With native Spanish speakers fast approaching a majority of the U.S. population, the challenge of effective communication on construction projects is a growing concern in many parts of the country. Superintendents and other key supervisors at construction firms are increasingly encountering difficulties in conveying instructions to a percentage of workers on site. This can result in mistakes or accidents, which can lead to costly project delays and potential fines for failure to communicate properly with all employees.
A new mobile app currently in beta testing is attempting to address this problem. Christopher Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Puente Phone, has enlisted three large construction companies to test a mobile app designed to help construction firms communicate more effectively with Spanish-speaking workers.
Unlike automated translators, which can garble messages in translation, this app connects the user (within 10 seconds) with a live translator versed in colloquial dialects and technical construction jargon.
The app is currently being tested in Central Texas, but could be expanded to other regions depending on how it is received. Click here to learn more about the app and the reasons behind its development.