Soletanche Bachy transforms safety management on construction sites with SimplyVideo


Soletanche Bachy, a global leader in foundations and geotechnical engineering, is transforming health and safety management using technology from SimplyVideo, the connected worker collaboration platform for extended reality. By equipping field workers with RealWear assisted reality headsets and connecting them to offices around the world, this innovation enables on-site visits and inspections to take place without travel. Soletanche Bachy’s specialists can now reach operators in the field on construction sites around the world, virtually, from anywhere.

Image credit: Soletanche Bachy

Soletanche Bachy, a specialized subsidiary of VINCI Construction, develops high-performance geotechnical solutions that include deep foundations using piles and micropiles, diaphragm retaining walls and reinforcement solutions. This essential engineering work provides the foundation for the construction of everything from tunnels to roads, airports, dams, railways, ports and buildings.

Soletanche Bachy operates worldwide, carrying out 4,000 projects each year as far as New Zealand, Singapore and Ecuador. Safety management traditionally required regular site inspections, but with the global pandemic all travel was quickly reduced, creating a particular challenge. To maintain an element of control, Soletanche Bachy needed a solution capable of breaking down the barriers that the pandemic had imposed on it. The company turned to the latest technology from SimplyVideo to enable virtual site visits to take place in a world without travel.

“With global travel restrictions imposed last year, the pandemic has exacerbated health and safety concerns,” says Stuart Brooks, Hygiene, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Manager of the Major International Projects of Soletanche Bachy. “In the end, SimplyVideo was the only platform that offered what we saw as a viable solution – we needed more than just a remote expert tool; we needed a cross-reality collaboration platform and that’s what SimplyVideo does so well.

In the field, Soletanche Bachy uses headbands incorporating a microphone, screen and speakers for complete hands-free work. According to Brooks, one device in particular has really changed the game; the RealWear HMT-1 Android tablet headband. The rugged unit will survive drops to concrete and offers easy voice operation in loud environments. The display in the boom actually appears to the eye as a 7-inch screen, offering multilingual voice recognition and 4G connectivity.

SimplyVideo also offers Soletanche Bachy a virtual tutoring tool to train less experienced workers on site. Those with greater expertise can participate virtually, rather than in person, and help them using their greater knowledge and experience. “The beauty of the SimplyVideo solution is that we can bring together more expertise; something we just couldn’t do before. The platform gives us a clear visual representation of what is really going on there.

The Soletanche Bachy system was delivered in partnership with East Sussex-based independent IT vendor SystemActive, a SimplyVideo and RealWear reseller.

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