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New technology developed to monitor construction workers’ health and safety


Innovative new technology is helping employers reduce the risks workers are exposed to.

Construction sites can be monitored through the new SmartSite system and common health issues such as respiratory problems, dermatitis or even cancer, can be identified quickly with a view to reducing the number of occupational health hazards experienced on site.


How does it work?

SmartSite is a start-up business co-founded by Michael Andrea and James Batstone.

Fundamentally the technology works by monitoring noise levels, ultraviolet rays and airborne particles to assess the conditions on construction sites and is made up of hardware and cloud-based software.

The hardware hub utilises sensors to identify physical health risks in the industry, These sensors include a microphone, UV sensing elements and laser particle counters.

The systems allow construction teams to quickly assess site conditions and determine any employees who are at risk and which of the workforce are operating in safe conditions.

As workers are not required to wear additional gear or carry any extra equipment, there is no interruption to the daily workflow and the construction sites can operate more safely, the start-up has said.


How will it help improve safety?

Pilot tests are currently running across construction sites to test the technology and ensure it is safe to use.

The founders say they initially took an interest in the health and safety of construction workers while jointly working as smart city researchers and designers for a project that was launched by the Royal College of Art.

Both Mr Andrea and Mr Batstone believe the process of carrying out precision monitoring of work sites is expensive because it requires experts. It also takes a great deal of time which of course acts as an added cost. They found that currently companies often predict over-exposure based on what they know about the past conditions of a site. Experts are also brought in to do precise and accurate monitoring of an area but this process is expensive and time-consuming.

Less accurate, cheaper assessments often result in firms using historical knowledge to make broad predictions about over-exposure, which is risky and not precise.

Mr Andrea said: “Ultimately, people want to do the right thing for their workers. But there is also a cost associated with time lost to illness, and possible lawsuits.”

Source: Tech Crunch