Preventing Fatalities In Construction
How to predict them, prevent them, and respond to them in time to save lives.
Construction sites are known for their fast-paced environment. Each construction project, unique and individualistic, brings its own set of challenges. It requires a team effort of contractors, subcontractors and numerous laborers to coordinate… meaning risks of multiple forms can appear at any stage. Additionally, the use of heavy machinery, tools, and equipment make construction sites one of the leading industries in health incidents including both injuries and death- 259 fatalities in 2018 alone. Listed here are the top three safety risks for construction projects.
Injuries from fall
One of the most common and highest risks in construction sites are injuries from falls, including head and back injuries, bone fractures, lacerations, sprains- some of which lead to serious health repercussions or death. 42% of fatalities on construction sites are from falls, making this a critical metric, and vital to get help as soon as possible.
Fortunately, through the use of our accelerometer-equipped badges, we were able to prevent 19 falls by detecting abnormal jumps in movement and notifying the worker & supervisor of unsafe behavior. If something is to occur, some Kwant.ai badges have fall detection- the badge knows if it is moving in an unnatural pattern and a safety alert is sent automatically to the designated medic and supervisor on site.
Injuries from drop or impact
Due to the necessary use of heavy tools and machinery during construction projects, injuries from drops or impact are also considered a high risk on construction sites. When tools or equipment drop from heights, workers are left prone to injuries like stab wounds, fractures, concussions, lacerations, and traumatic brain injuries.
So how can we prevent this from occurring in the first place? What Kwant.ai has done is created a means of zoning off restricted areas. If there is an area scheduled for crane work with potential fall risk, just two clicks on the dashboard and you can mark an area of your plans “unsafe”. 60% of crane-related deaths are related to falling objects.
Now, when a worker wanders into that unsafe area, their badge will omit a warning alert, and a supervisor will be notified that someone without proper gear or qualification is in a high-risk area. Either the worker or the supervisor can get the individual to safety quickly- in a different world, it’s very likely that neither the worker nor the supervisor would know that a risk was occuring.
Kwant.ai prefers to take the above preventative approach- it’s why we put so many resources into preventing this occurance in the first place. But we understand that sites are dynamic, and that things may happen no matter how many precautions we take. In cases like this, each worker will be equipped with an SOS button– one double tap sends a safety alert to site leaders with their trade name and location, and will get them help 92% faster than a phone call, or trying to find someone to help.
Injuries from electricity
Electricians and engineers in construction sites work with electricity on a daily basis; they are directly exposed to electric risks such as shock, electrocution, explosions, and burns. However, many workers are unaware of the hazards and are unknowingly exposed. This results in various cases of electrocution, shock and in some cases, death.
So how can we make these areas known? If we know high-voltage work is being done in accordance with the schedule, we can mark these areas as “unsafe” and an alert will notify the worker if they’re entering a high-voltage zone. It will also notify a site leader that someone without the proper credentials or gear is in an unsafe zone, so both the worker and supervisor are made aware of the danger and get out of a potentially harmful situation. It’s critical that we’re aware of these risks, as the construction industry has more electric-related fatalities than any other.
Other risk factors in construction projects include unexpected occurrences such as natural disasters.
All construction projects come with a certain level of risk. Some risks are foreseeable while others are difficult to predict. And when risks turn to reality, it creates a scary environment for workers and will jeopardize the success of a project. It is, therefore, imperative for construction workers to follow proper safety protocols and regulations.
Kwant.ai has a searchable workforce dashboard to keep track of who exactly is on your site, and guaranteeing their safety certifications are up to date. Anyone on site with an expired OSHA, SST, or other required certification will appear in RED and a field leader will be notified.
While it feels next to impossible to completely cut the risk, we can all do our part in managing safety regulations for their workers through careful planning and decisions, minimizing its impact and improving work-force safety in the long run.
Written by Kara Masteller