Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way we all work. From retail to healthcare, no one has been spared, and the construction industry is no exception. While the pandemic has caused some significant logistical hurdles, this isn’t the time to mourn the loss of outdated operational models but a chance to break with the past and integrate key technological advances to increase the efficiency and safety of your employees. Here are 3 important digital trends that are helping to shape the future of construction safety.
IoT stands for “The Internet of Things.” The IoT consists of wireless connectivity and automated communication between all your important devices. That means smart devices and equipment capable of communicating with each other in real-time about potential hazards, malfunctions, and even job-site challenges, all without the need for human intervention.
IoT technology promotes worker safety by keeping an unerring eye on worksite safety concerns. For example, your physical equipment on the job site can utilize onboard sensors to detect hazards and other environmental conditions and proactively alert workers via networked applications. Under extreme circumstances, IoT-enabled equipment can shut down operations completely if emergency safety measures are needed.
IoT applications help take costly human error out of the safety equation, giving on-site laborers a reliable safety partner 24/7.
The advent of the coronavirus has made face-to-face interaction difficult, especially when different regions of the United States, as well as the larger global community, are in various stages of quarantine. Virtual and augmented reality are also emerging safety trends in construction. These applications help to reduce the need for face-to-face interactions while modernizing industry capabilities in the process.
VR is primarily used as a training tool. The COVID-19 pandemic has not diminished the demand for construction-based services. Despite wide-spread social distancing measures, construction companies continue to onboard new workers to fill projects, especially going into the busy summer season across North America. Virtual reality provides employers with a safe alternative to both classroom and on-the-job training, while still providing rich and essential instruction to new laborers. Through virtual reality training, new and existing employees can be trained on necessary skills while observing social distancing rules, and when COVID-19 has passed, virtual reality provides a mobile, adaptable training method that can benefit construction companies long term.
Augmented reality provides a tangible benefit to developers, engineers, and job-site planners. Using tablets and mobile devices with advanced camera functions, engineers can develop 3D models of their construction project and then place those objects into their real-world environments. The ability to envision and iterate in this way has an immeasurable value from a development standpoint, but from a health and safety perspective, it can help cut down on the face-to-face manpower and time-spend necessary during project development.
SMS in the context of the construction industry means “Safety management software.” Both IoT and VR training are cutting-edge, but newer technology isn’t without its own implementation costs. One of the easiest ways to harness growing digital technology and use it for your construction company is by implementing mobile safety management software.
SMS solutions let you take necessary safety forms and documentation out of the office and onto the road. Safety reporting and documentation can be filled out proactively and in real-time on your job-site to comply with the OSHA process safety management guidelines. Storage is cloud-based, eliminating cumbersome hard copies kept somewhere in a central location. Using SMS gives all the key stakeholders in your company access to important safety information and analytics no matter where they are.
Fluix’s productivity software solutions give your field team the ability to sign and file safety and incident forms, as well as track important safety analytics and generate actionable reports wherever your work may take you. Please contact us today to request a free demo.
You can also check the article Top 7 construction industry trends impacting the industry in 2020.