How to use digital tools to improve safety in your construction project
Safety in the context of construction project has become an increasingly hot topic in recent decades. However, the work still is far from safe and construction workers operate in environments that can be literally lethal without appropriate planning, safe processes, solid working practices and the right protection. Digital tools have heralded something of a revolution in the construction sector, primarily in the area of information management. But how can these digital tools contribute to improving safety on our construction sites?
Planning and visualising with BIM helps erase problems and risks
One of the greatest benefits of digital tools is the opportunity they provide to construct realistic 3D models and visualisations of the project. BIM (Building Information Modelling) makes it possible to create a virtual representation of the building in question, including its structures, wiring, ventilation systems and so on. This provides everyone involved with a clear image of what form the project will take and how it will function when completed. Visualising construction projects in advance is the ideal way to identify potential issues with risks and safety at an early stage. This, in turn, allows better planning of safety measures and makes it possible to implement changes before the actual construction process commences.
Optimising materials and strength
Digital tools have an important role to play in choosing materials and assessing strength in a building project, which are the alpha and omega of safety. Access to regulations, databases and simulation capabilities makes it possible to choose the right materials and to assess their performance and strength under various conditions. For example, FEA (Finite Element Analysis) can be used to simulate how a given material reacts to load and changes in temperature. In addition, monitoring construction data and document management allow project personnel to ensure that the right materials are used and that quality assurance is maintained throughout the construction process.
The right information to the right person at the right time
Digital tools play a key role in supporting and improving the flow of information in real time. By using cloud-based platforms and mobile apps, all the parties involved – architects, engineers, contractors and safety officers – can access status updates, relevant documents and drawings anywhere and at any time. This ensures that everyone has access to the latest information, which they can then use to make good decisions in order to maintain a high level of safety. It is also possible to send automatic notifications to relevant parties in the event that acute safety-related problems arise or changes have to be made. These could include everything from warnings about hazardous conditions at the construction site to information about changes to the schedule or deliveries.
Monitoring increases safety on the construction site
Digital tools allow construction clients to monitor the workplace and improve safety for their staff. For example, IoT sensors and monitoring systems can be installed at a construction site to detect hazardous conditions such as high noise levels, dangerous gases, changes in temperature and movements. The signals are analysed in real time and if a dangerous situation is identified, the system can automatically send warnings to the team and the safety officers. This makes it possible to act quickly and implement appropriate measures. Naturally, monitoring also helps detect theft of tools and materials, which also entails risk – especially of the financial kind.
Automation and robotics taking over heavy lifts and dangerous tasks
Automation and robotics are playing an increasingly important role in the construction industry, even though their development is still in its infancy. These technologies can assist with or actually take over tasks that are risky or dangerous for people to perform, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace. For example, drones can be used to inspect buildings during construction, identifying structural issues or signs of damage. This minimises the risk associated with employees having to climb to great heights to inspect specific building parts. Welding robots can improve accuracy and reduce the risk of injury, especially in demanding environments.
In summary, digital tools and resources open the door to dealing appropriately with a range of safety issues, both in the planning phase and during the actual construction. Using digital tools to share information, create models and perform monitoring facilitates safety work and helps reduce the risk of accidents. We are just starting out on an exciting phase of development for the industry!
More about iBinder
Simplify your construction project
We offer digital information management that boosts productivity and reduces the environmental impact of your construction project, from the early stages through to management.
Informed choice of materials increases the value of a property
We offer the market's leading system for an informed choice of materials in the construction and real estate industry.