There are many challenges in the construction industry. Over 80% of construction managers suggested that more progress should be made for the sake of improving construction safety. (HSE statistics)
Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, and smart wearable devices are being adopted in the construction industry to improve their health and safety, productivity, and site management.
Aiming to mitigate the safety concern of construction workers, increase return on investment (ROI), and improve productivity on-site, here are four tips for the integration of AI with construction to adopt a safety management system on site.
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1. AI reduces the accident rate
A startling case in Israel 2019, over 50% of Israel's fatalities are from the construction industry, approximately one in 7,500 construction workers. (Davar)
Over 60% of the causes of accidents worldwide are from falls from height, hurt by falling objects, electrocution, and being caught in an object.
The application of AI will lower instances of catastrophic events on sites. To monitor the construction workers’ safety, hazard detection is done by AI with the use of cameras and cloud platforms. From the materials to the vehicle workers, computer vision is used to supervise the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as missing helmets at height, and potential risk of entering danger zones of workers in real-time. Also, the manager can receive the alert and automated generated email instantly if unsafe PPE or potential danger are being detected.
With the use of artificial intelligence in construction, the potential accidents caused by falling from height and being caught in or in between an object will be reduced by 80%. A strong example is a Fortune 150 energy company that reduced its injury rate by 67 percent within 18 months. (EHS Today)
The second response of AI instead of the minutes' response of humans is used to take action before accidents happen, an alert will instantly give out once improper equipment or people entering danger zones are being detected by the use of computer vision.
2. AI will become more predictive in the future
With predictive data analytics from modern technology such as AI, Building Information Modeling (BIM), safety loopholes on construction sites can be prevented by generating massive amounts of data and giving out analysis to provide valuable insight.
For instance, to generate a more efficient plan, design, and manage buildings and infrastructure, BIM, which is an intelligent 3D model-based process, gives Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools.
Similar advanced and predictive analytics software systems have been deployed across safety functions with dramatic results. In the case of using over 4 years of real-world safety data, workplace injuries can be predicted with accuracy rates as high as 97 percent. A representative example is one of the top 20 construction companies that achieved significant safety improvements with the use of data analytics, resulting in over 90 percent of worksites experiencing no lost-time incidents. (EHS Today)
Predictive analysis from modern technology allows site managers and workers to identify mechanical points of failure and prevent them from happening. This greatly reduces the likelihood of workers being hurt due to malfunctioning or under-serviced equipment.
3. AI help simplifies construction works
The construction industry lost approximately 2 million workers when the Great Recession of 2008-09 took place. Many of those workers haven’t returned to the construction industry and there is a lack of new talents. As a result, over 80% of construction firms are having trouble hiring craft workers. (Associated General Contractors of America)
Besides, among the existing workforce, about 32% of construction laborers were between 45-64 years old in 2018. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Another obstacle is the lack of trained and skilled employees, resulting in a significant impact on productivity levels.
With Artificial Intelligence, worker productivity can be improved as the amount of time wasted moving about the construction site to retrieve tools, materials, and equipment to perform certain tasks are being reduced.
Using smart technologies can reduce costs and speed up project schedules plus prevent delay, also material resources can be tracked, producing less waste and minimizing the use. Moreover, the use of Artificial intelligence can reduce the use of humans and free up labor for other more challenging tasks.
4. Artificial intelligence (AI) analyze more data than human
Technically, deep-learning algorithms are used to identify and report errors in work performed on-site, listing from the excavation to site work like the mechanical, electrical, and monitoring systems. AI can recognize the building component, and danger zones based on the shape, area, and location even with limited sources. Lately, more construction hardware has been connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), which IoT is embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet.
Compared to humans, Artificial intelligence can analyze more data and images within seconds.
Apart from deep-learning algorithms, robots and AI are also being used. Autonomous drones and rovers are equipped with high-definition cameras and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to photograph and scan the construction site each day with high accuracy. With the data obtained, comparison against BIM models, construction schedule, and final estimations can be made by AI. Therefore, the quality and the process of the work performed can be measured each day.
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