In our final post to round out National Safe Work month we thought it would be best to show off how DM Roads and Downer are doing their bit to keep COVID-safe through the use of technology.

Over the past 4 months DM Roads and Downer Road Services have been using a self-check in app that will confirm employees’ working location so in the event there is an employee that has come into contact with someone who has been confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19, People and Culture and Zero Harm teams would be able to identify their movements, interactions and ensure the safety of everyone.

This is all thanks to Fraser Shields, IT Client Services Manager for Australian Operations, from Downer Group and his talented team.

Fraser is the key liaison for all things IT. His role is all about partnering with the business to understand their strategy and problems and drive innovative and fit-for-purpose IT solutions. He’s passionate about maximising the use of technology to help solve big business problems.

COVID-19 was a big business problem that DM Roads and Downer Road Services were facing, with the question surrounding the ability to conduct reliable contact tracing, should an outbreak occur in one of our offices or depots.

Fraser provided a solution to the problem. In a matter of 3-4 days Fraser and his team banded together to build the Downer Check in app. Using Microsoft SharePoint and Power Apps, Fraser and his team built the app utilising a common data store.

“It’s essentially like a database that will allow you to push and pull data,” Fraser said.

“When you’re building this with a SharePoint back end, you’re basically building a list. You build your list with all the different columns you want… names, addresses, the date, location and if the individual is working”

The application was rolled out in March and works as a self-check-in. Users of the app are presented with an easy to use interface that will automatically populate the date and then prompt the user to indicate whether they were working on the day and if they were working from home.

 Exclusive to office-based employees of DM Roads and Downer Road Services, the app has registered more than 800 unique users and 50,000 entries since it was rolled out at the start of 2020.

The app is an innovative solution that has allowed the business to continue to operate safely through 2020 and COVID-19.