With the Coronavirus pandemic, the construction industry is adopting new technologies to make sure workers are protected.Remote monitoring, online inspections and video conferencing are becoming more and more common on construction sites and governmental entities are considering technologies that give them the option to conduct virtual inspections.
Because the cost of labor is cheaper in the US than in Europe, American construction sites have not relayed on technology as much as their European or Australian counterparts. However with many construction sites being deemed essential during the Covid-19 crisis, American contractors are now catching up and integrating new technologies that might become the new norm in the future.
Wearable technology can save life
New applications such as wearable technology allow, for example, for a supervisor to find out at any time how many workers are on the site as well as their location. The technology also includes alerts in case a construction worker trips and falls or sustains an injury. On large construction sites, where it is sometimes difficult to locate every worker, this technology can be a life saver as a worker can self activate an alarm in case of injury. In time of Covid-19 the technology is a good way to make sure workers are respecting social distancing.
Scheduling technology and the implementation of “lean techniques”, can not only prevent overcrowding on a site but also result in better planning and improved productivity by having for example one day 10 construction workers building a wall and the day after 5 painters painting it.
Technologies that allow stakeholders to monitor construction progress remotely instead of physically being present on the site can speed up projects.
Video conferencing has become the new norm for many contractors for on-site status reports, on the fly communication with equipment providers, architects, inspectors, building owners or other parties.
When the pandemic is over, there is a good chance that some of the new technology installed during the crisis to keep construction workers safe might becomes the new norm.
Picture Source: Surrey County Coucnicl on FLIKR