The following is a guest post written by David B. Lever.
David B. Lever founded the law firm, David B. Lever & Associates, PLLC in 2014 and is the firm’s top legal strategist. He has fought for the rights of accident victims and consumers for over 24 years. His area of practice is Personal Injury-Plaintiff, which includes construction accidents.
When construction sites are safer, then productivity increases as well as profits. More construction safety means less time lost due to accidents, lower insurance premiums, and less money spent repairing damaged equipment.
The construction industry has never been big on adopting emerging technology. However, as I mention on my website LeverInjuryLaw.com, many construction workers are injured on the job which requires the industry to be all ears when it comes to emerging technology that can help enhance profits and lower construction accidents.
Wearable technology has been floating around the construction industry for years, but advances in the abilities of wearables to keep construction sites safe have created waves of innovations that construction companies are implementing all over the world. Wearables have a broad range of uses that can help to keep workers safe, and even detect an injury before it occurs.
A worker is often unable to tell when they are pushing their body beyond the limits of their abilities. The way a worker bends, lifts items, and twists their body can all result in serious and potentially long-term injuries. Wearables measure those thresholds and give construction safety officers valuable information that can be used to better train workers and to make sure that the workers have the right equipment.
Wearables can also show the effects of utilizing certain types of equipment on a worker's' body. Jackhammers have been on job sites for decades, but safety officers could never accurately determine what kind of damage, if any, jackhammers were doing to workers' backs, arms, and legs. With this new emerging technology, safety officers can gather a lot of valuable data they can use in their ongoing evaluations.
How can drones help with construction safety? Drones can get into positions humans cannot to evaluate an ongoing project and see if there are any safety concerns. Drones can be used by safety officers to make sure that work is being done according to safety regulations. Also, drones can let engineers know if there are parts of the project that are unsafe for workers to enter.
With a drone, a construction company can see every aspect of a project and determine if there are any building errors that need to be repaired. Drones can help keep work sites secure, and drones can also help pinpoint accident locations so that first-responders can get to workers quickly and save more lives.
These days, 3D printing is readily available to any construction company that wants to use it. With 3D modeling, engineers and architects can create more accurate models for clients, and those models can be used to precisely plan the building process.
While 3D modeling on a computer screen is helpful, it does not allow engineers to see real potential points of failure that could result in serious injuries. With modern 3D printing, project managers can accurately determine how much labor is needed to complete a project and keep labor costs down. A 3D model can also alert engineers to any issues that could occur between the structure and the site during construction and help prevent accidents before they can even happen.
Emerging technology is starting to show up in the construction industry in many different ways. Construction project managers know that a safe work site is a profitable work site, and that is why so much emphasis is being placed on using new technology to prevent accidents and raise construction safety to a whole new level.
There is an opportunity to revolutionize the way we protect construction workers from fall hazards while dramatically reducing waste and inefficiency in the construction industry. The Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ was designed and engineered with feedback from industry experts with one goal in mind: Reinvent the guardrail to eliminate inefficiencies, cut costs, send zero waste to landfills, and improve workplace safety.
FieldLens, a web based application available on both Android and iOs, allows for real-time documentation of safety hazards, job site notes, and punch lists. The app eliminates the need to re-type your notes or send separate emails to the correct people, because it can create instantaneous reports on all the information you typed in to your phone or tablet on the job site.
Recently, Fieldlens added three new features that the company says are requested often
The Netherlands has a ton of bridges, especially pedestrian and biking bridges, thanks to its abundant system of canals. Perhaps because of that, they have become a leader in 3D printing technology when it comes to bridges.
It seems like every month there’s a new robot being debuted for the construction industry, with the promise of reducing costs and improving productivity and safety. There are robots for laying brick and block, placing concrete, and even self-driving mining trucks. The most recent robot to hit the job site is Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader (ATL).
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.
Concrete can adapt to any shape its formwork calls for while it’s being placed. While it’s POSSIBLE to make intricate designs with the material, it’s not always easy or practical to do so. Researchers from ETH Zurich have designed a new method of forming and placing an ultra-thin, curved concrete roof system that they plan on installing on a construction project next year.
The immense technological growth the construction industry has seen in the past decade has been a refreshing change, to say the least. Fax machines, large filing cabinets, and redundant work are slowly becoming a thing of the past. More importantly, software developers are actually paying attention to the construction industry, making our lives collectively easier, while giving us more data to make better decisions. Bluebeam, maker of one of the industry’s favorite construction document software, has recently announced a wireless digital sensor specifically for under construction buildings.
In July, we shared an article about a new augmented reality app that would allow iPhone and iPad users to use their devices’s camera as a tape measure. That app, Air Measure, is now available for download after Apple’s iOs 11 release.
As electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular around the world, researchers are trying to find ways to adapt the technology to heavier duty applications. Due to the large size of projects and amount of money in the industry, the mining industry has seen its fair share of technological advancement. Several manufacturers, like Komatsu, have developed and released driverless dump trucks for mining operations in the past few years. A team of companies in Switzerland is now working on a gigantic battery powered dump truck that will be tested for 10 years.
CAT, the name synonymous with heavy construction equipment across the world, has been slowly adding technology to its brand over the past year. Early last year, the company announced it would be releasing a rugged smart phone, which was also the first ever to have a built-in thermal imaging camera. This year, they’re releasing their first step into the world of tablets.