Technology and Construction Accident Prevention
Can technology help to make construction sites safer for workers? According to a recent article in ReJournals.com, a number of new technological advances may help to prevent construction accident injuries in the Chicago area and throughout the country. To better understand how Illinois construction companies might be able to take advantage of new technologies to limit their workers’ risk of injury at many different kinds of construction sites, we should take a look at the different types of technologies being discussed in the news.
Preventing Injuries with Wearable Technology
One of the most significant technological advances for construction accident prevention comes in the form of wearable technology. What is wearable technology? In short, it is standard safety equipment that has become “smart.” Most helpful, perhaps, is a smart helmet that provides employees with the following features:
- Augmented reality;
- User interface;
- Safety alerts; and
According to the article, this type of helmet can “load, record, store, and share information related to safety and more.” In addition to smart helmets, other construction site accessories are being developed to include similar features, including but not limited to:
- Smart glasses;
- Smart hardhats; and
- Smart watches.
By allowing workers to be hands-free when they are on the job—reading building plans and safety checklists digitally, for instance—employers can help to prevent an accident from happening.
3-D Printing Technology
While 3-D printing might sound like a practice for the future, it is currently helping to speed up construction projects and to keep costs down—which results in less physical labor. This technology is not taking jobs away from construction workers, since 3-D printers need operators. Yet it is having a profound impact on construction safety. As the article explains, “when potentially dangerous skilled labor is replaced by 3-D printers, the risk for human error and the accidents that can occur as a result can be greatly reduced.”
Software, Apps, and Planning Ahead
Many construction firms takes advantage of the virtual design and construction (VDC) process, which entails using “modeling software [that] visualizes and communicates all elements of a facility in detail prior to being built.” With VDC, construction teams can examine the potential accident risks of a particular job before construction actually starts, and they can help workers understand those risks in a manner that is specific to the site. Safety protocols that can be created and addressed with specific attention to a particular site include but are not limited to:
- Access patterns;
- Fall prevention; and
- Safely accessing overhead engineering systems.
Certain software can even examine a soon-to-be active construction site and provide the team overseeing the project with injury predictions. With this information, safety measures can be tailored to individual sites, helping to prevent deadly construction accidents and injuries.
Contact a Chicago Construction Accident Lawyer
New technologies can help to make construction sites safer for workers. At the same time, it is important to remember that technologies are not foolproof, and fatal construction accidents still occur. If you or someone you love suffered serious personal injuries in a construction accident, you should discuss your case with an aggressive Chicago construction accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans to learn more about our services.