The construction industry is one of the deadliest businesses in the world. According to OSHA, one in five of all worker fatalities in 2017 occurred in the construction industry. Falls are the biggest cause of death (39%) but other factors can make a worksite hazardous such as the presence of large materials and equipment, lack of protective gear, communication challenges due to multiple trades being on-site and language barriers of workers, distractions, and unnecessary risk-taking.
Furthermore, a severe labor shortage continues to plague the construction industry too which can lead to a lack of certified safety professionals.
Thankfully, technology can help.
Connected technology workflows are nothing new in construction projects. Integrated technologies let teams save time and money and improve project efficiency by enabling greater collaboration and information sharing across each stage of the project lifecycle – in the office or in the field. Data can be input into a system from one area of the project and retrieved by other technologies that can then use the same data – whether its scheduling information, estimating, or cost management – in their own applications.
In a nutshell, connected workflows give you a faster way to identify risk because the tools do the work for you. Here are just a few examples of how technology is making the jobsite a safer place.
Detect safety risks in a fraction of the time
Consider Smartvid.io, an industrial photo and video analytics platform that helps manage the plethora of data on jobsites on daily basis. It analyzes all incoming visual data and automatically labels it, making for easy search and sort. Additionally, using a proprietary machine learning platform, Smartvid.io SmartTags can detect common safety risks, like missing hard hats or gloves, giving teams an extra pair of eyes to help drive a positive safety culture on the project.
Construction companies are already exploring ways of getting more out of the technology. Skanska, for example, uses Autodesk BIM 360 for document management, quality control, and other field activities. Integration between Smartvid.io and BIM 360 automatically syncs all photo and video information between the two applications, giving Smartvid.io access to visual and audio information uploaded into BIM 360, and categorizing it for search. Smartvid.io’s SmartTag engine then automatically tags potential safety hazards and compiles compliance statistics across safety categories that can be used to reinforce a positive safety culture.
Improve injury response time with enhanced visibility across the jobsite
Another tool developed for construction site safety is Triax’s Spot-r wearable clip. Spot-r continually communicates a worker’s location and when any safety incidents occur, such as a fall incident.
Spot-r integrates with BIM 360, allowing project managers to view the current locations of workers on both their 2D drawings and 3D models pulled from BIM 360 construction management platform, including where they are relative to 2D and 3D drawings of the site. This removes the friction and data loss caused by switching between apps, and further improves overall visibility.
Using Spot-r and BIM 360, construction firms have experienced a decline in safety incidents of over 300%
Spot safety issues in real-time
Cameras on the jobsite are commonplace, but Sensera Systems has developed next generation remote site surveillance, perimeter security, and progress monitoring in real-time. It’s solar-powered wireless cameras connect through 4G to software that manages those cameras, collects videos and images in real-time, and archives it or forwards it on. For example, data can be pushed into BIM 360 and Smartvid.io’s software where photos are automatically tagged and pushed back to the hub where they can be easily analyzed for safety issues – saving time and prompting quicker action.
Communicate with virtual job walks
Another powerful integration that supports construction site safety is HoloBuilder.
HoloBuilder creates immersive progress views or “virtual job walks” of construction sites using 360o photos. These photos can be uploaded to HoloBuilder.com or BIM 360 and shared with others, like trade contractors. The virtual job walk images can be enriched with text or icons to warn of problematic or dangerous areas. These safety walks, as categorized within the HoloBuilder system, have their own URL within BIM 360, which workers can easily view from any mobile device. With the ability to visualize the jobsite in advanced, workers are more prepared when they arrive on-site, improving job orientation.
To learn more about the role of connected workflows in construction safety, check out this eBook: How to Use Technology to Improve Jobsite Safety.