Using Technology to Keep Workers Safe

By Cotney Construction Law.

In 2015, 937 people died while working on construction sites. This tops all industries and is a long-held source of concern for all of us in the construction industry, from contractors to construction attorneys. What’s more alarming is that these numbers are increasing. Year by year, as the labor shortage lingers and the demand for new construction increases, companies struggle to keep their workers safe.

While traditional tactics such as training and the use of personal protection equipment will always be a part of safety programs, new technologies are entering the mix. These tools can take worker protection to next level.

Much of the technology that you see in construction focuses on making specific processes more efficient. While this is important, there is another part of the construction experience where technology can prove vital.

Statistics show that construction is one of the most dangerous industries in business. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one in five worker deaths come from the construction industry. However, new technology is turning that around by allowing companies to better sense physical conditions among workers and on the job site and by taking dangerous jobs out of the hands of individuals.

Here are some of the technologies that are making construction work safer and more efficient:

Exoskeletons

It sounds like something out of a science fiction or superhero movie, but exoskeletons are starting to weave their way onto construction sites everywhere. These suits can be used to lift heavy loads and provide relief for workers by distributing load weight to different muscles. These suits also come with sensors that can measure the amount of exertion being placed on a worker’s body.

Driverless Vehicles

These trucks not only make workers safer by taking them out of potentially dangerous situations, they are efficient because they drive more precise routes and deliver materials quickly. These vehicles can be operated remotely and use GPS technologies to ensure that it always finds the proper location.

Sensors

Sensors on equipment has become a critical part of detecting wear and tear and location. When sensors are placed at various locations throughout a site, it can measure a variety of conditions accurately, including silica dust, chemical fumes, and temperature. This information helps contractors make adjustments to working conditions as needed.

Virtual Reality

VR is making safety training more effective by presenting hazards to workers in an environment where they can learn about them without being in harm’s way. Workers can also learn how to use equipment such as excavators and cranes in a safe environment.

Drones

Drones are taking the construction industry by storm, largely because of the amount of ways that they can used. In terms of safety, drones can do jobs that are unsafe for humans, such as surveying damaged roofs. Drones can also review worker activities to ensure safe behavior. The latter use of drones provides the additional benefit of ensuring OSHA compliance. For additional methods of achieving compliance, talk to one of the Jacksonville construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law.

Wearables

Wearables, including smart vests and helmets, can effectively measure an individual’s physical health and allow you to make decisions based on that data. Other wearables have airbags that can deploy if a worker falls. Also, new helmet technology allows for workers to train more thoroughly through the use of augmented reality and spot hazards before they interact with them.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Source: Cotney Construction Law.

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