The month of May often brings jobsite safety top-of-mind with national industry initiatives going on this time of year. There’s Construction Safety Week, which challenges construction professionals to pay attention to both the physical and mental aspects of safety. There’s also OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down that focuses on fall prevention in the construction industry. The common theme we can all get behind: keeping people safe at work should always be a top priority. And since we’re tech nerds here at Device Magic, we wanted to support the effort by combining two of our favorite topics, construction technology and jobsite safety, to highlight some of the latest tech that’s transforming safety culture across the industry.
1. PPE equipped with NFC technology
Hardhats and safety harnesses are going beyond the traditional call-of-duty thanks to near field communications (NFC) technology. Consider this scenario: An accident occurs on the jobsite. Emergency responders are called. A crucial part of their action plan is gathering vital information to administer proper medical care. How can they do this if the injured person is unconscious or otherwise unable to relay this information? A Constructech article recently highlighted a partnership between twICEme Technology and Zero Height Safety that’s equipping hard hats and fall prevention harnesses with NFC technology that stores critical medical information, such as emergency contacts, insurance information and personal identification. This allows first responders to easily access the data using their smartphone and act quickly in these emergency situations.
2. Collision mitigation technology for vocational trucks
Heavy truck crash data over the past few years has been dismal. In 2019, fatalities for large truck occupants reached their highest level in more than 30 years. While collision mitigation technology has been implemented by a lot of on-highway truck manufacturers, more recently, R&D efforts have been showing promise for vocational truck safety. ForConstructionPros recently highlighted some of the latest technology that’s helping vocational truck drivers monitor and react to their surroundings and potentially dangerous situations. Detroit Assurance 5.0 suite of active safety systems is getting some industry buzz. The systems work together in various capacities to enhance visibility, alert drivers to take certain safety precautions and improve driver training.
3. Remote-controlled machine operation
Remote-controlled construction equipment has sparked a lot of debate among machine operators. Skeptics see it as the downfall of essential operator skills. They believe you need to be in the cab in order to operate efficiently and get the true feel of the machine. But proponents of the technology see big value in safety. An Equipment World article took an in-depth look at Cat® Command operating stations and the many ways this technology is contributing to safer work environments. For one thing, it’s keeping operators out of the “hot seat” on dangerous jobsites, allowing them to operate the machines from the safety of a command station. It’s also helping eliminate one of the most common causes of injury on the jobsite: getting in and out of the cab. And finally, remote-controlled machine operation stations allow room for on-site training and closer supervision.
4. Mobile data collection software
While it may not have the bells and whistles of an RC machine operation station, mobile data collection software is still a critical part of the safety equation — especially when it comes to accident prevention and risk mitigation. Paper forms or a manual data collection process not only takes unnecessary time, it can be hazardous. Think about it this way, by the time a site supervisor finally receives a machine inspection report that identifies a potential safety issue, the operator may already be in the cab working in risky conditions. Mobile data collection software allows field workers to complete important forms, such as a jobsite safety analysis (JSA), on their smartphones and instantly submit that data to critical team members. This enables fast corrective action when needed.
Facilitating JSAs is just one of many benefits a mobile data collection tool can bring to the table. More and more construction companies are turning to solutions, like Device Magic, to help enhance their safety culture in a variety of ways. It’s a relatively small technology investment that can make a big impact. The first step is finding the right mobile data collection software for your organization.