Wearable Safety Solutions for the Construction Industry

Wearable Safety Solutions for the Construction Industry

24th September 2016

At the beginning of this year we took a look at some of the new technology that began to make a headway into the construction industry in 2015, keeping you, our readers, bang up to date with all the latest news and developments within our sector.  One of the new and innovative technologies we mentioned at that time was wearable smart sensors which can be used to gain an insight into health and safety in the workplace.  With jobsite safety a major issue for construction companies here in the UK, this has been a very welcome development and the construction sector, which is often accused of not keeping up with all the latest technology available, is taking this new technology to its heart in a bid to increase safety on site.  As you’ll no doubt be aware, despite year on year improvements in health and safety statistics and stringent legislation designed to ensure that British workers are the safest in the world, the construction industry, by its very nature is still one of the most dangerous in which to work, especially when it comes to those who work at height.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at wearable technology which is being adopted by the construction industry to make data-driven decisions and gain micro-level insights into the way in which workers are moving and working on a day to day basis.  According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) every day more than 6,000 people died around the world in work related accidents, that’s more than 2 million people every year.  We’re on a continual quest to make the work place safer and wearable technology can play an important role in improving these statistics in the coming years.

While most of the buzz around wearable technology so far has been about consumer devices such as Google Glass, the Apple watch and wristbands designed to monitor our movements and sleep (usually for health and fitness enthusiasts who use jogging apps to keep track of their progress on a daily basis), we’re now seeing the birth of cloud based apps for technicians and engineers working in hazardous environments. 

The requirement for employers to monitor staff who work in remote or dangerous locations has been a key driver when it comes to wearables designed to be used in the workplace and the concept of using wearable technology is gaining ground with many companies who realise that they have a duty of care towards their employees which entails making sure that every staff member is as safe as possible at all times, whatever type of work they undertake.  Wearable technology is also making great inroads when it comes to employing lone workers who often work at night or in remote locations which puts them at an added risk.  Wearing a badge or pendant embedded with a microphone and featuring an alert button is making this type of work safer than we would have dreamed possible even 20 years ago.

The wearable technology market is developing at an amazing rate so we’ll be keeping our eye on progress to bring our readers all the latest news on this subject as and when it happens.