Technology for Safety

The construction industry remains one of the most dangerous businesses in the world.

That’s almost a quarter of all worker deaths happening to our people!

There are several factors, aside from the physical nature of the work, that makes the construction site particularly hazardous:

  • Size of the site, which can be vast.
  • Complexity of the site.
  • Presence and operation of heavy equipment.
  • Presence and movement of heavy and otherwise hazardous materials.
  • Difficulty of communicating and enforcing the use of personal protective equipment and other safety procedures.
  • Presence of multiple trades and subs, with limited communication among them.
  • Constantly changing nature of the site and its features.
  • Lack of visibility into the location and activity and movement of each person and piece of equipment in each area of the site.

The new Technologies, felt that if they could solve the problems of connectivity and visibility, then they could substantially reduce the impact of all of the other factors in this list. And they saw that wearable technology could be the solution.

A job site with Spot-r technology is divided into “zones,” all of which are connected to the site’s wireless network. Workers are issued Spot-r clips while on the job site, that communicate continuously with the network, providing visibility into the zone location of every worker on the site.

One of the technology’s primary functions is that it senses when a worker experiences a slip, trip, or fall incident, and sends a real-time notification to the database or as a text message to the designated recipient, usually a super or PM. The super or PM can see immediately where the worker is and send help. This improves response time and ensures that slip, trip, fall incidents are reported immediately and every time, not only when there is a severe injury.

Because falls are the leading job site hazard, causing 38.8% of all worker injuries, this function alone provides a major boost to job site safety.

Additionally, Spot-r has a self-alert button that workers can press in the event that they experience a non-slip, trip, or fall injury, such as cuts or particles in the eye, or if they see a hazard on the job site. This provides them with a direct line of communication with a safety supervisor or PM, and provides the super or PM with the ability to respond and address hazards proactively.

Finally, Spot-r provides a site-wide evacuation function. In the event of a catastrophic safety situation, such as a fire, bomb threat, or other site-wide hazard, Spot-r can be used to send a loud alert to every worker on the site, urging them to evacuate immediately. This eliminates the delays associated with sirens, word of mouth, and older notification systems.

The just-released Spot-r enhances this feature by offering the first plug-and-play construction-specific solution designed to alert workers to an evacuation. The EvacTag is designed to augment current evacuation procedures with a high-decibel, highly visual alert.

The Benefits of Wearable Technology for Safety

Spot-r and similar technologies improve response times, as well as make it easier to proactively respond to potential hazards. But the benefits don’t stop there.

  • Slip, trip, and fall incidents are identified even if the worker is alone or unconscious, and unable to call for help.
  • Minor repeat incidents can uncover ongoing hazards, such as a pit that workers are jumping into instead of using the ladder, for instance.
  • Spot-r provides an automatic headcount, making time and attendance checks simple.
  • Saves the super or PM several hours a week by providing instant information and location spotting.
  • Encourages and rewards behavior modification, improving long term safety.
  • Improves evacuation speed, making it possible to evacuate a large and busy site in a matter of minutes.

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