written by
Salus Safety

The Global View of Construction Safety Software Adoption

9 min read

When it comes to adopting the latest and greatest in safety software, it helps to look globally to see what solutions one’s neighbors have come up with. For example, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia all rank among countries pioneering some of the newest safety technologies in regular use. Other countries should look to them to learn how to enhance worker safety through technological innovation. Using construction safety software allows companies to decrease injuries while increasing compliance and profitability.

Severe injuries occur 20% more often in construction than in any other industry. Lost productivity costs businesses time, money, and life—for example, over a fifth of occupational fatalities occur in construction. As construction projects have become far larger and more technical, the twenty-first century calls for new safety methods. Safety technology is transitioning from a competitive advantage to a practical necessity, and investment dollars are flowing into the development of new construction software accordingly.

This infusion of data is drastically modernizing how construction work occurs. For example, construction safety software eliminates large volumes of costly paperwork, while increasing data accuracy. This makes work easier for employees, while ramping up profitability. And that’s in addition to the main function of protecting workers!

Construction technology also handles audits, multi-site collaboration, and training. Safety software efficiently distributes data to where it can assist most in preventing incidents. Onsite video aids in monitoring the building, the weather, and the people, to protect assets and decrease liability.

Globally, construction companies are developing approaches to safety that go above and beyond, artificially extending workers’ senses, behaviors, and even thinking. This data-driven take influences everyone, from the office to the field.

The Future Is Here For Safety Technology

Soon, even more futuristic technology will contribute to construction safety. For example, workers might wear exoskeletons to increase body support in lifting and other activities. Similarly, artificial intelligence enhances the mind: smart goggles can detect hazards before they become problems.

Advances in 3D modeling also contribute to construction safety by giving stakeholders a comprehensive view of worksites, including safety hazards. This allows for smarter planning of scaffolding and access routes.

Companies can take advantage of cloud technology’s reliability and depth to collaborate make more profitable estimates. The entire organization can communicate in a responsive system that increases accountability, including for job assessments that affect the safety culture.

With digitally-faithful data on accidents, employers can automatically call emergency responders to the scene, keep other workers out of unsafe areas, and document exactly where and when issues happen. Then it becomes far more straightforward to respond to any claims, and to make practices safer in the future.

Innovations Help Drive Canada’s Construction Safety Culture

Around one and a half million Canadians work in the construction industry. This produces $141 billion per year, amounting to nearly a tenth of the country’s total economy! In addition to the financial contribution, construction powers the nation’s physical infrastructure, from safe drinking water to residences and commercial establishments.

Innovations in software and hardware drive the Canadian construction industry and contribute to its health and safety. A generational shift is occurring in Canada, with individuals joining the workforce with high technological expectations. Construction firms are quickly adopting drones, smart wearables, and digital project delivery methods.

Digital tools make construction work faster while minimizing sales costs. Tools like predictive analytics can find probable safety issues early enough to take evasive action. Building information modeling (BIM) now makes for a cornerstone technology in construction, which can enhance safety by allowing designers to remove hazards before tragedies unfold.

Autonomous machinery and ubiquitous sensors revolutionize construction business processes by making the entire site smart. Security and collaboration technology have already become key aspects of construction work. The Canadian centering of a construction safety culture has led to the wholesale welcoming of the gamut of safety technologies into the industry.

Use of Safety Software in New Zealand's Construction Industry

New Zealand’s construction industry also makes increasing use of safety software, along with other technological advances. These digital tools can improve construction site safety while contributing to a resurgence in the industry’s productivity.

Construction contributes more than $15 billion NZD to the country’s economic productivity. This industry employs 170 thousand people, with consistent increases over recent years. Of these, approximately three thousand New Zealand construction workers suffer injuries each year, with several deaths. Considering the economic importance of the industry, it’s been quick to adopt a wide range of technological innovations.

To address these issues, companies are building “connected” construction sites replete with technology. This allows managers to oversee the entire project more easily and accurately. Sensors, IoT devices, and a cloud platform combine to keep tabs on even minute details of the work and environmental conditions.

For example, New Zealander construction businesses use drones to produce maps and photographs of job sites. Wearable devices to illuminate hazardous areas, block out extreme noise levels, and monitor workers’ vital signs and other health data with IoT devices are also in widespread use.

Another technology adopted readily by the New Zealand industry is geofencing, in which an organization establishes an electronic worksite perimeter that produces alerts whenever a person or object leaves or goes into the area. This can prevent thefts and other losses, as well as accidents.

