The construction industry is one of the largest employers in America, with statistics showing that around 4% of the entire U.S workforce is recruited in this sector. Nevertheless, it still ranks as one of the most hazardous industries to work in, since most of the job projects involve the handling of heavy equipment.
Even so, modern technology such as IoT (Internet of Things) is promising to make things much safer for personnel. The system works by assigning an IP address to each person on the worksite, which then transfers data to the administrator for prompt action via a wearable device consisting of built-in sensors.
Here are some of the ways IoT and wearables can make building zones much safer for workers:-
I) Provides increased onsite visibility
By using machines connected to the IoT system, contractors would be able to inspect the building in real-time in order to detect any technical flaws that may otherwise expose workers to danger.
For instance, if the site’s electrician forgets to switch off the primary power source after completing the day’s job, an IoT wearable such as a connected wristwatch will remind them of their error by emitting a beep or small light so that they take the necessary action, and protect those who may not be aware of the mistake from possible electrocution when they report back to work the following day and want to use power.
Furthermore, these wearables can easily detect accidental falls, which may occur in less visible areas of the construction zone. In such situations, emergency help is of the essence, and if the fall isn’t detected early enough for treatment, then the victim may suffer permanent injuries or even succumb.
The IoT system will not only alert supervisors about the incident but also inform them about the whereabouts of every staff and whether they are stepping into a restricted area unknowingly where an accident is likely to occur.
II) Improved machine control
Through Internet-of-Things technologies like GNSS and LIDAR, construction supervisors can remotely adjust field machine functions in a more efficient manner to prevent potential injury to onsite workers. For instance, if a tractor or crane is going in the wrong direction or over-speeding in such a way that it can hit an innocent person on the ground, it can automatically be controlled through IoT systems to avoid a possible disaster.
Similarly, the machinery can be configured to perform a particular function that the supervisor wants to accomplish, such as grading, piling, paving, drilling or installing temporary road barricade structures, which are everyday activities in public building projects.
IoT machine controls also allow for live reporting of progress, movements and equipment status; supervisors can use this data to plan and manage construction activities accurately, improving the speed of their projects and minimizing unnecessary delays and downtime.
III) Employee performance assessment
Nowadays, there are wearables that can be worn at the building site to track the activity of workers, and give feedback back to management as to whether they are completing their duties as assigned or sleeping on the job.
This specialized IoT equipment can also be used to check whether site workers are following the necessary safety protocols & precautions, such as wearing helmets at all times, so that they don’t put themselves or other colleagues in danger due to sheer negligence.
Furthermore, some modern wearables like the Smart Cap are designed to detect worker fatigue based on the user’s brainwave activity. If the waves are moving too slow, then it means the worker may be feeling sleepy, which isn’t recommended at the construction site since they can make mistakes when handling machinery that may be harmful or fatal to others within the vicinity.
Chris is a freelance copywriter who enjoys writing about emerging technologies, public safety, and politics.