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New developments in technology and connectivity are making construction sites more efficient, smarter and safer.


The Internet of Things (IoT), a term for applying digital networks to traditionally analogue items, has led to such developments as sensors embedded in control systems and PPE (personal protective equipment) that uses an internet connection to make sites safer. They can be used to check workers in and out, send messages about emergencies and warn workers if they are entering dangerous areas.


Virtual reality is being used in safety training. Dangerous environments and emergency situations can be simulated so that workers can be trained in a safe, controlled but realistic environment. Mistakes can be made in virtual environments without causing harm. Virtual reality is also used to show clients how finished projects will look.


Communication between workers and supervisors is essential for safe working practices. 5G and WiFi6 are new communication standards that provide speedier and more reliable communications than present technology. Mobile WiFi6 broadband can be quickly and easily installed and moved to any construction site because it does not rely on a fixed broadband connection.


Meanwhile, in the USA, construction company Suffolk and computer company SmartVid have developed a system of using cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor workers and spot safety issues. The system analyses images and uses data on past accidents to flag safety breaches. The developers claim that the system can find:


“…situations that seem likely to lead to an accident, such as workers not wearing gloves or working too close to a dangerous piece of machinery.”

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