New Zealand’s construction industry also makes ready use of include digital land models now. With real-time 3D data on the construction, as well as face and object recognition software, it’s easy to simplify a number of dangerous processes. Safety managers can instantly detect workers at risk of injury, alerting the employees through personal equipment.

For example, workers wear smart bands around their wrists to measure alertness levels. Each worker can look at the data easily, to determine when work has become unsafe. Heavy machinery also contains sensors to detect when operators have become tired. Safety technology can now identify people or objects in the path of machines, too.

In the future, “smart boots” may even be employed to notice workers who fall, as well as toxic substances or other hazards. Automated robots, 3D printing, and other additional innovations will dramatically decrease costs while boosting construction safety.

The combination of these various construction safety technologies offers unprecedented information and control at the worksite. This upgrades efficiency, satisfying not only the construction company itself and employees, but also clients. The digitization of the industry has advantages all around!

Using Technology for Construction Safety in Australia

Similarly to New Zealand and Canada, Australia has readily embraced technology for construction safety. The Australian construction industry pours hundreds of billions of dollars into the country’s economy every year, and employs over a million Australians.

Considering the infrastructural demands of such a large country (the world’s sixth largest by landmass and twenty-fifth largest economy), the regional power needs to stay at the cutting edge of construction technological advancement. The Australian government has gone so far as to designate the construction industry as one requiring special attention, due to its high incident rate. Workers deal with large and dangerous machines, toxic fumes, and loud noises, among other risks. Australia also suffers from some of the most serious asbestos problems on the planet.

Australian construction firms now work to find safety issues then apply fixes, often using recent inventions to achieve their goals without as much paperwork. Construction workers and even to some extent employers take some risk as part of the business, but a safety culture with practical tools can make for healthier outcomes.

For example, Australia employs exoskeletons similar to those used in New Zealand to asses worker condition and prevent overexertion injuries. These devices add support to the worker’s body as well as assess their vital conditions. Other wearable machinery like smart goggles, smart vests, and smart hard hats are also in ready use to integrate human and machine intelligence as much as possible.

Sensors are also deployed to detect hazardous substances and steer workers out of harm’s way. These sensors complement other ambient data feeds that offer an unparalleled glimpse at construction site safety.

Some construction equipment now includes similar software and sensors to find and disarm potential machinery hazards. As an example, a machine may sense that it has excessive swaying motion, then automatically compensate by adjusting its speed and other controls. The intelligent software can work through a cloud server to deliver more processing power.

The use of virtual reality (VR) programs to train workers on machine operation and emergency procedures integrates technology into every part of the industry, from training to out in the field. Using technology in every aspect of your operations like Australia does can reduce the physical and economic impacts of accidents and cultivate a more robust safety culture.

Construction In The U.S. Can Also Benefit From Digital Safety Tools

American firms can and should take advantage of safety technologies the same way construction companies globally do. These new approaches can tackle age-old safety concerns. And they aren’t all such futuristic models! Some of these digital tools, like IoT devices, are probably ones that workers already use for other purposes.

As the experiences of Canada, New Zealand, and Australia show, construction firms stand to gain in safety and profitability by using digital technologies to cultivate a comprehensive safety culture. Instead of unreliable manual methods that put workers at risk, modern techniques place safety center stage. American businesses should incorporate wearables, localization, and sensors, among other productivity boosters to keep the site moving as efficiently as possible. Having the right information at the right time can prevent a serious injury or even a death.

On a less mortal scale, digitizing paperwork and permits makes the administrative process seamless and transparent. This bolsters your company’s accountability, alongside physical safety measures. Combining certificates, signatures, qualifications, and other documentation into one centralized hub keeps all that information at everyone’s fingertips.

U.S. firms should employ digital administrative and training materials as well. These spread valuable knowledge, which can assist new employees, or experienced employees in need of a refresher course as technology advances. Predictive analytics identify precisely which training each worker needs.

The increasingly widespread use of construction safety technology makes these tools easier to deploy, and more capable. Soon they will become a norm. And as construction businesses and technology providers experiment, the tools will only become more and more functional!

When shopping for a new construction safety tool to power your team, consider Salus. Salus’s safety app helps you convert all your construction documentation to the digital age. With real-time global information sharing thanks to its cloud technology, everyone can stay abreast of the latest site data and changes in real time. The centralized information hub makes it simple to respond to customers or auditors as well, and automated maintenance alerts make staying on top of safety checks a breeze!

Integrating technology into your construction safety plans is vital in the modern era. Salus is there to help you get started! To find out more about what Salus can do for you, reach out and book a demo today.