Technology’s Impact on Safety in Construction

Working on a construction site can be hazardous. According to OSHA, construction fatalities account for 19.5% of the total fatalities across all industries in the U.S. It has been a long-standing factor of the construction industry for contractors to have to balance trying to meet their safety goals with the knowledge that devastating consequences are possible. Safety policies and procedures exist to keep workers as safe as possible, such as OSHA standards for a workplace to be free of known dangers. Even with these policies and standards, hazards still exist, but that doesn’t mean a worksite has to be unsafe. Technology has stepped up to create safety measures that didn't exist before.


Futuristic Advances in technology are making construction sites safer and more efficient. There are many different types of technology that contribute to this enhanced site safety, with more emerging every day. Drones and robots are among the most futuristic technologies. The robots and drones can do dangerous tasks and collect data that increase safety. Drones and robots can be sent to places that workers can’t or shouldn’t venture to. Detailed observations go a long way in safety measures for construction sites and drones give this ability. They are also able to collect data and send it back to the main office. Communication Timely communication is a luxury we have all experienced from technological advances. We know the benefits well, and when applied to construction, it can make a difference in safety. It’s now more than just walkie talkies and cell phones, other communication systems allow for increased communication and record keeping throughout the jobsite and from the jobsite to the office.  Wearable technologies have the capability to send an alert if the person wearing it has fallen or is otherwise injured. Data Sharing collected data may not seem like a safety precaution but it is becoming increasingly important. It isn’t something that is done right there on the jobsite like a robot doing underwater welding, but it enhances safety none the less. Just like all other industries, big data is becoming part of construction. Real-time reports with current data can be automated for stakeholders, management, and employees to stay updated. These reports give feedback on hazards and unsafe jobsites. Having up-to-date data means fixes can be made quickly to keep all workers safe. Having applications that are integrated will only enhance the ability to have accurate and intelligent data for safety in construction. Big data gives executives the ability to gain insights on safety and ways to improve their efficiency. Technology is doing its part to keep construction workers safe and the future will only bring more innovative ways to keep them safe.