Safety Reduces Work-Related Accidents
It’s no secret that safety is a primary concern across the construction industry. Cutting, lifting, pouring, and assembling building materials with powerful equipment is inherently dangerous. For contractors, the investment in safety is a moral obligation, and a financial one – accidents are expensive.
The industry is addressing safety through various technologies, giving safety managers new tools to mitigate the risk of work-related accidents. OSHA estimates that nearly a quarter of all work-related fatalities occur in the construction industry, and many more non-fatal injuries incur downtime due to worker recovery. Falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, or being caught in-between equipment are the four most common causes of accidental deaths and other injuries. Investing in a safety culture reduces the risk of these types of accidents.
How Project Managers Can Improve Safety
From construction executives to safety managers and foremen, building a safety-first culture is the first step to improving safety. In addition, safety programs need to address training, communication, proper equipment, supervision, and embrace innovation.
Training should remind anyone who enters a jobsite of the potential hazards, dangerous materials, and protocols for working with equipment. Communication is essential to relay updates on jobsite conditions, weather, equipment location, and emergency response in the event of an accident.
Ensuring the availability and use of proper protective equipment is one of the most impactful safety basics. For project managers, this is everything from the availability of eye protection, hearing, footwear, and hard hats, to hazmat suits and respirators.
The second half of safety on the jobsite is supervision. Project Managers and foremen need to hold their teams and trade contractors accountable for adhering to safety guidelines. Technology is rapidly adding new tools to help drive safety on the jobsite allowing management to reduce the risk of injury.
The Role of Technology in Jobsite Safety
Technology is defined as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes. In jobsite safety, this means eliminating injury from falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, or being caught in-between equipment. For example, using site sensors to track temperature, noise levels, dust particulates, and volatile organic compounds can help limit exposure to workers.
From drones to exoskeletons, technology is advancing safety. For example, surveying and inspecting completed work often involves working deep in foundations or at extreme heights. Drones and robots can eliminate the need for engineers to venture into areas where conditions are hazardous. For those doing the heavy lifting, exoskeleton technology is tomorrow’s ergonomics. For example, StrongArm Technologies has designed safety wearables to reduce fatigue and prevent injuries. These devices use counterweights or redistribute loads to stronger muscles to make lifting and carrying easier.
Another technology rapidly deploying on jobsites is site sensors. The proverbial canary in the coal mine, today’s sensors are placed throughout the jobsite and can alert workers immediately when they are at risk from exposure to hazardous materials. In addition, data from sensors can be collected and analyzed to mitigate exposure levels keep workers safe and compliant with OSHA regulations.
Why Construction Site Wi-Fi Matters for Safety
So, what does jobsite safety have to do with Wi-Fi networks? It all comes down to data…data from the various technologies used to train and keep workers safe. Emerging technology relies heavily on network connectivity. For example, most training is delivered online, where certification for each worker can be documented before they gain access to the jobsite.
Data from drones, reality scanning, site sensors, and tracking critical safety equipment are all excellent features, but they depend on a robust network that extends across the field of work. For instance, data from safety wearables offer custom safety reports to give tangible insights into workers and jobsites. All this requires a scalable network that can cover large campuses through dirty, dusty environments not hospitable for typical networking equipment. This is why many project owners and general contractors are turning to companies like ConstructEdge to build and manage construction site Wi-Fi networks. It’s already possible for CBRS networks to collect data on all aspects of the jobsite, giving GCs insights on safety, construction progress, and jobsite security.
Jobsite safety is an essential issue in construction. A healthy safety program prevents injuries, saves money, and protects workers in an inherently dangerous industry. Technology from drones to jobsite sensors is improving the toolset for safety managers. However, the practical use of technology depends on data transmission, and construction site Wi-Fi is vital to facilitate these tools.