Hackernoon logoTechnology's Role in Safety of Construction Workers by@felixyim

Technology's Role in Safety of Construction Workers

More than 70 percent of construction workers have either witnessed a safety incident or experienced an injury themselves within the last 12 months. Construction companies need to provide the right machinery, tools, and safety equipment for every employee, site, and project. Virtual reality can reduce the requirement of in-person interactions while simultaneously modernizing and upgrading the capabilities of the construction industry. BIM systems can help plan logistics, control risks, and enhance team collaboration on any project. Technology is creating a new normal for safe working practices on-site during construction.
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@felixyimFelix

Founder of Society of Speed.

Despite injuries decreasing considerably over the last three decades due to OHS regulations, construction sites are still inherently dangerous. Recent surveys have indicated that more than 70 percent of construction workers have either witnessed a safety incident or experienced an injury themselves within the last 12 months. 

Challenges over the last year have only reinforced the importance of safety in all workplaces.

With that in mind, here's how safety concerns shape the construction industry as a while in 2021 and beyond.

Workers Demand For A Safer Environment

It's the company's responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for its employees. But, unfortunately, some corporations attempt to cut construction costs and reduce their overheads by using inadequate or outdated safety equipment and machinery. Not only does this increase the risk of injury, but it also reduces productivity and the overall happiness of employees.

It's surprising to hear then that many construction workers are demanding their employers start doing more to ensure a safer work environment on site. 

Construction companies need to provide the right machinery, tools, and safety equipment for every employee, site, and project.

For example, if any work is being done at height, use the fitting mobile scaffolds. If work needs to be around toxic chemicals, make sure they have access to safety apparatus. Remember that not only will these types of safety improvements protect construction workers from harm, but they will also ensure construction companies don't receive a hefty fine for violating any health and safety regulations.

Technology Driven Improvements

One of the latest approaches to dealing with site safety challenges has been the increasing uptake of technology within the construction industry. As a result, new advancements in technology are creating a new normal for safe working practices on-site during construction.

Wearables

Combining wearable technology with PPE solutions can improve safety on construction sites in many ways. The possibilities of wearables are broad, as they can assist with proactive risk management and accident prevention, as well as site navigation and safety monitoring. In addition, wearable tech can also utilize remote access data sharing to continuously monitor employees' vital signals like heart and breathing rates.

Virtual Reality

Another emerging safety trend within the construction industry is virtual reality. VR plays its role to reduce the requirement of in-person interactions while simultaneously modernizing and upgrading the capabilities of the construction industry. Immersive VR technology can also be used to train employees, providing a safe alternative to learning on-site.

Improved Modeling Methods

Another modern digital technology affecting on-site health and safety is improved BIM systems. With the design precision of the latest information modeling systems, they can help plan logistics, control risks, and enhance team collaboration on any project. Modeling can also be used to develop visualized work method statements or instruct maintenance operations.

Cameras & Tracking

Cameras with specific software can be used to track movements and other analytics while monitoring individual movement throughout construction sites. In addition, there's a wide range of possible tasks cameras and tracking software can do to enable safety on-site, such as identifying risks, detecting missing PPE, monitoring for incidents, or even management of social distancing. 

3d Imaging & Digital Inspection

3D Imaging like Augmented Reality can provide tangible benefits to construction projects by designing real-world objects within a simulated environment or vice versa. This technology has an immeasurable value from both a safety and development perspective, as it enables interaction with a project without people being on-site. Not only does this completely remove site risks, but it can also reduce costs over time and improve productivity because site surveys, inspections, and training can be done remotely.

Safer Work Environments Attract Better Talent

Today's top construction workers have higher standards for workplace safety as it directly impacts their ability to work productively. And because the best workers are considered a vital asset to any company, the engagement and efficiency of employees should be top priorities.

Besides, highly safe work environments will attract and retain the best talent, but it also improves and protects the company's reputation within the industry.

If you expect to recruit, hire, manage, and hold onto the best workers available in the construction sector, it's imperative to show them their safety is a priority. With a commitment to employee safety and overall wellbeing, your construction workers will be more likely to excel in performance, giving your business a competitive edge that will ultimately help you stand out within the industry.

After all, it certainly makes sense that any company promising a future by prioritizing employee health will consistently attract the best talent.

Final Thoughts

While there have been many significant difficulties throughout the pandemic, the construction industry whole is now in the midst of a metamorphosis.

Rather than holding onto outdated or ineffective safety operations, it's time for wider adoption of innovative safety management programs.

By integrating the latest advancements in construction site safety, you can ensure your company and your workers will both survive in the future.

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