Wearable technology on job sites can help with productivity while preventing injury and keeping workers healthy. “And while a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report found that only 6% of contractors used construction wearables onsite in 2018, some 83% of contractors believe that construction wearables would improve on-site safety.” *
The construction industry is widely acknowledged to be one of the most dangerous businesses to be in. The industry accounted for 21.6% of all private industry worker deaths in 2019. **
The industry has been closing the technology gap recently although it still has a long way to go. The use of 3D printing, equipment tagging, robotics, drones and geofencing has helped many firms become more efficient, during the challenging times of the Pandemic.
The case for wearable technology expands on the same need for efficiency and safety. The construction industry loses millions every year on workplace injuries and worker absence due to those injuries. The good thing is that workers are already used to wearing various forms of protection so the addition of much of the advanced technology shouldn’t be as much of a challenge in construction as it might be for other industries.
Knowledge is Power
Wearables help create data that can lead to insights that couldn’t be had any other way. Being able to track heart rate, location, activity, pressure, falls and gas detection allows companies to better monitor working conditions across job sites. Smartwatches allow handsfree communication, electrocardiogram rhythms and oxygen saturation level information as well as fall alerts. Other data collecting devices include location and pressure sensors in footwear and hardhats with sensor bands which can alert workers to heavy machinery operating in close proximity. “Caught-in/Between” and “Struck-by Object/Hazard” are two of the top four OSHA recognized hazards along with falls, all of which can be detected by smart wearables.
Putting the Data Together
By collecting and integrating all this data, companies can sync to cloud based software to encourage instant communication between management and workers. This allows workers to shed light on job site issues that off-site management may not be aware of. The ability to address possible job site risks before there are injuries helps eliminate costly delays.
Insights for Your Business
The use of wearable data can give insights into pressure points in your systems. If tracking equipment and workers allows management to redistribute resources more efficiently around the job site or between job sites.
By aligning the field data collected by wearables with project progress and safety reports, finances and more, companies can effectively analyze their business operations and measure key performance indicator (KPI) — a quantifiable measure of performance for a specific objective and one of the keys to having an accurate understanding the overall financial health of the business.
“KPIs are fantastic if people take the time to understand the visibility,” said James Coyle, co-founder of Event 1 Software, on how KPI and transparency go hand in hand. Adding the KPI is even more relevant today, “because of wearable technology collecting information from the field.” *