Wearable Technology & Worker Safety in Industrial Demolition

construction-workersThe future is now in the world of industrial demolition. New wearable technologies are being employed by Oregon demolition contractors to ensure worker safety. These technologies are exciting developments that are helping create a safer environment. They are especially useful during the often dangerous processes of scrap metal recycling and concrete removal and recycling.

In this article, we will explore some of the wearable technologies being used by commercial demolition contractors. 

4 Wearable Technologies Used in Commercial & Industrial Demolition

Wearable technologies can come in a variety of options, from smart glasses and watches to adaptive clothing and sensors. Wearables are designed to monitor and protect the worker, alerting them to potential hazards in the workplace. Their sensors collect data that is then sent to both the worker and the supervisor. 

These devices can read the worker’s surroundings and send a report to the project manager, allowing for a fast response should an accident happen. They can measure the height and speed of a fall, notify workers of a hazard, monitor vital signs like body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate, and signal safety personnel of site accidents. 

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples. 

1. Smart Glasses

Smart glasses are computerized glasses that augment what the worker sees with an overlay. Google Glass is one example. Microsoft and other companies are also developing their own versions specifically for the demolition and construction industry.  

Smart glasses can be used to train new workers, as well as be used for communication and connecting project managers and workers in real-time. They can also help reduce mistakes but augmenting a worker’s precision through the overlay. 

Smart glasses may not be a need-to-buy piece of technology yet, but give them a few years and they may just become as necessary as a helmet for workers on a construction site. 

2. Smart Helmets 

Smart Helmets combine the safety structure of a hard hat with the cutting edge technology of smart glasses to create a tool packed full of features designed to boost efficiency and enhance safety. 

Unlike regular smart devices, smart helmets are designed with the dusty demolition site in mind. They are reinforced and built with strength and construction superior to consumer-grade technologies and equipped with forward- and rear-facing cameras capable of sensing depth. When it comes to concrete demolition and recycling, proximity safety is key. They can send out an audible and/or a visual alarm if a dangerous object or area is detected nearby. 

Some smart helmets can augment your existing cadre of helmets, like the optional headbands from Daqri, which can monitor a worker’s heart rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen saturation, and brain activity. Vital statistics are monitored and tracked in real-time and can provide early warnings to potentially dangerous conditions and locations, or identify when a worker is too fatigued to complete their task. 

3. Smart Clothes

An example of a piece of smart clothing is a heated vest that has battery packs to keep it warm through a full workday. This can help workers stay comfortable even in freezing temperatures. For the opposite condition, cooling jackets that pump fluid through a vest or have built-in fans can be used to mitigate heat fatigue. Some smart clothing is made with illuminated textiles and can provide additional lighting.

Smart clothing is especially helpful for construction and demolition companies that operate in extreme climates.

4. Personal Sensors

Personal sensors are often no bigger than a wallet and can be attached nearly anywhere, from a work belt to a helmet. Sensors gather a huge volume of data using GPS and timestamps to track worker movements.

They can alert you to worker fatigue and to slips and falls. You can even set them up to inform workers when they enter a restricted or unsafe zone. For example, during a project requiring asset recovery and scrap metal recycling, a personal sensor can alert a worker when hazardous materials are present, or that an area is unsafe to enter. When salvaging steel, scrap metal, or concrete, it is vital that safety takes precedence, as demolition worksites can often contain hazardous materials. 

Personal sensors tend to be inexpensive and provide insight that many project managers are finding extremely useful. This makes them a good investment for any company willing to do the analysis required to take advantage of the data.

Should Industrial Demolition Companies Invest in Wearable Technologies?

Wearable technologies can be a great investment for a commercial demolition company. They can boost efficiency by allowing you to collect important data about worker habits and the utilization of resources. This can help you save time and money by reducing inefficiencies in the workflow or creating a more worker-friendly job site.

These innovations can be the first line of defense against workplace injury.  

Oregon’s Leader in Commercial Demolition Safety & Education

Elder Demolition leads the industrial demolition industry with our world-class safety culture and educational programs

With these practices in hand, Elder Demolition provides expert industrial demolition services to Portland, Oregon. We specialize in hazardous material handling and removal, including asbestos cleanup. We always make sure that we are doing our part to minimize dust and air pollution – as well as maximize recycling efforts in order to divert waste from landfills. 

Contact us today to learn more about how our demolition services can help you in completing your project. 

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