How Construction Tech is enhancing Jobsite Safety?
The construction industry was one of the primary sectors in which technology adoption has been slow. Moreover, the hazardous work environment is a threat that construction workers have been struggling to mitigate.
Reportedly, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) says, out of five worker fatality among the different industries, one would be in construction. Which implies 20% is the worker fatality rate in this sector.
Since the involvement of manual effort is more and the limitation of employing technology in such a vast manner across safety measures, the construction sector couldn’t efficiently experience the advantages of technology.
However, the far-reaching capacity of today’s advanced technology overpowered all the weak points that the construction safety sector encountered in the past and empowered every aspect of the construction sector as well.
Let’s explore some examples of how construction tech is enhancing job site safety
IoT (Internet of Things):
The influence of IoT is visible in every sector that involves electronic machines and intelligent components. Hence, it rooted its prominence in construction technology as well.
By automating the data collection and scheduling maintenance activities, IoT devices are playing a significant role in construction safety. It is the most critical mechanism in all the wearable used in a construction site. Also, IoT makes way for advanced Virtual and Augmented Reality in construction safety practice.
To illustrate, an autonomous robotic machine that is operated remotely is driven by the signals triggered from and to the IoT devices. Plus, to analyze the environment from a control room and delivering proper guidance to the workforce in a remote area has also been done by IoT devices.
An Australian firm tried IoT technology to improve the safety of the construction workers. They provide smart helmets that can monitor their safety and send data to the Cloud. Analyzing the day-to-day data, the supervisors could understand the frequency injuries, heatstroke, and hazardous work practice that they have been through at their worksite.
Besides, IoT produces the real value of practicing safety recommendations evidently to the workers. This will reduce the tendency to overlook and iterate the mistakes and improve the safety program adoption rate considerably. Then, IoT helps to get clutter-free insights directly from the worksites with the help of wearables and machines.
Construction workers are more prone to skeletal disorders and muscular strain. Lifting heavy loads and equipment cause much stress all across their body. Exoskeletons are helping them to reduce the impact of such works and improve endurance. It acts more like the workers’ internal skeletal frame. This robotic metal suite supports them while lifting heavy tools and holding it for a long time.
Moreover, exoskeletons used to reduce body fatigue and avoid unhealthy posture while working. It comes in two modes, electric powered and mechanical, that is designed for the purpose it serves on different occasions. In electrical power suits, the sensors to collect the data and supply adequate support to the wearer and in mechanical suits distribute the weight across various strength sources and make the work easy.
However, these technologies are easing out difficult jobs into easy activities. Ekso Bionics is one of the companies that are taking this invention seriously and making enormous improvements in exoskeleton designs for the construction industry. There are different types of exoskeletons, such as mechanical and electro powered shoulder support, power gloves, back support, whole bodysuit, and crouching support types of Equipment.
Worksite sensors are one of the practical components that help to analyze the different conditions of a worksite. A lot of companies are employing worksite sensors to trace the work condition of their labors such as temperature, chemical components, toxicity, air quality, noise level, and so and so.
As we know, workers exposed to toxic environments such as Asbestos are causing more fatality in the construction industry. A report from asbestos exposure says that 125 million people around the world remain at risk of asbestos exposure in their industrial space.
However, the implementation of worksite sensors is broadly helping companies to identify toxic substance presence in workplaces. These sensors were working in an automated setup and mounted all across the construction site. Some sophisticated sensors are using artificial technologies for effective safety practice.
Hence, as the prefixed software is set up, it will collect the data and send it to the destined destination for further analysis. In this way, worksite sensors are doing a great job of reducing workplace hazards.
Site Survey Drones:
Drones are accomplishing numerous jobs in the construction industry today. As a novice technology drone hasn’t had anything to do with the construction sector. However, construction sites make use of this advanced drone technology for site surveying, structural inspections, and mapping construction growth. Also, drones are used for monitoring worker safety all around the sites to identify hazards.
The incredible mission that was done by drones in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant enthralled everyone. Over that critical situation, drone led the data collection to manage the disaster. Likewise, in Mexico, a company deployed drones to inspect a 100-kilometer pipeline, which usually takes two weeks to complete with manual effort. Surprisingly, the drone finished it within one hour and delivered the critical data intact. Similarly, drones are participating in practical use-cases across different occasions to safeguard workforces.
Virtual reality is not just a technology for entertainment and marketing industries. Today, it has a broader scope across multiple sectors, including construction. Globaldata says virtual reality is going to kick start safety training like never before. The construction sector adopted advanced technology to train their workers to handle new machine tools and even to perform safety procedures in emergencies.
Safety training is another area where the construction industry uses virtual reality extensively. Moreover, the workers who are required to work under controlled and elevated environments are making use of these training models to familiarize themselves with the conditions.
Many big brands are using virtual reality training sessions to train their workforce. To illustrate, Walmart is conducting virtual reality training for its workers to deal with dangerous situations that they may come across.
Wearable devices are making an incredible change in construction safety practices. There is a wide variety of wearables, such as visual wearable, tactile wearables, sensing wearables, etc. Both hardware and software industries are thriving hard to improve these wearable devices to improve safety practices.
In the construction industry, wearable devices are more like smart wearable with multiple purposes. It may be a clothing/equipment/sensor-enabled gadget. Also, the use of different wearables is mixed in the construction industry.
Some wearable will inform the worker about the hazard that they are prone to. Also, it can warn them of taking dangerous movements and postures. Similarly, devices such as exoskeletons assist workers in reducing their stress during a job.
Autonomous Heavy vehicles & Equipment:
Andrew Boushie, VP of partnership and strategy at Ainstein (developer of autonomous vehicles) says, unlike old days, today autonomous vehicles are practically getting successful in hazardous construction sites. Thanks to the advanced sensor technology and intelligent IoT devices.
The new sensor technologies that can detect light and range with high-resolution radar serves as the eye for the machine/vehicle operators to prevent any sort of collisions across their range of visibility.
Also., heavy machine manufacturers such as Caterpillar and Komatsu have assembled machines that can be operated remotely. These innovations are ultimately helping workers to keep themselves away from potential harm.
As the construction industry grows to new heights, technology is aiding it with exceptional efficiency and safety practices. The latest safety measures that give a lot of physical and mental advantages for the workers keep them efficient and equipped. This is a welcome change in an industry where safety is a critical requirement to ensure maximum productivity and job satisfaction.