Technology is increasingly present in work zones – for both the public and workers themselves. One example is the emergence of smart work zones, where sensors and other devices communicate with each other to provide more accurate and timely data for traffic management. Overhead message boards communicate with drivers about accidents or delays ahead. Portable rumble strips are also used to alert drivers of the need to pay attention because a work zone is on the horizon.
Workers in work zones also use numerous forms of technology in order to stay safe around drivers and enormously powerful equipment. Automatic flaggers, mobile barriers and radar-based alarm systems are proving helpful in work zones. There is a trend of putting cameras at various locations on equipment, like pavers, which helps operators see workers from all angles. Unquestionably, technology is critical to the continuing function and improvement of safety in work zones.
There are numerous different types of technologies that help improve safety in work zones. Let’s take a look at some of them!
Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a technology used in almost every work zone. In order to operate, GPS technologies utilize a global navigation satellite system. This allows GPS to provide location and velocity information of just about anything.
The most basic use of GPS tracking is to keep track of where your vehicles and equipment are on a map. This enables you to see which vehicle is in motion and towards which direction. With GPS tracking technology, you can monitor vehicle speed, routes, engine start up and shut down, idling and routes. On construction sites, this helps ensure that workers like subcontractors are accurately paid based on their performance and hours worked. Furthermore, on large construction sites, knowing where all vehicles and equipment are located can streamline efficiency and limit frustration. Construction sites have the potential to get chaotic and disjointed – GPS devices help keep things more organized and more importantly – safe!
Furthermore, high-risk areas of construction sites, like power lines, can be accounted for with GPS tracking. Many GPS systems offer the ability to place geo-fences around such areas to serve as a warning for workers to proceed with extra caution. Workers equipped with GPS technology will receive an alert from the system when they’re about to enter these high-risk zones, ensuring they are taking extra precautions.
There are many more technologies that help in work zones. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog which will go into detail on what these are and the benefits they can provide!
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