine-step manual process and boil it down to three quick steps that are completely automated,” explains Grant.

Safesite and muru-D

Safesite is now being used by the Walsh and Shea construction companies in the US for the multi-million dollar Los Angeles Crenshaw/LAX transit corridor project. Within two weeks of signing up for a 30-day trial, the companies signed on for a six-month contract and found it improved their inspection compliance from four per cent to 40 per cent. It’s also being trialled by several major construction and mining companies in Australia such as Santos and Peter Grant’s former employer, Leighton Contractors.

Grant credits the muru-D incubator program as instrumental to Safesite’s success. The Telstra-sponsored start-up accelerator programme, which ran for the first time this year, selected nine companies out of more than 200 applicants to participate in a six-month incubation program, giving start-ups seed funding of $40,000, access to business mentors and coaches, Telstra’s network of partners and suppliers, and participation in a demonstration day for media and investors.

The future of safesite

“The experience has been fantastic. We definitely wouldn’t be as far along as we are now if it weren’t for this incubator program. They’ve provided us with amazing connections and opportunities, and put us in touch with investors, mentors, and a great network of people who can really help our business throughout Sydney and Australia,” says Grant.

The future looks bright for Safesite. The start-up has raised a significant portion of its $300,000 round of funding, and will be taking on the US market to work with some other major contractors. It is also developing relationships with insurance providers, as it believes the safety compliance data that’s produced off the back of the Safesite system will be valuable for reducing contractor premiums.

For other aspiring entrepreneurs with big ideas, Grant recommends becoming involved in an incubator like muru-D. “Surround yourself with people in the start-up space, because the networks they provide really give you access to a wealth of knowledge in terms of resources and connections,” says Grant. 

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