One of the more difficult hazards to manage Construction project sites is falls. Same level falls were always tricky to prevent and manage from both the training and implementation sides of the table. One of the key hazards in most accident investigations for same level falls was objects in the walk path. By this I mean loose material, stacked components, or equipment such as extension cords! The goal of safer project sites is now closer to achieve thanks to battery powered tools.

The need for extension cords is a constant one on Construction project sites. Crews use power tools to cut, assemble and remove materials during their work day. Power tools as the name implies require electrical power to run. Crews generally to run extension cords that are 50 feet or longer form temporary power panels. Many times these cords are runs through walls (cut exposure), door ways (pinch points), or just pilled on top of others on the floor (trip hazards).

The early battery powered tools were big, bulky and very expensive. I remember trying out a few tools on site, but the crews did not like using them. Over the past few years the advances in battery powered technology has been fascinating to watch. The original battery powered tools were bulky, heavy and did not last that long! There has always been a need for a small, easy to use, and affordable battery powered tools.

Why pursue a cordless job site?

There are three reasons to adopt more battery powered tools on Construction project sites:

Safety: if there are less extension cords on a job site floors, this reduces the odds for slip and trip injuries. It also reduce the chance for electrical hazards and OSHA fines.

Convenience: when given a choice, many workers prefer a cordless tool over a corded tool. By cutting the cord, tools feel more free to use without a cord pulling on the employee.

Productivity: longer battery life means employees spend less time rolling out and moving cords, looking for power outlets, extension, or extra battery.

There are several options available to Construction professionals.

Dewalt FlexVolt System

The FlexVolt system is the worlds first reverse compatible battery pack for hand held power tools. This innovative new battery can power the new line 60V Max tools (or 120V when used as a pair) or the older 20V Max tools. The new FlexMax battery pack automatically switches from 20V to 60V when connected to a power toll. This allows one batter pack to work with the new line of 60V  tools and older 20 Volt tools such as drills, grinders, and saws. The main goal for Dewalt was to deliver the power of a corded tool to there users on a cordless tool.

Milwaukee RED LITHIUM

The Milwaukee M18 RED LITHIUM 18V and 9.0 Ah battery pack offers uses a extended power offering that has been engineered to hold over 1,800 charges. This provides users with nearly five times more tool run time, thirty five percent more power, and run nearly sixty precent cooler. The new REDLINK intelligence feature  provides overload protection by utilizing system communication between tool, battery and charger. The fuel gauge on board: displays remaining run-time for less downtime on the job The battery case is designed to be water resistant through a secure latch cover and electronic coating. The RED LITHIUM Series works with over 100 Milwaukee M18 cordless power tools.

The APP Use Cases

BLACK + DECKER (SMARTECH)

The BLACK + DECKER App allows users to control the new SMARTECH series of Bluetooth Batteries. Field employees using the App on their smartphone can control and monitor the battery in several ways.  Field users can control connect to a battery to enable or disable the use of a battery. This is a security feature to designed to prevent theft, as the only user that can enable a locked battery is the app user with control. The app allows users to locate a battery by sending out a signal that enables an audio alarm. This battery also features a USB port to charge items such as smartphones. The app is available for both Android and IOS devices.

To learn more about the B+D SMARTECH app check out this video (CLICK HERE).

Dewalt (Tool Connect)

The Tool Connect App allows users to control the new Dewalt series of Bluetooth Batteries. Field employees using the App on their smartphone can control and monitor the battery in several ways.  Field users can control connect to a battery to enable or lock out the  battery for use by others. Users can lend a battery to another user and set up a work area, a geofence boundary zone. The app shows the “Last Seen” location. This feature is based on data from Google Maps which allows users to know where the last recorded position of a battery is. The app is available for both Android and IOS devices.

To learn more about the Tool Connect app check out this video (CLICK HERE).

Milwaukee Tool (ONE-KEY)

The ONE-KEY  mobile app combines a mobile app with built in Bluetooth technology. The new ONE-KEY app allows users to customize, track and manage the new line of M18 Fuel tools (drills, impact, sawzall, and lights). The app allows users to customize tools through the built in Bluetooth system. Field employees using the App on their smartphone can control and monitor the tool in several ways. Through the online platform employees can register new Bluetooth enabled tools or manually log non Bluetooth tools. The app is available for both Android and IOS devices.

To learn more about the ONE-KEY app check out this video (CLICK HERE).