Wearable technology is as old as the common wristwatch, which allowed people to tell time nearly any time they pleased, without having to guess, find a clock, or listen and count the sound of a clock tower’s bells. Today, however, modern wearable technologies or “wearable devices” have been developed into truly powerful tools that allow us to not only incorporate technology more seamlessly into daily life, but also gather the data and information needed to better identify areas of improvement, evaluate options, and implement solutions. In the construction industry, that capability is being viewed as a potential way to improve worksite safety, and has formed the basis of a new research project in New York City.
Through the collaboration of The Travelers Companies (an insurance firm), Gilbane (a national construction contractor), and Triax Technology (a developer of IoT technology for the construction industry), over 130 construction workers will be outfitted with wearable devices as they work on a 60,000 square-foot, six-story New York City work site. The project, expected to last 20 months, is aimed at finding ways to improve safety in the industry, and better handle risks of construction accidents.
As statistics paint a grim picture of the risks on construction sites, and especially those in NYC, the need for data-driven insight is big. By incorporating wearables in their workforce, the companies behind the project will be evaluating how smart devices and the data they produce can keep construction workers safe. Specifically, they’re looking to use that data to:
- Better identify potential risks faced by workers;
- Evaluate what factors should be considered so wearable tech can be implemented safely and productively;
- More immediately respond to injuries and critical incidents; and
- Effectively develop solutions that improve safety on worksites.
Data & Technology: Can it Change Construction’s Safety Record
Construction has earned a reputation as one of the most dangerous occupations, and for warranted reasons. Worksites are filled with a multitude of hazards, and statistics show construction injuries and deaths remain a top concern – for workers, families, employers, insurers, and regulators alike. By tweaking the approach to safety and leveraging technology, the three companies could produce valuable research that has a real chance of catching on.
Here are a few details about the project:
- Data collection in real-time – The companies will be reviewing data collected through various types of Triax Spot-r IoT devices. That includes 130+ Spot-r Clips which will be attached to workers’ waist belts as they go about their day. According to the companies, these devices will help improve response times to possible injuries by detecting falls, sending real-time notifications to supervisors about a worker’s location, and delivering other details about safety incidents. The devices also allow workers themselves to more easily and quickly report hazards or accidents.
- Equipment monitoring and alerts – In addition to wearables on workers, worksite machinery will be fitted with Spot-r EquipTags, which allow supervisors to monitor the area and the use of heavy equipment. The worksite will also have Spot-r EvacTags, allowing managers to send high-decibel and visual emergency alarms to workers when needed.
The collaborative project is one that will be watched by many in various businesses in and surrounding construction. Though advocates are hopeful, they’re also aware that risks will always exist in spaces like construction, and that the timeless need of humans who meet their obligations and make safety a priority will never dissipate. Their goals are more focused on maximizing that potential.
Committed to Construction Accident Victims Across New York
Having fought for injured construction workers and their families for more than 40 years, our team at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. knows the devastating setbacks workplace injuries can create, and is also hopeful the project will produce results that prevent injuries and keep workers safe. That’s because we view our roles as more than just helping victims repair their lives – our work also plays a part in accident prevention by ensuring accountability.
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. has earned national recognition for our work representing victims in cases involving serious injury, construction accidents, and workers’ compensation throughout New York City and the state, and has recovered more than $400 million on our clients’ behalves. If you have a potential case, call (212) 577-9325 today for a free consultation.