Two years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana, the city of New Orleans is still slowly rebuilding itself.
While the tourism business is now flourishing, New Orleans needed more workers to come back to their neighborhoods to fully rebuild. City officials and the New Orleans Recovery District began work this summer to construct permanent modular buildings on five school sites in the hopes that the people who work in the restaurants, hotels and other tourist attractions would come back to Louisiana with their families.
ASAP Security of Houston, Texas, helped Williams Scotsman, the prime contractor for the construction project, with the security aspect of the project. Originally hired to provide the school district with fire alarms, intercom systems and the drops of Category 5 wiring to hook up each school's computers, Mike Monsive, ASAP's chief executive officer also saw a need for his CAM-V Mobile Surveillance System.
Monsive built his first CAM-V prototype in response to construction customers who complained about the loss of wiring and copper wiring.
"My customers were losing copper and their heavy equipment to thieves," said the ASAP Security executive. "In fact, we were on a job putting in a fire alarm and an intercom system and thieves took everything we installed."
The ASAP Security executive designed the CAM-V to make it easily deployable for each job site. "We design it so that anyone who could install a light tower could install our product on each job site," he said. "It takes only 30 seconds to have our device running."
The CAM-V works within a wireless setting. Kevin Mott, ASAP Security's operations manager, said his clients could use a wireless network to connect the signal of its four cameras to a monitoring station or directly to a construction manager's laptop.
"Our customers can connect remotely to their cameras via their laptop," said Mott. "They can adjust their unit remotely and with a pan, tilt, zoom, they can adjust their camera."
The Houston company deployed its CAM-V on several of the New Orleans school job sites, and Richard Root, Williams Scotsman's project manager for the completion of the five school sites, said he appreciated the security presence of the ASAP mobile security device.
"It's been my experience in the past that some theft has occurred after certain contractors have shown up to the site," said Root. "For some of them, it takes them a visit to one of our job sites to visually see stuff and come back at a later date to steal it."
With the CAM-V on job sites, theft dropped considerably in the short amount of time given to Williams Scotsman and their contractors. Root and his Williams Scotsman operational staff quickly found the CAM-V could help them manage the delivery of goods and materials to each job site.
"It was phenomenal for the fact that I didn't have to leave the office," said the Williams Scotsman executive. "I could look up from my desk and see what the guys were up to and see the progress of each project at any point."
Monsive said his device could help other construction firms manage their safety programs.
"From their laptop computers, construction managers can monitor their construction site to see if their workers are wearing their safety helmets or following their work site safety programs," he said.
The use of on-site monitoring devices with security devices for OSHA compliance and safety management is still a new concept, the ASAP Security executive said. Monsive said he believes that as more construction companies deploy devices like the CAM-V for their safety programs, it could help their insurance companies realize a new underwriting criteria for their workers' compensation and liability insurance programs.
"As construction companies can prove that our CAM-V can help to lower the likelihood of workers' compensation and liability claims, we think it could decrease their insurance costs," he said. "I know insurance companies won't lower their premiums with the introduction of our product, but if we can prove over time how our device can lower a company's claims for these coverage plans, then the insurance companies will offer a reduction to their policy costs."