Working in construction is dangerous. Only in 2014 in the U.S., 20.5% of work-related fatalities were attributed to the construction industry. Nevertheless, these numbers are decreasing every year as a consequence of people’s motivation for improving safety standards and giving construction workers a better work environment where they can feel comfortable and safe.
Most of the construction industry’s accidents come from crashes near roadways but aside this, the other big cause of deaths refers to the “Fatal Four” which includes Falls, Electrocutions, Struck by Object and Caught-in/between. These causes are responsible for 60.6% of deaths in construction, apart from roadways related ones. Nevertheless, we should not get our hopes down since many businesses are now working on solutions to make sites safer. Here we’ll discuss some of the most innovating solutions regarding this issue.
- CAT Smartband
This smart watch like device monitors workers’ activities and sleep to inform them their fatigue levels and help them avoid accidents like falls or man-made errors that are due to exhaustion. This smart solution does not only show the fatigue levels but also includes a Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool (FAST) in order to visualize fatigue patterns and improve current schedules to increase performance and reduce accidents on site.
- SmartSite System Monitor
This module offers to track and record different environmental factors that may endanger a worker’s health. The unit can detect noise levels, UV levels and diverse particles in the air, and notify workers if safety limits are being transgressed. This will allow for managers to take proper actions thus, avoiding dangerous situations and reducing the number of accidents in site. The business also offers cloud services along with their product, allowing an easy tracking of conditions from the site.
- InZoneAlert Vest
This cutting-edge innovation targets the biggest cause of accidents in the construction industry, road accidents. Developed by VirginiaTech, it consists of a vest with GPS and shortwave radio that works along technology from connected cars in order to alert both, the person wearing the vest and the driver, if there is a risk of collision. This project is still being tested at highway speeds on different roads in Virginia but prospects are positive and, in as soon as 5 years, we could be able to see this product in roads all over the U.S.
Thanks to all of these efforts from numerous companies in the segment, risks in the construction industry are decreasing constantly and hopefully, in the future, we will be able to eliminate the “Fatal Four” and greatly reduce traffic accidents, as this will allow saving over a thousand lives every year in the U.S. alone.