In an industry where the well-being of workers and the successful completion of projects are paramount, technology like machine visioning software paired with automated control takes center stage to change how we work on a job site. The following three recent innovations have significantly improved safety standards for contractors across the United States.
1. John Deere’s SmartDetect™ Obstacle Avoidance Technology: Navigate Hazards and Improve Safety
Imagine giving operators X-ray vision to see through the engine cowlings, cab framing and other visual obstructions. John Deere’s SmartDetect seeks to achieve that through obstacle avoidance technology. The technology relies on advanced sensors and artificial intelligence algorithms to equip heavy machinery with the ability to detect obstacles and potential hazards in real time, significantly reducing the risk of collisions.
Construction sites are dynamic environments with many moving parts, and heavy equipment operators often face challenges maintaining clear visibility of their surroundings. SmartDetect provides operators real-time alerts and visual cues to detect objects in the machine’s path. This technology safeguards the operators and nearby workers and prevents costly damage to equipment and structures to save time and money.
2. RodRadar’s Ground Penetrating Radar Technology: Reveal Subsurface Hazards
Regarding X-ray vision, construction projects often involve extensive excavation and groundwork, which can risk damaging buried utilities or encountering unexpected subsurface obstacles. RodRadar’s Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology emerges as a game-changer. Operators can "see" beneath the surface, detecting the presence of pipelines, cables and other hidden structures without digging one inch of dirt when using RodRadar’s Live Dig Radar (LDR) Excavate™ digging bucket.
GPR technology employs electromagnetic pulses to create a subsurface map of the construction area. This map highlights potential hazards and helps teams create precise excavation plans. Using ground-penetrating radar allows workers to locate underground obstacles before they cause damage, preventing service disruptions, costly repairs, and environmental hazards.
3. Software and Workflow Automation: Streamlining Safety Protocols
While incorporating advanced technologies in construction equipment is crucial, software and workflow automation play a significant role in standardizing processes and protocols, which can help prevent accidents. Modern construction management software enables project managers to allocate resources, set safety parameters and monitor real-time progress. Moreover, workflow automation reduces the need for manual intervention in high-risk tasks, minimizing human error and potential hazards.
Through web-based software innovation, project managers can see equipment of any size or manufacturer working on a job site. Brian Juroff, Senior Vice President of Sales at Topcon Positioning Systems, uses workflow automation to share real-time dashboard reports from the APTIX Integration Platform to ensure projects stay on track while monitoring a machine’s productivity.
In addition, project managers can schedule regular equipment maintenance months in advance with a trusted partner to ensure machines remain in optimal working condition. Web-based project management software can facilitate the scheduling of traditional safety training sessions, ensuring that all workers are well-versed in the latest safety protocols and technology usage.
All these recent technological innovations have added a layer of safety that only multiplies when used in tandem. For example, integrating John Deere’s SmartDetect obstacle avoidance technology with RodRadar’s Ground Penetrating Radar can dramatically enhance safety. By combining the capabilities of these two technologies, construction teams can effectively avoid above-ground and below-ground hazards, minimizing the potential for accidents and project delays. Contractors can now take a comprehensive approach to work confidently and with a better understanding of their working environment, which can help prevent accidents.