4 Ways Modern Technology Can Be Used To Reduce Construction Accidents
As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, leadership in a variety of industries has begun making use of technological advancements to improve safety in their respective fields. While construction has been somewhat slow to integrate safety technology into their daily operations, this is beginning to change.
Here are four types of modern technology that are being used to improve safety and reduce construction accidents at jobsites throughout the United States:
The Internet of Things (IOT)
The Internet of Things (IOT) is an umbrella term used to describe any technology that involves objects and machine components with sensors that monitor operating conditions, performance levels, and physical states. IOT has exploded in popularity in recent years, and not just in the construction industry. This technology has also become increasingly common in smart home automation (e.g. lighting, heating and air conditioning, etc.), manufacturing, agriculture, and several other industries.
In construction, IOT technology can be used to improve safety in several ways:
— Automating and optimizing repair and maintenance routines
— Easier data collection for safety analysis
— Used for wearable technology which can immediately detect safety hazards
— Sensors can be used for augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology, which allows project managers to plan for hazardous conditions in advance.
— Used to develop remotely-operated robotic tools
Wearable technology is starting to become more common in the construction industry. This term applies to anything workers are wearing that is connected to the internet. These devices make it easy for workers to stay in contact with supervisors, to identify and respond to accidents and other issues promptly, and to collect data which can later by analyzed for ways the site can improve their safety.
Common forms of wearable technology include:
— Smart Vests
— Smart Helmets
— Smart Glasses
— Smart Shoes
According to a recent post by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Science Blog, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), otherwise known as drones, have a variety of beneficial applications for construction companies – including numerous ways to improve safety.
Drones can be used to consistently monitor construction sites in a much more comprehensive way. This benefits project managers by allowing them to ensure that the project is being constructed as planned. It also makes work sites safer, as potentially dangerous conditions can easily be spotted and corrected before a serious accident happens.
Like IOT technology, drones can be used to inspect large worksites. Drones use aerial photography to capture entire worksites, and these photos can later be analyzed to make sure the site is safe and free of hazardous materials, conditions, or dangerous structures.
Drones can be used to conduct planned maintenance inspections for structures on worksites. This is especially useful for maintenance on tall structures like skyscrapers and bridges, as conducting maintenance on such structures is dangerous for construction workers.
Prevention Through Design Software
Earlier this year, NIOSH launched a Prevention through Design (PtD) Program in an effort to prevent or reduce occupational injuries, illnesses, and deaths by considering how work environments can be designed more safely.
Software has the potential to make this easier in construction and many other industries. For the construction industry, PtD software can be used in conjunction with other new technologies like drones and wearables to ensure that construction sites are hazard-free.
General contractors and architects can use advanced modeling software and solve safety problems before they become a reality. This software makes it easy to minimize worker risk from the earliest stages of a construction project.
Laurence Banville. Esq is the managing partner and face of Banville Law, a personal injury law firm in New York City. Originally from Ireland, Banville moved to the United States of America where he worked at law firms, refining his litigation and brief writing crafts. He is also the recipient of the Irish Legal 100 and the Top 40 Under 40 awards.