Worker safety, whether on a residential construction site or a larger project, is paramount. In addition to the human side, of course, accidents at construction sites cost the operating companies a lot of money, and, accordingly, reduce the profitability of contracts. This is the number of projects that have emerged around the IOT to help and protect workers, but also to allow companies to improve their operations.
The rule: traditional equipment must be respected
Of course, even before the IOT is involved, it is advisable to respect the basic equipment, and to ask what clothing is recommended for construction? I still had the chance to see my rooftop last summer wearing shorts and flopping on the roof of a house. Needless to say, he didn’t have a harness either…
Construction workers usually wear functional work pants with several accessible pockets, work boots with toe and slip protection, and a climate-appropriate work jacket, such as Engelbert Strauss clothing, especially suitable for winter. And yes, the construction trade is sometimes very difficult in the winter (and also in the summer in case of a heat wave…). In addition to their thermal properties, these garments are generally constructed from abrasion-resistant materials.
They must also wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to meet certain safety standards. This equipment usually includes eye, ear, head, hand and foot protection. Whether it is building a condominium or a building, these basic elements are always the same.
But new technologies make it possible to add new additional equipment.
How to ensure the safety of workers during construction thanks to the IOT?
Various equipments have appeared in recent years to improve worker safety. A few days ago at CES in Las Vegas, HHS was given an award for its connected headphones. In this helmet, a vital signal processing unit measures in real time the condition of workers on construction sites and industrial sites. It is a safety management system that informs safety managers by monitoring dangerous situations in real time after measuring the condition of workers. The developed product can effectively prevent accidents and react quickly without any blind spot in terms of safety, because it acquires and analyzes the vital signs of the worker for the fundamental analysis of the dangerous situation of the latter. The company also provides a service that statistically analyzes individually measured data over long periods of time, shares it with family members, and manages workers’ personal health.
Dati Traxxs, which developed the connected XSole PTI insole, has also partnered with shoemakers to create a “connected”, secure shoe. Equipped with numerous sensors, this sole is activated as soon as the wearer starts working, and goes into standby mode when there is no further movement. Once an abnormal position is detected, the sole is able to interpret the nature of the movement, and understand whether it is a fall or a loss of balance, for example. The vibrations then send a signal to the wearer. If the latter does not react, an alert is automatically sent to the emergency services. In the event of an accident on a large construction site or industrial site, for example, it is even possible to send a special signal to signal workers to leave the building urgently. No need for a smartphone, the sole is completely independent.
Augmented reality is also beginning to integrate into the workplace. As a reminder, augmented reality is the ability to see information superimposed on reality. By looking at a building, for example, it is possible to visualize its dimensions, structure and all useful information. So this type of equipment is generally presented in the form of a pair of glasses. Perhaps the most famous of them was the famous Google Glass, but it was more than a “proof of concept”. But many projects dedicated to the world of work are underway, as we saw again during CES 2022: Lenovo, Vuzix, Epson, etc. Offer models to display a lot of information in augmented reality, to display alerts, building plans, layout of the room as it should, etc. All hands are free. Some models even go so far as to follow the constants of workers, in order to ensure their health condition.
These are just a few examples. But as we can see, the IOT offers very exciting possibilities for improving security conditions. And with the advent of artificial intelligence, it will soon be possible to prevent the slightest danger before it occurs.
Whether it is different tools, clothing or safety equipment, this world is also changing. And where the IOT is sometimes a ‘tool’ in the local world, the IOT can have a really crucial role in the workplace, especially everything related to construction.