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If you are a construction professional seeking a feasible solution for a high-tech construction environment, you should opt for wearable technologies. These wearable technologies ensure greater productivity on-site and enhance your safety in a hazardous construction environment. 

Even though the technology is at an early stage of adoption, data shows potential for construction companies to improve critical areas that drive profitability. Plus, that data itself shows that 50% of fatal injuries happen at construction sites.  

Construction Wearable Technology is the advanced electronic devices that the construction workers wear on their bodies, clothes, or protective equipment to gather and deliver information about the working environment, activities, and biometric conditions.  

Some of the prime examples of wearable technology include  

Mobile devices and smartwatches could send an automatic alert about a hazardous situation before the occurrence of an accident. 

Also, with these construction managers can have comprehensive data on the level of fatigue and warn the workers while they move close to dangerous zones. 

Data highlighting the well-being and financial risks in construction businesses

More than 30 billion dollars is reported to be lost annually because of no productivity probe and subsequent reworks.  

Also, the construction industry is said to have the highest rate of depression and workplace suicides.  

Benefits from construction wearable technologies

The optimized scenario could be the network of smart devices involved during the whole construction activity. Each of the devices monitors the concerns associated with an individual worker/stakeholder on the site  

  • Providing audible or vibration alarms for notifying workers when they are close to danger, like moving equipment or a leading edge 
  • Warning the workers of a hazardous movement like bending, twisting, or lifting 
  • Alerting workers when they are imminent to fatigue level 
  • Informing emergency personnel and rescuers to the injured worker’s location 

We could see an extensive use of wearable technology in construction over the next ten years. The technology is still in its infancy and pretty much in the non-commercial state. Presently, technology companies are associating with contractors to run pilot programs that check different types of wearables. We will further explore the categories of these wearable technologies –   

Typical Wearables for the Construction Sites Include:

Wearable Technology Revolutionizing Construction
  • Visual 

Devices using optical aids on glasses, hard hats, and visors to produce images for remote viewers are called Visual wearables. The devices add value to training, quality control, and other circumstances where the visual depiction of a concept is necessary. The wearable connects field workers to far-flung supervisory employees, facilitating both parties to view items at the same time. Sharing visual data on actual work environments improves training, instruction, and verification of practices. In some cases, you could integrate the benefits of Oculus and AR applications such as Procore on your mobile devices to better visualize design on-site.   

  • Tactile 

Devices that act as an exoskeleton/wear to increase the strength and durability of the users are known as Tactile wearables. The wearables restrict the force on the muscular-skeletal frame of the wearer, reducing the potential for strains and back injuries while enhancing a wearer’s capacity. Exoskeletons, often called “Exosuits,” are wearing apparatuses with motorized joints that help with lifting assistance, weight distribution, posture correction, and other skills to reduce stress and damage. While performing overhead tasks like installing sprinklers, and overhead pipes, attaching above cables or conduits, etc., employees can use overhead exoskeletons to provide additional support for their arms, necks, and shoulders. The majority of these exoskeletons are passive and run without batteries. In a similar vein, gloves and other handwear may be quite helpful when managing the machinery and building on the site. One of the most well-known smart gloves: “Bioservo Ironhand” on the market is often used to increase grip strength when doing repetitive chores. 

  • Sensing 

Sensing wearables helps to sense the biological, environmental as well and physical conditions of workers. The device also analyzes data by using edge computing and notifying the employee of hazardous situations that may cause an injury. Sensors are available in various forms like badges, biosensors, gyroscopes, and many more. The wearables record and assess the wearer’s physical condition, location, and environment. The technique for deploying the sensor includes an attachment to hard hats, safety glasses, and personal safety equipment. For example, construction site workers can attach clip-on wearables to shirts, belts, and vests. They can also embed the wearables in the soles of shoes. One such example could be clip-ons from Triax Technologies currently in ongoing pilot programs with more than 25 construction conglomerates.  

Wearable technology and its compatibility with applications and software

These wearable devices act as IoT, a network of smart devices providing real-time updates on your construction progress, specifically the conditions on-site and with your workers. With BIM-IoT integration these data could be reflected on BIM visualization dashboards. The specific 8D BIM for health and safety monitoring metrics can better its functioning based on these data. A more detailed data-driven probe could be more possible with this scenario.  

Value Addition for Construction Managers 

Wearables are significant for individual workers as well as construction managers, who can enhance control site safety in the right manner. Wearable Technology feeds data to customize dashboards, allowing construction managers to assess performance data about the entire organization, specific to job functions and employees. 

Subsequent analysis of the data identifies particular areas that have the potential for injuries and provides the opportunity to amend operations before accidents. Also, with these parameters, construction managers can optimize their workforce and resource allocation throughout the site. Each of the elements could be monitored thoroughly to save a great deal on project spending.