The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issues citations and fines to contractors who fail to institute and enforce the required legal rules and regulations governing workplace safety. Whenever your workers are unequipped to perform their duties, either because they lack the necessary safety equipment or fail to utilize it in the correct way, you risk losing a portion of your profit to this government agency.
In part one of this three-part series, our OSHA attorneys examined two new technologies for improving safety on the project site: exoskeletons and virtual reality. In parts two and three, we will cover four more technologies that hope to improve productivity while minimizing the chance of injury.
Wearables is a vague term, but in the context of the construction industry, it’s one of vital importance. Wearable equipment, often referred to as personal protective equipment or PPE, has undergone a rapid evolution over the last several years. Some examples of these innovative devices include:
- Goggles with recording functionality that can transmit live footage to a supervisor miles away. This allows workers to have real-time access to expert opinions when working on troublesome projects.
- Smart vests and boot inserts that can monitor a worker’s vitals including heart rate, body temperature, and rate of perspiration. This technology can warn a worker if they are vulnerable to heat stroke or detect if a worker has stopped moving to alert a superior of their suspicious inaction.
- Wearables that provide worker feedback to contractors. This allows contractors to discover the areas in which workers are excelling and those where deficiencies exist. Contractors can take this information and use it to design training modules that address these specific concerns. This can help contractors prevent accidents while drastically reducing the number of injuries on the project site.
The more you know about the environment upon which your project is being built, the easier it is to avoid common mistakes. Site sensors can detect temperature, humidity, pressure, dust particles, and smoke on a project site. This information can be measured and sent in real-time, so if conditions shift from positive to negative, you can react accordingly without wasting time or putting your workers at risk. Best of all, site sensors are relatively affordable and require very little setup or maintenance. These battery-powered devices require nothing more than cellular data and small, safe place for installation.
Site sensors can reveal elements that can contribute to a structure’s lack of stability. For example, moisture and particulates can compromise the structural integrity of a building. Over time, as the building continues to degrade, it will eventually crumble. Fortunately, site sensors can proactively highlight these conditions so contractors can act accordingly.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.