Construction sites are some of the most dangerous places in the world. Couple a job site with the general public and they’re disasters waiting to happen. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, 579 people were killed in highway work-zone related accidents in just 2013 alone. Equipment, machines, and clothing are becoming “smarter” every day, even things we never thought about as technology, such as the recent development of the smart hard hat. Tapping into technology allows users greater and easier access to ever important data and, in some instances, safer work environments.
Professor Tom Martin and Kristen Hines, engineers at Virginia Tech, hope to greatly reduce that number with their recent development of a smart safety vest that gives several seconds of warning to workers if danger is approaching. With their creation of the InZone Alert system, workers can be alerted by flashing light, audible alarms, or physical alarms, such as vibrations or compression of your clothing if a car is approaching too quickly or too closely. The researchers’ goal is to create alerts that are distinctive, but won’t startle the user.
With the ever improving technology of vehicles, the Virginia Tech team also hopes to integrate communication between the vest and cars driving by with the use of short range radio signals. That would add to the safety features of the vest by also alerting the driver of the vehicle that they are in immediate danger of causing an accident.
Initial tests of the InZone Alert system have wielded success rates of 90 percent. The higher the percentage, the better, because frequent false alarms would result in users ignoring the alarms or greatly reducing job site productivity. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been conducting testing of the vest on the Virginia Smart Road in Blacksburg, VA, which is a closed course test road for research purposes.
Check out the video of the smart vest below!
FULL STORY: RESEARCHERS' PROTOTYPE VEST OFFERS A WARNING SYSTEM FOR ROADSIDE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, RESCUE PERSONNEL | Virginia Tech
A few technology companies have been trying to wedge augmented reality into construction for a few years now, boasting benefits of overlaying BIM models onto the real life site you’re working on, as well as interactive collaboration with remote workers. One of those companies that we thought was going to make a pretty big impact is apparently closing its doors in the near future.
As much as I like my smartphone, it’s undeniable that they can be a huge distraction on the job site or in a vehicle. The construction industry is dangerous enough without these added distractions, so at least one US contractor has decided to proactively manage their employee’s smartphone usage.
With temperatures globally trending warmer each year, that heat can take quite a toll on professions that rely heavily on exterior labor, like the construction industry. There are many products available currently to help keep you cool on the jobsite, but the best may still be yet to come.
Drones have been heavily used by the construction industry in recent years for anything from progress photos, to employee tracking, or calculating the volume of on-site stockpiles. Now, a report from EHS Today says that OSHA plans to employ more drones to conduct site inspections of employer facilities.
As part of Autodesk’s late 2018 construction technology acquisition spree, the software giant gobbled up both PlanGrid and BuildingConnected. The two acquired companies now form a large part of Autodesk’s Construction Solutions branch – and are now integrated with each other for a seamless document transition from the pre-construction phase to the construction phase.
Last year at Groundbreak, Procore’s annual technology conference, the company teased a new platform they have been working on for BIM users. At that point referred to as “Design Coordination,” it now has a formal name – and an upcoming release date.
One of the key components of BIM is the ability to detect clashes, which are design coordination issues that result in the inability to construct a building as drawn. The use of 3-dimensional drawings allows contractors –and software- to detect if key building components are intersecting before it’s about to be installed in the field. Autodesk BIM 360 has recently updated its clash detection abilities within its Model Coordination module more easily and efficiently within its platform.
Hot off of the acquisition of Honest Buildings, a project management software aimed at owners and developers, Procore has announced they have acquired yet another tech company to help bolster their offerings.
Construction Management software company, Procore, initially launched their annual technology conference, Groundbreak, back in 2015. Originally hosted at their headquarters in California, the event has grown exponentially from that first year and this year may be its biggest yet.
In 2015, Milwaukee announced the release of their digital tool tracking platform: ONE-KEY. The company has since released dozens of ONE-KEY enabled tools to manage them using Bluetooth, an inventory management system, and tool reporting functionality. Yesterday, the company announced several enhancements to the platforms inventory and reporting interfaces.