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High-Tech Monitors for Health and Safety on Construction Sites

A tech startup has just launched hardware coupled with cloud-based software designed to allow employers in the construction industry to conduct real-time monitoring of conditions that could cause health problems for the workers on their jobsites.

As with any industry, there are certain health risks associated with construction. That's why the developers of this monitoring system are hopeful the technology can find widespread acceptance. Respiratory illnesses, skin problems due to exposure to certain substances, and high levels of noise and vibrations are included in the monitoring system’s calculations.

One of the system's developers said the monitoring should improve the overall health of workers, which of course means there is self-interest for companies investing in it as well. "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," said Michael Andrea, one of the founders of SmartSite sensors.

The info comes to us via the website TechCrunch:

According to co-founders Michael Andrea and James Batstone, SmartSite’s hardware hub contains off-the-shelf sensors including a microphone, laser particle counters and UV sensors.

Their software is completely proprietary, however, and lets construction teams quickly see where and when their workers are safe, or may be at risk, on a given job.

Andrea and Batstone said they became interested in the health and safety issues facing construction workers when they were working together as product designers and smart cities researchers on a project for the Royal College of Art.

During the course of that research they learned that in the construction industry today, companies small and large try to predict over-exposure based on what they know about the past conditions on, for example, this road or at that site.

They also send people to do very precise and accurate monitoring once in a while, but the on-person apparatus used by these inspectors is expensive, and the processes they use are time-consuming.

If your company is using this technology or something like it, let us know what you think about it in the comments.