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Construction Risk Advisor – May 2018 - May 2018

TECHNOLOGY FOR EMPLOYEE SAFETY

In 2016, 1 in 5 worker deaths were in the construction industry, highlighting the need for safety and procedural enhancements in construction. The following technology is likely to become more common at construction sites in an effort to improve worker safety:

  • Exoskeletons—Workers can wear exoskeletons to transfer weight from repetitive tasks and use less energy when moving objects. The result is a reduced risk of injuries as well as increased strength, dexterity and productivity.  
  • Virtual reality—This technology replicates physical environments and presents training opportunities for employees. It also allows workers to simulate hazardous tasks and identify safety needs. More benefits are expected as technology matures.
  • Wearables—Wearable devices offer real-time monitoring of workers’ vital signs and can alert workers to the presence of environmental dangers. They can also cut health care costs by reducing health risks such as respiratory problems, cancer, dermatitis and hearing damage.

OFF-SITE CONSTRUCTION BENEFITS

Off-site construction refers to any building process that takes place away from the ultimate point of installation. The term includes prefabrication and modular construction, which can help contractors accelerate schedules and use less labor on-site, as well as:

  • Reduce safety risks—There’s less chance of workers falling from heights, such as off scaffolding, because construction tends to take place on a single-level factory floor.
  • Eliminate weather delays—Work doesn't have to stop because of inclement weather when construction takes place indoors.
  • Ensure consistent quality—Working in a centralized location allows for more supervision and quality control.