Technology that Improves Commercial Construction Safety

While commercial construction remains a notoriously dangerous industry, safety records continue to improve every year. Today, accidents, injuries, and deaths are a fraction of what they were 20 or 30 years ago. Advancements in technology solutions are a large driver behind better workplace safety, and more solutions continue to emerge every year.

In order to keep up, commercial construction subcontractors should always keep their finger on the pulse of new industry technology. The key to remaining competitive is to continually invest and adopt new solutions. At Unique Building Group (UBG), we know improving workplace safety is important for the well-being of our workers and their families, our construction site performance, and our industry reputation. Here are some examples of cutting-edge technology that we believe are helping to transform our industry:

1. AI-Enabled Equipment And Systems

Artificial Intelligence has been a hot topic lately, and this technology is likely to revolutionize certain aspects of the commercial construction industry as well as every other industry. AI has the potential to be highly beneficial, especially when it comes to safety. Some AI models are already beginning to analyze data patterns in order to predict the likelihood of safety-related incidents or equipment malfunctions. In the future, these signals will be able to be integrated into equipment and IoT-connected machines.

2. Drones

When it comes to large-scale, complex commercial construction projects, visibility is key. We need the ability to see and inspect every aspect of the construction site, which can be tricky — especially when working at significant heights. Drones are one of the most important tools to emerge over the last 5 to 10 years. They allow our safety managers to get a 360-degree, bird’s eye view of the entire project. Drones can be equipped with cameras, radars, and other tools that offer visibility like never before. 

Thanks to drones, it’s significantly easier to identify fall risks, evaluate the integrity of structures, spot hazards, and monitor operations. Drones allow us to evaluate jobsite conditions before we start work each morning. They have become an integral part of workplace safety.

3. Wearable Technology

One category of technology that continues to significantly improve safety is wearable technology. These devices can alert workers to hazards, track team members, and help companies evaluate construction site conditions. Some examples include:

  • Proximity Detection & Tracking Beacons – GPS-enabled vests or helmets allow safety managers to track a worker’s location, establish safety boundaries, and alert teams to nearby hazards. 
  • Health Monitoring Devices – Smart watches are a great tool for monitoring the health and well-being of workers on the job. These devices can monitor heart rates, breathing patterns, and body temperatures, and trigger alerts when abnormal activity is detected.
  • Exoskeletons – Commercial construction is hard work and fatigue can lead to devastating accidents on the job. Exoskeletons are wearable tech with motorized joints that makes lifting things significantly easier. For workers moving heavy objects all day, these devices can make a major difference by preventing strain.

4. Smart Sensors

There are tons of smart sensors on the market which can be placed on walls and ceilings within a construction site. Some sensors are even able to be placed on helmets. These sensors are able to monitor for red flags — such as sudden temperature changes, vibrations, and movement. Some can even detect the presence of harmful toxins like asbestos. Often these sensors will connect to a phone app, so all workers can be instantly notified of any hazards.

5. Virtual Realit

Virtual Reality is becoming an important tool in the construction industry. Pilots have used VR training for decades, and now construction workers are able to do the same. VR training programs give workers the ability to visualize a project or practice dealing with hazards in a simulated environment before stepping onto the actual construction site. These tools are especially helpful for equipment operators, and as these training programs continue to improve, so will workplace safety records.

Construction companies that continue to invest in technology will always maintain a leg up on the competition. Technology is evolving faster than we’ve ever seen before, and we expect to see even more solutions that improve safety and performance over the next few years.

If you’re looking for a large-scale framing and drywall contractor that is constantly investing in technology and has an excellent safety record, look no further than Unique Building Group. Our team of industry veterans has built a culture that prioritizes safety above all else.