Creating a realistic and sustainable model of social distancing is a significant challenge that many construction leaders are facing now. Job sites were once bustling places where dozens of workers from different specialties would come together to complete projects, sometimes in close proximity to one another. But recent CDC guidelines have stipulated that firms need to take proactive mitigation efforts to protect employees going forward, such as maintaining a 6-foot distance from other individuals on the site. So, a growing number of contractors are adopting some of these new site monitoring technologies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here’s how tech is evolving to advance construction.
Since fever is one of the early symptoms of coronavirus infection, contractors have started installing thermal cameras around job sites to measure the body temperatures of workers. Managers are typically notified if a worker’s fever reaches 100 degrees F. Even though the cameras aren’t intended to be a catch-all, they can help improve security, safety, and comfort around project sites.
Safety is the main priority for contractors. Having the ability to track workers around job sites using wearables can help ensure social distancing and reduce the overall social density on job sites. But that’s not the only reason why construction companies are investing in this type of technology. There are many other safety benefits such as warning workers when they are close to moving equipment, cautioning them when they are nearing exhaustion, alerting emergency personnel of an injured worker’s location, and even warning employees of hazardous physical movement. Some of the most popular types of wearables that are being used on construction sites include:
- Visual – Optical aids that can be integrated into glasses, visors, etc., are being used to connect and share visual information between employees that are in the field and remote supervisors. It also helps construction leadership confirm that employees are adhering to social distancing guidelines, using personal protective equipment, etc. Visuals are preferred over cell phones because they minimize distractions and enable employees to keep working while discussing issues with remote leaders.
- Tactile – Devices that are designed as an exoskeleton can help reduce strains and back injuries from lifting heavy objects while improving capacity and endurance.
- Sensing – From badges to wrist bands, a variety of sensing wearables are being used to track employee variables like location, temperature, and vital signs.
Health Screening Apps
There are plenty of construction careers that can’t be done working from home or solely in an office. In these situations, employers are adopting new software solutions and health screening apps with questions that workers are required to answer before reporting to job sites.
Cameras, wearables, and apps are a few of the tech solutions being used during and after coronavirus to improve job site safety and advance the construction industry into the future.
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