Construction can be a dangerous career. Thousands of people are injured every year, a result of many factors like careless drivers, poor training, or inadequate safety policies. But the industry is working hard to correct many of these problems with new technology and best practices.
Here is a list of new technology and advancements that may help to minimize the risk of accidents on your job site.
Smart Construction Technology
Sensors are already saturating themselves into our everyday lives. Car manufacturers install them in vehicles to prevent accidental collisions. Many smartphones automatically track your steps per day. Sensor technology is already well-integrated into many types of construction equipment, but there is still a long way to go. Several companies are working on implementing new personal technology to bring safety equipment into the 21st century.
For example, DAQRI has developed a hard hat integrated with Google Glass technology so that the wearer can see the temperature of a pipe or piece of equipment without having to touch it. That can help prevent burns as well as being able to spot problems like hot spots at a construction site. The helmet also tracks where a worker is located on the job site to alert them of hazards in certain areas, or give instructions for the proper handling of a different pieces of equipment to prevent misuse and subsequent injuries.
Smart Safety Vests monitor a worker’s heart rate and body temperature and warns them of any abnormalities. This is especially helpful during the summer months for construction workers to prevent heat stroke or other health issues caused by the heat.
Triax Technologies, Inc. has made wearable sensors attached to a worker’s belt that immediately alert others when the wearer falls or is otherwise injured. The sensors also help to log information about the incident for insurance purposes.
Low Tech Changes
On the other side of the spectrum there are many recent, less technical improvements that have improved the safety of construction zones.
- – New fabrics have led to dry, cooling bandanas and neck wraps that can help prevent workers from overheating.
- – Safety gloves are now stitched with steel to prevents cuts, punctures and abrasions while allowing for enough movement to get the job done.
- – Work boots today are specifically engineered to protect the wearer from much more than toe and ankle injuries. Some are built to combat slipping on water or oil, prevent puncture wounds from stepping on a nail, and protect against freezing temperatures or even electrical charges and acid spills.
Construction continues to be one of the more hazardous industries to work in, but these practical solutions and more like them are appearing every day to make hard-working employees safer.