Innovations that have made the construction industry a safer place
Innovation can, and does, manifest in many ways. It can be a simple improvement on a process that saves time or it can be a ground-breaking technology that illuminates a greater need. Whether it’s on a small or large scale, innovation matters. And it’s happening in numerous ways in the field of construction safety. If a company wants to improve its bottom line and decrease onsite injuries (and deaths), the best bet is to be open-minded. There are many products and solutions perfectly geared toward those goals. In this article we highlight innovations that have made the construction industry a safer place for workers and also those who may come into contact with an active construction site.
The traditional method of installing roof frames required welding, but ironwork has one of the highest injury rates in construction. QuickFrames’ adjustable, bolt-on, pre-engineered roof opening frames only require a wrench or impact driver to complete the job—removing the need for welding and the potential resultant safety hazards. Many large steel companies and contractors have moved exclusively to this hassle-free system to avoid the common challenges of waiting on mechanical locations, last minute changes, and forgotten frames.
Tefra Quick Coupler
The Tefra Quick Coupler was invented from the team at Hill Engineering and designed to ensure the safe attachment of digger buckets. The integral primary and secondary safety systems in TEFRA eliminate one of the most dangerous aspects of handling attachments – the risk of attachments coming away completely. Hill Engineering solved this by using a positive locking system rather than a gravity locking system, making the crucial safety feature ‘active’ and not ‘passive’ in the way it works. TEFRA components are cast, meaning lower weight and higher strength.
Another company making strides in safety innovation is Bechtel. Bechtel use an unmanned aircraft to provide real-time data to project teams. The data collected by the drone can now be stored in the cloud, analysed within Bechtel’s design and construction software requirements, and viewed on multiple devices by the teams on site. Therefore construction progress can be tracked in real-time and important details given to teams to increase safe working conditions.
The key to embracing innovation in safety is to avoid complacency. Just because a project manager is comfortable with a certain approach, it does not mean it can’t be improved or evolved. It can sometimes feel precarious to try new methods or trust a project to an innovative company, but when it comes to health and safety of construction workers nothing can be left to chance. With a fresh mind-set and modern innovations, the day may come soon when construction injuries and fatalities are the rare exception.