The Block isn’t your typical building site — especially when it doubles as a production set. Here's how hit reality show The Block keeps operations on track with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor).
What happens when construction and production industries meet? It’s a logistical challenge to say the least — and one that Australian reality television show The Block has to deal with on a daily basis.
The hit home improvement TV series follows five couples who all renovate a house in the hopes of nabbing the highest possible selling price at auction. The action-packed show beams into the homes of Australians on most nights, but behind the scenes lies a huge operational challenge for the crew.
The film set for The Block isn’t your typical building site. A jam-packed construction site that doubles as a production set, operating on a tight filming schedule… how do they keep it all in check?
You guessed it! The Block has gone digital with SafetyCulture platform. Here’s how it went.
An average day on the block starts with inductions. After all, safety is the most important thing on The Block. The site is extremely dynamic — more so than your average construction site.
On any given day, you haven’t just got the TV contestants on site, you have tradesmen, production crews, even the odd celebrity! Making sure everyone on site is able to work safely together is a top priority. This makes early mornings one of the busiest times on set, with permits issued and inductions for up to 60 people.
“We’ve got a couple of different walks of life meeting here. You’ve got a production set and a proper building site,” says Aidan O’Shannessy, Site Manager on The Block. “Bringing those two industries together makes for a challenging environment but makes it important that we have great communication and clear consultation with all the workforce, not just construction but production as well.”
“At the end of the day, we’re a very busy site. There are lots of dangers but we keep them to a minimum — there’s lots of cranes, lots of lifting. It’s paramount we keep everyone safe.”
— Scott Cam, SafetyCulture Ambassador & Host of The Block
One of the things that sets The Block apart is the tempo on site — things move quickly and processes need to be flexible enough to match it. “Because the site changes so quickly, it makes it challenging for the team to keep everything as safe as possible. We’re always making sure we’re keeping in front of the next move and anticipating the next challenge,” says Aidan.
No trades background? No matter. This is where SafetyCulture platform comes in. Contestants use it for everything from daily pre-start checks to Safe Work Method Statement reviews. Each house consults with their tradesmen on potential safety issues and procedures to make sure their day starts off the right way. It’s a proactive approach to safety, where everyone takes ownership of the tasks at hand. With data centralized in SafetyCulture (iAuditor), everyone has visibility over the work occurring that day — not just the tradesmen and crew logging the information.
Beyond daily checklists, Foremen Keith and Dan use SafetyCulture to help in the judging process. They carry out a weekly defects check on each of the contestant’s properties, snapping images and taking notes. All this rich detail feeds into an automated report that gets sent to the judges to help shape their judgement for the week.
“Those with construction backgrounds understand the processes involved, but anyone with a mobile phone can grasp safety pretty quickly.”
— Ron Adema, Safety Lead on The Block
With so many moving parts, there is a heightened need for a centralized system for reporting issues. QR codes have been placed at each of the houses allowing anyone on site to record and report an issue on site — even external contractors who may not have SafetyCulture platform installed on their device. Categorization of common issues allows people to report what they see with ease, whether it’s a matter of operations, safety, or something else entirely. Everything is sent straight to Aidan, who can easily track workflow to completion.
As a site manager on The Block, Aidan’s job is all about making decisions. When deadlines are as tight as they are on The Block, this can mean a steady stream of split second choices.
“These calls often come in every minute, and you can’t wait and ask for answers — you have to jump in and make a decision,” says Aidan. “To make fast and accurate decisions you certainly need live data. Having SafetyCulture platform in our toolkit helps us keep up with all that information.”
With SafetyCulture platform in hand — quite literally — everyone on site is able to capture the information that matters on its mobile-first platform. At the same time, site managers get oversight on data and analytics with our suite of applications and compatible web apps. It’s a seamless transition from field to headquarters.
“On The Block we’re always trying to learn and develop our systems and processes. Digital systems like SafetyCulture are great to help keep us compliant and more so than that — introduce practical levels of safety that people can use onsite.” — Aidan O'Shannessy, Site Manager on The Block
In the 2022 season of The Block, a 70 acre site means effective communication is more important than ever before. It’s impossible to have eyes on everyone at the same time, and it’s more challenging to be able to deliver key messages – gone are the days of just being able to ‘pop next door’.
Heads Up is SafetyCulture’s solution to communicate with and announce important info to team members. The likes of Keith, Dan or Scott can use the feature to relay key information to contestants – we’re talking toolbox talks, safety alerts, training reminders, updates on issues, change in conditions, new challenges or deadlines, new processes or communicating important observations e.g alert around waterproofing!
The best bit is – with Heads Up, the team can see who has or hasn’t seen the message via the acknowledge feature, giving visibility and confidence to who is informed and who needs a follow up.
Level 10 uses SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) to manage safety and quality control.
A liquid solids separation organization in oil and gas, BOS Solutions, lacked safety and quality data to prove compliance and make business decisions. Using SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), they improved their data health by standardizing and digitizing inspections.
Start with digitizing safety audits. End with digitizing your whole business.