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How Technology is Advancing Construction Safety in the UK

Construction Tech Review | Friday, May 27, 2022

As the demand for construction in the UK continues to increase, companies are finding the need to keep up. One way companies are addressing the growing demands is by adopting new technologies. Various technologies are available in construction today, and many technologies continue to evolve, helping construction companies to address the increasing demands. And as it turns out, almost every aspect of the business operations have benefited from these technologies, including safety. 

Read on to find out how technology is advancing construction safety in the UK.

1. Tech to Track Accidents 

One way technologies can improve safety in the construction industry is by tracking hazards before and after to prevent future accidents. Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones conduct on-site surveys to look for structural faults. These devices are equipped with video and photographic technologies and can identify dangers and map any hazardous areas.

Another commonly used technology in construction is site sensors. These can be installed in different areas within the construction site to keep track of variables like humidity, temperature, pressure, noise level, dust particles, and chemical compounds. The data that these sensors collected will be used to prevent workers from getting exposed to hazardous materials or harmful situations.

As we move to a more advanced and innovative world, the possibilities of technologies are almost limitless. Some of the most cutting-edge technologies include power-assisted suits that assist workers in bending, lifting, and carrying heavy things, preventing the likelihood of fatigue and injury. Wearable devices are also among the most commonly used technologies to ensure safety. From heart monitors to fitness trackers, these devices are attached to work clothing and accessories to monitor the workers' health. Workers can also wear smart boots or hardhards that can identify potential hazards. 

2. Online, Interactive Training 

Online health and safety courses offer many advantages to construction companies. These interactive health and safety courses help to bring awareness to health and safety on construction sites. Since the training is virtual, there will be no work interruptions since there's no need to gather the employees in a group. They are free to choose which schedule suits them best.

These online interactive health and safety training courses can help keep construction workers safe from danger, which should be a priority for every construction company. The training covers everything, from first aid to mental health, fire safety, and manual handling. At the end of the training, the employee will gain a deeper understanding of health and safety at work, which helps minimise risks. 

One of the biggest advantages of online training is that it has interactive features that keep employees more engaged. For instance, some courses come with interactive games, complete with scores, which is a fun way to provide feedback to employees while challenging them to learn. These training courses cater to different learning styles, suitable for various types of employees. As you know, every individual has different learning styles, and these online training courses can provide content that can work for everyone. 

3. Site Communication 

Thanks to technology, employees can easily communicate on-site, which further enhances safety. Such technology is especially beneficial for employees working at big construction sites. Improved communication can minimise risks and enhance productivity.

Misunderstandings between employees could lead to costly mistakes, injuries, and even loss of life. Therefore, technologies that can help improve communication can be a big help in improving safety at construction. Indeed, new technologies are rapidly improving the way construction approaches safety. Instead of merely recording incidents as they occur, there are now technologies to predict and avoid them. 

Some apps collect data from construction sites and will use the data collected to look for patterns that could indicate upcoming hazards. The app will then notify workers and supervisors about the possible dangers so they can take proper action to prevent accidents. In addition, these apps can help supervisors to spot non-compliance with health and safety laws. 

4. Robotics 

Robots are now being deployed in various construction sites to improve worker safety. Some of them will take over dangerous tasks to ensure the safety of employees. They can be programmed to perform human tasks, including more complex actions such as moving and carrying heavy loads. But for these robots to function well and carry out the tasks they are supposed to do, companies should hire competent electronic engineers specialising in maintaining and programming robotics. 

Another way robots can improve safety on construction sites is by lifting heavy loads on the employees' behalf. Humans can never compete with robotics in lifting heavy objects. These machines have made heavy lifting faster, safer, and easier on construction sites. Robots are also more efficient at doing repetitive tasks. One of the most common reasons why people often get injured at work is doing repetitive tasks. Robots are more capable of performing these tasks safer and more efficiently.

They can also program robots for remote operation, which further enhances safety on construction sites. For instance, instead of working directly from a crane or bulldozer, human operators can remotely control robots that will be responsible for operating these machines, taking construction safety to a higher level.

5. Keeping Records 

Technologies can also be used to keep records in construction, such as tracking incidents and recording employees' movements. Monitoring activities can help to improve safety and productivity. 

Technology solutions that allow contractors to gather data about workforce and safety incidents can help improve safety in the construction industry. Data is essential in every industry and collecting robust safety data is the key to identifying workplace hazards. 

Collecting data also helps identify poor safety habits and unsafe behaviours that they should correct to prevent danger. In addition, collecting behavioural and environmental observations allow contractors and managers to identify trends. For instance, after collecting workplace data, they could determine that accidents are more common at the end of the project, as most workers are in a rush to finish them. By knowing this trend, they can take the necessary steps to keep employees from rushing and prevent future accidents.

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