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Technology Trends In Reducing Construction Accidents

Urbanization and industrialisation have been ever-growing in the last few decades. Everywhere we find skyscrapers, bridges, road, recreational facilities, and other infrastructure under construction, but we barely think of the people who all are working behind the scenes to construct them.

Construction work is one of the most hazardous jobs by nature. Workers are surrounded by heavy building materials, large machinery and tools, and dangerous substances. They have to operate in a high-risk work environment. It’s why we have many injury claims every year, even after the many safety precautions that the industry seems to be taking.

Construction accidents are common, and there are job fatalities in the industry every year. Yet many of those could have been averted by using simple technology. We will take a look at how we can use technology to help reduce the different construction accidents.

Nature and Types of Construction Accidents

Construction can involve demolition and erection of mammoth structures, both of which involve numerous life-threatening challenges. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) lists four different types of fatal accidents that are the most common.

- Falls

- Being struck by an object during work

- Electrocution

- Getting caught between hazards

The intensive job responsibilities mean that workers have to perform their job at staggering heights, and thus are vulnerable to falls. It happens all the time, and makes us ask, what can be done to prevent it? Sure, taking the right safety precautions like using proper equipment helps, but you need to take a look at using the right tech too.

Think about this.

  • Construction sites are full of sharp, heavy and metallic hanging objects.
  • You will also find unfinished, improper and unsecured electricity lines.
  • Workers can get stuck in between due to lack of space or be caught in between wreckages on the construction site.

On many occasions, constructions workers fall victim to explosions of gas pipelines, boilers, and oil tankers due to leakage or other malfunctions. Creating a safe work site for construction workers can appear to be a very difficult job, but it isn’t necessarily so.

Blending Technology to Reduce Construction Accidents

Technology has the habit of making things easier and more profitable, and the construction industry is no different. With the right tech tools, it’s becoming easier to create and maintain safer work sites. Side by side, technology can also help to reduce human error behind the accidents.

Virtual Training

VR (Virtual Reality) simulation can be highly effective in imparting more practical training on operating sophisticated and big machines like an excavator, cranes, bulldozers, and complicated jackhammers. Besides, it will also help impart safety training, including safety drills among the workers.

Monitoring, Inspecting and Maintaining

Drones, tiny unmanned air vehicles, can ensure site safety. Use it to monitor the progress for all site areas. It’s highly effective for tall construction sites as well, offering a bird's eye view to supervisors. You can detect any anomaly in any corner quickly, a reason you might want to use it for routine inspection as well.

Site sensors are advanced technology that can gauge different metrics of overall site safety. They can give up to date information regarding temperature, noise level, the presence of dust, and other toxic and harmful organic compound. Thus, installing a site sensor can be a great step for maintaining safety on the construction site.

Wearables enhanced with sensors can also be beneficial for reducing accidents. There are wearables which can gauge different organic perimeters, i.e. blood pressure, intoxication level, pulse etc. of the worker. They can reduce the number of accidents caused due to human error and strain.

IoT (Internet of things), refers to the objects and machines enriched with sensors that monitor operating conditions, performance level and physical state. It can prevent the malfunctioning of machines and subsequent fatal accidents.

Individual Protections

Wearable glasses, helmets, vest and shoes manufactured with specific job requirements can significantly reduce the number of accidents on the work site. Hard helmets can be augmented with carbon monoxide sensors which may reduce significant life threat.

Many injuries occurring due to overexertion of pressure while lifting or carrying heavy loads can be minimized by the introduction of the exoskeleton. It helps to distribute the loads among the strongest muscles and helps to maintain overall balance.

Yes, you can’t do without smartphones and apps today, so why not use them to ensure safety on the construction site? Use it to send a panic signal or distress signal by a worker in danger. Accessible by all, it will facilitate a prompt reaction.

As a whole, blending technology with construction facilities will be a boon for ensuring worker-safety, and will reduce the number of accidents on the construction site.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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