Construction health and safety

Article

Sensors placed around the construction site or worn by construction workers enable a site manager to detect activities such as sudden drops, lack of movement, over-heating  -detecting risky situations and allowing quick intervention.

Worker safety is one of the biggest concerns of the construction industry. In Malta, as elsewhere around the world, compliance to health and safety procedures on construction sites is sometimes met with major resistance. Employers may struggle to convince workers to change their behaviours and safeguard their own health and safety.

Now the Internet of things (IoT) has enabled a powerful new tool that is transforming safety management in the construction industry. Dubbed as possibly the most promising innovation in construction technology of the past ten years, IoT in construction is already delivering huge improvements in worker safety.  In turn this automatically reduces compensation claims, and ultimately increases profitability.

IoT in construction involves the use of smart sensors that are either placed around the construction site or worn by construction workers. The sensors can take the form of wristbands or clip-ons that attach to workers’ clothes.  They can also be integrated into equipment such as hard hats, safety boots, machinery and tools.

These smart devices collect different types of data such as a worker’s geolocation, their movements, and even their health status. Connected to the internet via Melita’s LoRaWan or Narrowband (NB-IoT) networks, the sensors require very little power to function and can transmit information from the most remote locations and secluded environments.

This real-time data is transmitted to the construction company’s IoT platform enabling site managers to detect risky behaviour or dangerous situations early, or even before they happen. By interpreting the sensors’ data, a site manager can detect activities such as sudden drops, lack of movement, over-heating, negligence, and even absenteeism.

A sudden drop could indicate that a worker has chosen tojump instead of using a ladder, putting himself at risk. It might also indicate that a worker has had an accident and fallen from a height. Either way, the site manager would use this information to act immediately according to the situation at hand.

Lack of movement for a prolonged period could indicate that a worker did not turn up for work . It might also indicate that the worker  has suffered an injury and needs help. With the data in hand, the site manager can act like a virtual partner and act immediately.  

These are just a few examples of how this  IoT can help the construction industry. In reality, with such information reaching management in real-time, the whole industry is in a better position to reach its health and safety goals, improve its overall resource management and reduce insurance costs. To learn more about how melita.io can help your construction business take advantage of the power of the Internet of Things, contact us

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