Technology That's Making Job Sites Safer

Technology That's Making Job Sites Safer

In 2015, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that 4,836 workers were killed on the job that year. That’s an average of more than 93 deaths per week or more than 13 deaths every day. Of all workplace fatalities, 21.4 percent were in construction.

Construction is a high-risk industry, regardless of the project type. Not counting highway collisions, OSHA says the leading causes of death to construction workers are falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, being caught in or compressed by equipment or objects, and being struck, caught or crushed in collapsing structures, equipment or material. Thousands more workers suffer injuries.

Worker deaths have significantly decreased over the past four decades through changes in safety policies and procedures, according to OSHA. But despite efforts by the industry to reduce workplace deaths and injuries, trends show no significant declines in incidents. Zero-incident targets and regulations alone can’t address all hazards, and that’s why construction firms are now looking to new high-tech solutions to protect their workers and reduce jobsite risks.

Here are just a few of the ways an investment in tech-based solutions can help make construction sites safer, along with offering the added benefits of improving productivity and efficiency.


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Keep hands free to reduce fall risks and provide 360 views to avoid accidents.

Juggling tablets, manuals, digital cameras and other materials can be dangerous for workers, especially when they perform tasks on elevated platforms. Noise on worksites can also put workers at risk for life-threatening accidents when their backs are turned away from heavy machinery.

The DAQRI Smart Helmet uses augmented reality (AR) technology to display and record jobsite and project information on the helmet’s visor, and it can be equipped with a 360-degree navigation camera capable of recording video, taking still photos and mapping – reducing the chances of workers being blindsided by hazards. The company says pilot tests of its AR helmet at a steel plant increased productivity by 40 percent and downtime by 50 percent.

Proactively alert employees to safety concerns in real time.

If only you had a way to watch over workers and alert them to hazards before they happen. That’s the problem that real-time locating systems (RTLS) help solve. This technology uses radio frequency communication to receive wireless signals from tags attached to objects or worn by workers. The system automatically identifies and tracks the location of tagged objects or people in real time within predefined areas like construction jobsites or hazardous workplace areas.   

Redpoint RTLS badges or tags can identify a worker’s location anywhere on a worksite, and that information can be used to alert the worker to nearby static or moving hazards, like heavy equipment. Workers can push a call button on the Redpoint badge to summon help, and they can be instantly alerted when entering predefined danger zones on construction jobsites and receive sitewide safety information. Actuators can be triggered to slow or deactivate heavy equipment when workers move too close or when the equipment crosses established thresholds.

Nurture a culture of safety while responding to incidents as they happen.

Some wearable technology solutions that contain sensors to track and monitor a wearer’s movements were first developed to prevent injuries in professional athletes and assist in post-injury rehabilitation. Today, features of many of these products are being adapted for use in the construction industry to record incident data and signal instant alerts when an injury occurs, improving overall jobsite safety and response time.

Triax Technologies addresses the No. 1 cause of injuries and fatalities on construction worksites: falls. The company’s Spot-r technology uses a clip-on wearable device that monitors workers and automatically alerts supervisors if a slip, trip or fall occurs. The device also has a push-button alert – like a panic button – that the worker can trigger to instantly call for help in the event of a jobsite incident. The Triax solution’s dashboard is cloud-based and enables on-site supervisors and off-site management to view and analyze data from workers and jobsites in real time. Real data empowers construction companies to make fact-based changes to reduce risks on jobsites and to accurately determine safety-training needs of workers.

Next steps

Adopting technology to protect construction workers is a current phenomenon, not some futuristic dream. Many manufacturers allow companies the opportunity to test out their products in a pilot program. When considering a trial or purchase, always ask about the learning curve for workers and supervisors, the deployment process, maintenance, expandability, and the cost of updates.

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