The Shifting Landscape of Construction Safety
Can we improve safety in construction industries?
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the world. In the United States one-in-five deaths among workers occur in construction, despite only one-in-20 people working in the industry. In 2019, 9.7 of every 100,000 construction workers suffered a fatal injury.
The construction industry today is in a state of flux. The industry has undergone many changes in the past few decades, including globalization, workforce automation, and digitization.
Safety Should Always Be the Most Important Concern
The shifting landscape of the construction industry is creating new opportunities for organizations to get ahead of their competitors by incorporating innovation into their business models. Because of these shifts, organizations are making sure they are keeping up with current construction technology trends while also planning for growth.
There has been an increase in construction work hours to meet deadlines. This has led to an increase in worker fatigue, causing accidents and injuries to become more common. The trend towards shorter tool life cycles combined with the lack of maintenance caused by time constraints has also correlated with higher rates of accidents due to overexertion-related fatigue – fatalities increased by 5% in 2019 over 2018, for example.
With such commercial pressures, it is more important than ever to consider safety in the construction process. Safety has become a priority in construction corporations themselves with increased focus on safety technology and ethics. This shift has led to many changes in the way that companies approach safety management with innovative developments such as analytics that provide insight into risks and preventative measures.
Tech Trends Affecting Construction Safety Today
Among the major safety trends affecting construction, there is a rising issue of global warming and climate change. This is impacting everything, from global sea levels to weather patterns. In response to these issues, there have been changes in building materials and methods of transportation, as well as increased focus on green buildings.
With new technologies, the building process has also evolved in a way that these changes have not only transformed the general idea of construction, but also how it is done. The current top five tech trends affecting safety in the construction industry are:
1. Automation of Tasks
Automation is one way to combat safety trends. The first step of automation is machine vision, which uses cameras to detect the presence of hazards and send information to computers for decision making. This has led to safer construction sites that can be managed with speed, accuracy, and efficiency. By using AI automation, companies can reduce risks associated with human error by decreasing potential risks within processes.
2. Autonomous Drones
The rise of autonomous drones and robots has led to many new innovations in safety technologies for construction accident prevention. These innovations include newly designed safety equipment as well as software applications that help keep humans from being distracted from their duties while performing unsafe tasks such as driving a transport vehicle or operating a machine.
3. Wearable Tech Devices
There are many ways in which humans can reduce their risk of getting hurt when working. For example, wearing safety helmets, using noise-canceling headphones, and wearing reflective clothing are all vital for the safety of construction workers.
But today technology has provided us with tools that are not only safer, but also more convenient. The introduction of wearables in the workplace is one such tool.
Wearable tech devices are helping construction workers because they provide an easy way to make sure everyone is safe on site. These devices help reduce injuries during heavy work by informing workers about how their body responds to heavy weights and impacts. The technology also brings improvements in overall health and fitness levels for workers.
4. Autonomous Vehicles
One of the major changes in safety tech is the evolution of autonomous vehicles. Benefits of using autonomous vehicles include increased productivity, reduced maintenance expense, and, of course, a reduction in safety-related accidents.
Today, most autonomous construction vehicles are used for heavy-duty tasks such as transporting materials to building sites or for off-road jobs like clearing debris.
5. 3D Augmented Reality Software
3D augmented reality reduces the amount of time and money spent on construction projects by helping to streamline tasks such as scheduling and material ordering. It also gives workers the ability to see what they are doing before they start working on a project – and this helps to prevent accidents and injuries.
Should Safety Be the Primary Motivator for Innovation in Construction?
The construction industry has always been a top staple of the economy. However, it has also always been the most dangerous industry to work in. To attract new blood into the industry, it is essential that we continue to prioritize safety and drive down the number of accidents and fatalities suffered by construction workers.
New advances in technology are changing how companies function. These technologies include robots, automation tools, and data analytics. Designers are now able to create buildings that incorporate new materials and processes seamlessly, enhancing aesthetics and the quality of life for occupants. Autonomous vehicles are improving productivity, as are other high-tech tools like 3D printers.
Perhaps the most dramatic benefits of new and innovative construction technologies are the potential effects on safety. In many cases, these safety improvements have been a by-product of the new technology. Is it time we made the case for the primary motivator of innovation and technology in construction to be safety?
We are always here if your business needs advice. Contact Pivot Workforce today for assistance.