Safety for construction, happiness for all
ConTech Pioneers

Safety for construction, happiness for all

Hop Dao

Hop Dao

Ben Leach, CEO of safety construction tech company HammerTech, shares his passion for construction safety, and why safety management shouldn’t be a daily struggle.

Give us the HammerTech pitch. What does it do & which segment of the construction industry does it primarily serve?

HammerTech is a safety and operations platform that serves primarily the building construction industry. We started with solving the pain of the administrative burden associated with safety compliance. Enabling this through mobile technology was the beginning. Bringing the data and insights to life through BI tools has been game-changing for clients. The data is more accurate, reliable and timely than it has ever been before. Our future is connecting with best of breed technologies to provide clients with a practical solution that meets their ever-evolving requirements such as IOT, access control, sensors etc.

What’s the one core feature that HammerTech users couldn’t live without?

Worker inductions and signing in with site specific questionnaire … but that is only one of many!

Describe a typical day at HammerTech.

Meetings with US team generally consume the mornings with time differences. Then generally there will be an external meeting with either clients or tech partners. It’s also important that we have interaction with and between teams to keep everyone aligned on key business objectives.

 

You started your career in construction management before moving into the ConTech sphere. Why does construction appeal to you so much?

I like the honesty and transparency that came from working in construction as a Project Engineer. It is a ‘straight-shooting’ industry and that appeals to me. That has continued into our business at HammerTech both internally and how we interact with our clients. It’s why we landed on our Team Identity Statement of “Build safer, smarter, better – together”.

Construction is a multi-faceted industry. Any special reason why you and your co-founders decided to focus on improving safety?

We wanted to build the ‘one-stop’ shop. We realised quickly that we needed to be focused if we were to get anything off the ground.  

Having had exposure to safety management, it was evident there were no tools available that solved the pain involved with administrative compliance. It never sat well with me that most safety managers spend time ensuring paperwork is in place and not spending time in the field managing the real risks / supervising. With the capabilities of our founding group, it became a logical choice for us to focus on improving safety processes through our technology.

HammerTech’s had an incredible growth story since it started in Melbourne 6 years ago. Can you share the 3 biggest challenges you’ve faced getting it to where it is now?

  1. Getting general contractors and subcontractors to adapt to new ways of working. But they have been the reason as to why we have continued to grow and they have driven the increased adoption of our product.
  1. Expansion into the US. Understanding the nuances between Australia and North America and being able to respond to their needs in a timely manner. Starting in a new market has effectively been like starting another business but we continued to fight through the challenges and are now working with some of the most respected GCs in the US.
  1. Team expansion and growth. Scaling a team from 5 founders to our current team of 60 has been a huge learning. As the business matures, so does the requirement for new structures and processes. We have navigated through this with a talented team and we are excited with what is to come.
Ben Leach, HammerTech's CEO

Tell us something about yourself that isn’t work related.

I have 2 young wonderful little boys that keep us on our toes, but I also love to run which is where I clear my head and come home ready to do it all again. I love sport (a Western Bulldogs fanatic), love the New Orleans Saints, and St George when they are playing well. We love travelling, which is more Noosa these days, and hopefully we can get back to international travel when the world opens up.

And something that's true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I often call myself Leachdog from the third person. I think it is cool. It’s fair to say nobody agrees with me on that. With that said, it has been sticky 😊 .

Describe the industry’s attitude towards adopting technology for safety when you first started. Has it changed since?

It has changed significantly. We were never seen as a need, but more as a nice to have. I feel this has shifted in the last couple of years, where we now have clients saying to us that we are one of the 2 most important platforms to their business. It is nice 6 years into our business when prospects of 3 years ago who said that they would likely not move away from paper are now almost demanding using us. It is perhaps testament to the shift that we have seen since starting in 2015.

What HammerTech achievement are you most proud of?

I am most proud of what we have achieved as a team to help contribute towards making the industry a safer place. To have such amazing clients who are supportive, challenge us to keep improving and driving the positive change has been simply incredible.  

It was only a couple of weeks ago I walked past the first building site that ever used HammerTech. It is humbling that we now have thousands of job sites across the world using our product.  

True or False: If clients invest in safety in the workplace, they also need to sacrifice productivity to some extent?

FALSE. So false.  

There is much research that concludes that safer sites drive productivity and perform better financially. This is not specific to HammerTech. This relates to safety spend such as training, awareness, materials, resources etc. People want to work with businesses who put them, and their fellow workers first when it comes to safety.  

Learn more about HammerTech: https://hammertechglobal.com/en-au/.

See why $ billions worth of projects deliver better with Mastt

"Mastt provides software that is currently at the forefront of owner/client-side project management for the construction industry and continues to change the way we operate for the better."