Reduce Risk With Technology
Originally posted by Michael Alberico on March 1, 2016 on constructionexec.com.
Incidents can happen at any time on a construction worksite. Although risk is unavoidable in the construction industry, new technology may be able to help minimize it.
Drones, tower crane cameras and Prevention Through Design (PtD) are all innovations that construction companies are beginning to employ to reduce the chance of injuries and incidents on the job.
In 2015, more than 700,000 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were in operation. With these new UAVs, also known as drones, companies not only can keep a larger eye on worksites, but also avoid sending workers into dangerous situations by deploying a drone into hard-to-reach or small spaces instead. These tools also can perform digital photography, which can help oversee a site and save thousands of dollars in the process when compared to the costs of typical aerial photography. In addition, UAVs can document existing and as-built conditions of sites and inspect hard-to-reach structures, like bridges and high vertical structures. Finally, drones can take care of environmental and industrial hygiene sampling in high-risk areas.
TOWER CRANE CAMERAS
Blind spots on tower cranes and excavators pose a significant risk. Tower crane cameras solve the problem of poor visibility in bad lighting or weather conditions and minimize injury potential to the crane operator. Having a camera on a crane also can enhance productivity by cutting down on time spent trying to view poorly lit or dangerous areas. Having eyes on any and all parts of the jobsite proves extremely valuable when working in construction. These cameras can be used on tower cranes, luffing boom cranes, excavators, telescopic boom cranes, truck cranes and crawler cranes.
PREVENTION THROUGH DESIGN
In the last 10 years, PtD created in conjunction with the OSHA Alliance Program Construction Roundtable Workgroup, has seen significant growth. It is a new software developed for the construction industry that allows general contractors and architects to utilize advanced modeling software and engineer out safety issues before they become a legitimate problem once construction has started. PtD also has led to an increase in prefabricated goods delivered to jobsites. This software considers safety of workers in the design of a project and permits the builders to make design decisions based on the project’s risk to workers. If lowering costs while minimizing risk is the long-term goal, businesses should highly consider the benefits of implementing one or more of these new technologies within the next few years. Not only can these devices help prevent worksite accidents and reduce risk, but they also make companies efficient and up to date with cutting-edge technology, proving to clients that modern methods and innovation are a top priority.