The construction industry relies on technology and hardware. Understandably, most of the attention in this area goes on precision engineering tools, heavy plant machinery, cranes, excavators and so on.

But the importance of another type of technology altogether should not be underestimated – communication equipment.

Good communication is vital in construction. The larger the project, the more sophisticated the systems put in place need to be to cope with the demands of coordinating large workforces and keeping them safe.

Over the years, Brentwood Communications has supplied two way radio solutions to many large civil engineering and construction projects – London’s Crossrail and The Shard, the tallest building in Europe, to name but two.

Experience has taught us exactly why contractors turn to two way radio time and time again to meet their communication needs. Here are four key features which we believe make two way radio the ideal solution for construction.

Reliable coverage
Unlike cellular communication systems, two way radio does not rely on an infrastructure of fixed masts and antennas. Instead, the transceiver technology in a set of two way radios means they create their own networks, communicating directly with one another. While this means they don’t have the long range of mobile phones, neither do you suffer from signal black spots – you can create a completely reliable two way radio network anywhere you like, whether you are tunnelling deep underground, or perhaps building a new offshore wind farm.

Versatility
Modern two way radios come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, with numerous different features and capabilities for different uses. If you are looking for a straightforward way to keep workers in touch as they move around a site, standard models are extremely easy to use, portable and built to withstand tough conditions. At the opposite end of the scale, the most powerful models come packed with features such as GPS location tracking, dispatch and work ticket command functions, and you can even link multiple sites via IP connections so you can maintain communication across the very largest projects.

Safety features
Professional two way radio is built with industry in mind, and one of the most important developments has been the inclusion of a range of safety features to help protect users.

Emergency buttons provide one-touch alert activation should any operative find themselves in distress, while Lone Worker functions provide monitoring systems which require personnel to check back in with the network after specified lengths of time. Man Down is another very useful feature widely found on two way radio handsets – it uses an accelerometer motion sensor to detect if a user has had a fall or stopped moving, automatically issuing an alarm.

High quality audio
One of the prerequisites of effective voice communication is that you have to be able to hear what colleagues are saying. Two way radio has always been renowned for paying careful attention to audio quality for precisely this reason. Many digital models now include advanced features such as noise cancelling and intelligent volume adjustment, which further improve audibility in noisy environments when operatives are working with and around heavy machinery.