As construction companies look to make their work sites safer for employees, technology could be the answer.
Construction companies adapt in response to events that make this industry one of the most dangerous in the United States.
Implementing new technology and tools allows construction crews to mitigate risks and meet regulations. The country’s leading manufacturers are developing technology that improves communications, monitoring, risk protection, training and accident reporting on construction sites.
This article discusses the importance of construction safety, the most difficult hazards to mitigate and technology that helps construction companies reduce workplace injuries.
Construction safety is the focus
Construction companies and regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prioritize workplace safety in the construction industry. Safety considerations are essential in construction as it is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States
private sector Workers suffered 4,764 fatal injuries In 2020, 1,008 of these occurred on construction sites. A must for business owners and crew leaders Prevent situations that cause fatalities In most cases. The most common fatal accidents in the construction industry are:
- Falls, trips and slips to a lower level.
- Transport accidents involving motorized road vehicles.
- Exposure to harmful substances and environments such as electricity and extreme temperatures.
- Being hit or falling into equipment or objects.
Safety challenges in construction
While construction crew leaders are aware of the most dangerous situations workers face and regulations that apply For them, overcoming obstacles is still a challenge. OSHA reports that Construction crews fell short The most frequent forecasts in the following areas in the fiscal year 2021:
- Fall protection
- Scaffolding support
- Fall protection training
- Eye and face protection
Basic safety tools and techniques
Some of the leading buildings in the country Companies implement tools and technology that help them solve major safety challenges. As a result, the past decade has seen a decrease in the rates of recordable injury and disease in the workplace. where The year 2010 saw four recordable cases For every 100 full-time workers, The rate dropped to 2.5 By 2021. The following resources allow construction crews to reduce workplace injury rates.
Environmental hazards such as dust, harmful gases, heat and noise pose various safety challenges in the workplace. Workers may become ill from exposure to air pollutants or extreme temperatures. Excessive noise limits the worker’s ability to notice and avoid danger.
Modern sensors allow construction crews to monitor and respond to environmental hazards before they cause damage. The sensor can assess the environment and provide rapid data output so that workers have time to evacuate a hazardous area.
Air quality sensors are prominent in modern building environments. Crew leaders use air quality sensors to detect harmful dust and chemical levels.
Sensors even monitor deviations to increase employee alertness. Some construction vehicles feature built-in monitoring systems that track head and eye movement. The sensor will alert the crew if the operator’s head and eye movement indicates distraction or fatigue.
Drones allow crew commanders to monitor job sites more easily and with less risk. The drone can quickly fly around a sprawling job site or quickly reach the top floor of a multi-storey building.
Construction leaders are using drones to enhance safety in several key ways.
First, they equip drones with cameras to monitor job sites. A camera-equipped drone can scan a job site for hazards before managers deploy workers, and then monitor safety performance as the work progresses. The drone may also contain sensors that detect airborne hazards before or during action.
Drone-facilitated surveillance improvements allow crew commanders to maintain safer work locations.
3. Wearable devices
A wearable device is any type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects the body from hazardous materials and environments. Recent innovations have expanded the protective capabilities of wearable personal protective equipment.
Today’s construction crews use smart clothing with digital tools that monitor the wearer and notify crew leaders of any problems. Manufacturers design smart clothing to enhance safety by addressing job-specific needs.
Smart clothing could be a jacket or a watch with a sensor that tracks the wearer’s vital signs. Some smart vests feature an inflatable cushion that activates during a fall. A smart helmet may contain sensors that monitor air quality and detect toxic gases.
4. Mobile tools
Construction crews work at a new site for each job. Mobile technology allows them to take their technology to any location.
Today, construction crews can upload blueprints, checklists, permits, instructions, and safety insights to mobile devices. Each crew member carries vital safety information in their pocket to access and share on the go. Increased access to safety information helps prevent serious accidents.
Mobile technology also helps crews respond when an incident occurs. Workers can file an immediate report after an accident so that leadership can dispatch emergency crews.
5. Remote control equipment
When operating heavy equipment in a hazardous area, workers are safer the further away from the situation. Remote-controlled equipment allows workers to complete tasks at a safe distance from hazards.
Leading equipment manufacturers Integration of remote controls To enhance safety in the workplace. There are two types of remote controls for construction equipment – remote and site line.
Remote devices use a high-speed data connection to connect the operator and equipment from a remote control center. Alternatively, site line communication allows workers to operate machinery from a distance while on the job site.
6. Virtual reality and augmented reality
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) provide unique enhancements to training programs. These technologies bridge the gap between theoretical studies and practical applications so that trainees can simulate dangerous tasks without risk.
Virtual reality is a computer simulation that replicates a 3D environment. By wearing virtual reality glasses, the trainees will do just that Enter a virtual world Where they can attempt dangerous missions in real time.
Where virtual reality creates a digital environment from the ground up, augmented reality adds to the existing environment. Augmented reality glasses create a digital overlay on the trainee’s physical environment. During AR training, a worker can sit in the cabin of a machine and operate its controls in response to digital stimuli that the AR device projects to the real world.
The impact of technology on safe and streamlined construction
As one of the industries with the highest number of fatalities in the United States, the construction sector creates policies and implements technology that attempts to reduce risks. Digital monitoring, communication, reporting, and training tools helped construction companies reduce injury rates between 2010 and 2020. Tools such as sensors, remote controls, mobile devices, and smart clothing will continue to advance construction safety in the future.