As construction company owners and project managers, safety is one of the major concerns you have. The construction industry in innately full of perils because of the strenuous physical requirements, hard working environments, dangerous heights and the heavy equipment involved. Construction industry accidents add up to over $11 billion annually to construction costs, therefore avoiding the accidents is an absolute must for not only the company’s success, but it’s welfare.
The front man on a job for a construction company is the project manager. Common sense has, and will always be, the most important requirement on the job site, but new technology available to the construction industry is able to help project managers keep track of all safety issues and be proactive.
Here are some of the technologies available to improve safety on the job site:
Technology That is Worn
Wearable technology is taking off in the construction industry. Project managers have the ability to watch the vitals of every employee in real time. On hot days in the summer a project manager could watch all the employees on a job site for heatstroke signs. Workers wearing sensors would alert project managers if they have been exposed to exhaust fumes or airborne contaminants. There is even technology available that will let you know if certain repetitive motions are going to lead to long-term injury.
Smart helmets are in the early stages of development. The idea is that workers will be able to access information through the visor of their hard hat. Daqri, a Los Angeles based company, has developed augmented reality helmets using Google Glass technology. This helmet is being designed for use in several different industries and looks like something out of a science fiction movie. Dagri’s website lists applications such as 4D work instruction, thermal vision, data visualization and real-time video connection capabilities.
Smart watches are available to everyone, however they are not commonly used in the construction industry. That could all change as construction specific apps are developed. Smartwatches have the capability to monitor vitals, can be used for hands-off communication, GPS functionalities, and entering safety data to be monitored by the project manager.
Eye in the Sky
Construction site drones are being seen much more these days. Job site safety is the number one reason for this. Project managers can get a “bird’s eye view” of the entire site, while monitoring workers and machines, checking for possible safety concerns, and even performing a safety inspection.
GPS tracking isn’t new technology, but it’s being used in different ways in the construction industry. Devices that attach to the workers and the equipment can not only alert where they are, they can let project managers know if they are in trouble. With equipment, GPS is often used to let drivers know when they are near possible dangerous power lines or other utilities. GPS can alert project managers if a truck or other some type of equipment has been idle too long, which could indicate a break down or other problem.
Safety Reporting Apps
Smart phones and tablets have an extensive amount of apps available, and now there are more and more apps aimed at job site safety. Mobile apps such as iAuditor help workers perform inspections, report hazards and send the safety reports to the appropriate individuals. Safety Meeting App help companies meet OSHA standards, call safety meetings and report any concerns to the management. Project management apps are available to keep track of employee locations, employee safety and to send alerts.
Much of construction industry technology is becoming cost-effective and we will be seeing a lot more of it on job sites.