Construction is still one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, with jobsites being complex networks of people, equipment, and activity that are risky and ever-changing. With continued pressure to drive more value to clients, how do project teams use technology to improve productivity while maintaining safe working conditions? Skanska sought to answer this question and piloted the use of an Internet of Things (IoT)-based technology called real-time location systems (RTLS) to dynamically track people and assets in order to make our jobsites smarter, safer, and more productive. This paper will focus on how IoT, including wearable technology and RTLS, can enhance environmental awareness and real-time visibility of worker's safety and productivity on active jobsites, as well as into building operations.
The IoT network created for the RTLS allows for information from wearable technology to be used in real time and then archived for future reference and analysis. Information from accelerometers indicating falls and trips can be recorded and acted upon. Additionally, the possibility exists to monitor a worker's vital signs to warn against fatigue, heat stroke and other conditions.
We will demonstrate a live RTLS during this presentation, courtesy of RedPoint Positioning.
Wearables for construction safety are an emerging technology. There are still some technical challenges that are being addressed, such as battery life, administration of wearables on a daily basis, and creating robust analytics. Social acceptance is also an area of study. The University of Michigan has begun studying acceptance in diverse worker groups, where age, role, and common perceptions factor into the desire to use wearables on construction sites. Individuals may have concerns on how information is used, if it is anonymized, and may need reassurance that it does not operate beyond the confines of the construction site.