The huge fire which broke out on 3rd March 2023 at a high-rise construction project in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong has brought about fresh concerns about construction safety. Though no fatalities were reported, there were injuries and the fire spread to a nearby hotel and commercial building. The damage caused will cost the developers not only in financial terms but also in delays in completing the project. As a result of the fire, the Buildings Department stated authorities will establish a task force to investigate the cause of the fire and study how to improve fire safety at worksites. But fire is only one of a great number of risks that exist at construction sites. Worksite safety should always be the number one priority for construction companies, but many are still using traditional, manual methods to monitor safety. Unfortunately, these methods always leave room for incidents occur. There are, however, technological solutions available which are becoming cheaper and more popular to plug these gaps. In this blog, we will take a look at how to improve worksite safety using technology.
There are 4 main technologies which can be used to improve construction safety. They are designed to monitor conditions in real-time and protect the safety of workers and the public. Let’s take a closer look here:
Robots and drones have seen a huge rise in popularity over the past few years and can be particularly useful in construction safety. Drones are effective at allowing operators to inspect areas not easily accessible to people, such as high floors. Robots, on the other hand, are perfect for reaching underground or confined areas. They are also able to work in adverse weather conditions or in areas which would be hazardous to humans because of dangerous gases or chemicals. It should be noted that the usage of drones and robotics is dependent on local licences and regulations though.
AI and VR have huge potential to improve worksite safety. VR is now being used for worksite training and companies such as GF Technovation in Hong Kong are leveraging advances in IoT sensors, AI and video analytics to keep workers and worksites safe as part of its smart safety monitoring system. Part of this system uses cameras equipped with AI to identify danger through a set of programmed rules. As soon as the AI detects any dangerous situation, an alert is sent to supervisors for immediate action. See the system in action here:
As mentioned above, cameras are extremely useful at round-the-clock monitoring of worksites. However, combine cameras with AI and facial recognition and you have a very intelligent and powerful tool to not only monitor site conditions, but also perform tasks such as measuring attendance and detecting the unauthorized access of non-workers.
IoT sensors, as opposed to traditional sensors, are connected devices which can be linked to apps on PCs and mobile devices to provide real-time information and alerts. They are perfect for detecting smoke, fire, gas, motion etc. and if there is an incident, it can be dealt with immediately by the responsible personnel.
Worksite safety is of paramount importance and by embracing advances in technology, we can keep workers and the public safe and reduce the risk of human oversight. GF Technovation’s smart safety monitoring system is a perfect example of how these technologies prevent worksite accidents in an easy-to-install and cost-effective way. To learn more, click here.