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Technological advancements may protect construction workers (P.2)

In our last post, we started a discussion about new technologies that are paving the way for increased construction zone safety. These technologies take a new and exciting approach to keeping our construction workers safe.

If we were to think about the typical safety measures we see at a construction zone, we might think about safety cones, signs, and barricades. The way a construction company keeps their road workers safe is regulated by the Federal Highway Administration. They require that companies comply with the regulations outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Each state may also have additional rules. Having a federal standard means that construction zones across the country will have similar safety measures which will be familiar to all in-state and out-of-state drivers.

One piece of equipment that can be very helpful in keeping workers safe is a concrete barrier. It can keep vehicles out of the work zone. An advancement on that idea is called a longitudinal channeling device. It works just like a concrete barrier but is portable and lighter. This barrier can be set up and filled with water in order to keep cars from entering the work zone.

Finally, one of the most basic requirements for construction workers has to do with safety vests. Safety vests have three classifications depending on the type of work zone the individual is working in. If traffic in the area is flowing above 50mph, crews are required to wear Class 3 vests. Class 2 vests are for areas with traffic under 50mph and Class 1 vests are for areas of traffic with speeds below 25mph and where work is being done a safe distance away from the road.

Companies have taken on the task of making advancements to these vests to make them more appealing to wear. One vest offers short-range communication and GPS tracking. The short-range communication could one day be used to alert drivers and workers if danger is detected. Another type of vest has sensors that check a worker’s heart rate and body temperature. The vest will alert users if there are any irregularities detected.

These are just some of the advancements that can keep our construction workers safe. It is up to the construction companies to seek out these technologies and follow safety requirements in order to keep their workers safe.

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