Some industries generate all the hype.

Tech is a big one.

Open LinkedIn and you’ll be hit with a wave of “AI-based startups” and groundbreaking advancements in SaaS.

First, a history lesson…

In the late 18th century, the first industrial revolution leveraged steam power and mechanization, propelling industry from old hand-production methods to machine-driven.

The mid-to-late 19th century brought mass production and assembly lines through advances in electrical power and communications networks. The late 20th-century digital revolution, or “3rd revolution,” introduced computing power, automation, and advanced electronics, transforming how businesses operate.

We now find ourselves in the fourth industrial revolution. “Industry 4.0,” where the integration of cyber and physical systems into industrial processes occurs seamlessly.

Industry 4.0 technologies might be orchestrating revolutionary shifts in business practice, but their uptake remains modest in the construction sector which until recently has been lagging behind in terms of embracing new technology for safety beyond hardhats and fall protection.

Amid this landscape, several cutting-edge safety technologies are gaining prominence:

  • Wearables: These are devices seamlessly integrated into clothing or personal protective equipment (PPE), equipped with sensors that capture diverse data, ranging from fatigue levels and body positioning to heart rate and environmental threats.
  • Robotics: Programmable machines are now at the forefront of executing intricate and often perilous tasks, presenting a viable alternative to human involvement in hazardous work.
  • Software and Mobile Apps: Digital platforms are taking centre stage in managing, tracking, and analyzing safety processes, facilitating tasks such as mobile inspections, audits, risk and incident management, and compliance-related functions.
  • Smart Site Sensors: Imagine a construction site where the environment itself is an active participant in ensuring safety. Smart site sensors, equipped with advanced monitoring capabilities, are doing just that. These sensors can detect changes in temperature, air quality, and even structural stability. For instance, in the construction of a high-rise building, sensors embedded in the concrete can provide real-time data on the material’s curing process, ensuring optimal conditions and preventing potential structural issues. The result? A safer site and structures built to last.

Beyond these, a wave of emerging technologies is making waves in the safety domain, encompassing exoskeletons, sensors, detectors, advanced equipment, and virtual/augmented reality devices.

According to a report by the National Safety Council, 53% of surveyed safety professionals have embraced new health and safety software or mobile apps, while 29% have integrated wearable technology into their safety protocols, underscoring a growing adoption trend in the industry.

As the world of workplace safety continues to evolve, construction industry leaders have the change to stand at the forefront of an industry ripe with opportunities, where innovation and safety converge to shape the future of work.

Dogwood’s perspective on safety.

We’re not quite there yet with drones and wearables… but one day we will be. In the meanwhile, we’ve walked the talk on safety since we opened our doors back in 2007. “Safety First” is a mantra most construction firms repeat endlessly. But we operate by it. We always have.

Learn more about our safety program and download our safety manual here:

Additional Resources:

Safety is not just a policy; it’s a way of doing business.

It is the foundation upon which we not only build success, but hopefully a legacy of trust, quality, and excellence.

Stay safe, stay inspired, and let’s continue to construct a future where safety isn’t just a priority – it’s a promise.