How Technology Improved Safety in the Construction Industry

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries to work in. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that fatal injuries in the construction industry increased by 7% from 2015 to 2016. That being said, the construction industry has made great strides in improving safety for workers with the help of technology. Here are some ways technology has improved safety in the construction industry.

Wearable technology

One of the dangers of working in construction is being struck by an object. OSHA reports that being struck by an object is one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry. In recent years, construction workers have started using wearable technologies to avoid being struck by objects. These devices emit an alarm when an object moves too close to the worker, giving them time to get out of the way.

For example, smart hard hats use radar technology to detect moving objects and alert the worker with an audible alarm. The device can also be connected to a smartphone so that the worker can get alerts even when they’re not wearing the hard hat.

Health and safety apps

Because construction workers are often working in remote areas, it can be difficult for them to get help if they’re injured. Health and safety apps help construction workers get the help they need in an emergency.

For example, the Red Cross First Aid app gives users step-by-step instructions on how to deal with common first aid situations. The app also has a list of local emergency services so that users can get help even if they’re in a remote location. This can be a lifesaver for construction workers working in rural areas.

Quality control systems

Every piece of equipment and material used in construction must meet specific safety standards. In the past, it was up to the workers to ensure everything was up to code. They must check each piece of equipment and material to make sure it meets the required safety standards. However, with the help of quality control systems, workers can be sure that everything they’re using is safe.

These systems use sensors to monitor the quality of equipment and materials. If something is not up to code, the system will notify the workers so that they can fix the problem, especially for equipment that they use to lift heavy materials. Most heavy-duty chain rigging equipment used in construction has some quality control system installed. Because of this, construction workers can be sure that the materials they’re using are safe and won’t cause any accidents.

A welder welding metal poles in a construction site

Fall arrest systems

Falls are another leading cause of death in construction. Falls account for almost 40% of all fatal injuries in construction, according to OSHA. Construction workers are now using personal fall arrest systems to prevent falls from heights.

These systems consist of an anchor, a body harness, and a lanyard or deceleration device. The anchor is attached to a solid structure, such as a column or beam. The worker then wears the body harness and clips the lanyard onto the anchor point. If they fall, the lanyard will catch them and prevent them from hitting the ground.

Many construction workers use a self-retracting lanyard, which is a lanyard that automatically locks when it’s extended to its full length. This prevents the worker from falling any further if they lose their grip. Some self-retracting lanyards also have an energy-absorbing feature that reduces the force of the fall.

Electrical hazard training

According to OSHA, electrocutions are also a leading cause of death in construction. To prevent electrocutions, they recommend that all workers receive training on electrical hazards and how to stay safe around electricity. They should also be aware of OSHA’s Electrical Safety Standards and follow them when working with or around electricity.

Workers can do this training in person or online. Construction workers can take many online courses to learn about electrical hazards and how to stay safe. They include identifying electrical hazards, working safely around electricity, and using personal protective equipment. In addition, all electrical equipment should be inspected before use and maintained regularly.

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries to work in, but it has made great strides in improving safety for workers with the help of technology. Because of the dangers associated with construction work, it’s important for all workers to receive training on how to stay safe. With the help of quality control systems, health and safety apps, fall arrest systems, and electrical hazard training, construction workers can be sure that they’re working in a safe environment. As time passes, construction workers will have even more technology to help them stay safe on the job.

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“Right now, computers make our lives easier. They do work for us in fractions of a second that would take us hours. […] As things progress, they’ll be doing more and more for us.”
Steve Jobs
co-founder of Apple Inc. and founder of NeXT
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