Construction H&S Hackathon

Last month, I attended the Health & Safety (H&S) Hackathon event organised by Hack_Construct and The Association for Project Safety, which focuses on improving H&S in the construction industry.

The event covered immersive technologies and included expert knowledge from professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. It was very inspiring to observe all the conversations around the topic and take part in the lively debates. Below are some of the ideas we developed to improve H&S in the industry;

Mesh Sensors NetworkTeam SHEMS worked on the use of sensors around the building site. Employees can wear these sensors or they can be attached to various pieces of equipment on site. Once this has been established then the data from those sensors (Location, Air quality, Dust, Light, Temperature, Noise and Pressure) can be used to determine various hazards, manage the resources on the building site, and notify the site workers/manager about the potential risks on the site.

Virtual Training Simulation for Building Sites – Team Vertigo focused on the issues surrounding being safe on site. Simulating a building site would allow people to see the potential risks around the site and make sure they follow the regulations. Training simulation would encourage people to assess possible risk before taking it and, in conjunction with the project related app, it would allow instructors to amend e.g. weather conditions giving the possibility of creating different scenarios and tasks to be performed. Team Vertigo were awarded ‘Best Technical’ idea.

Anonymous Alert App – This was initially my idea that I developed with the support of Team Vertigo. Workers on site are always the first to notice issues, but they are often the last one to report it. Why? I think people are afraid of confrontation or are in fear of losing their job, diminishing a good relationship with supervisors or colleagues – it is not always easy to report your friends. Let us not forget about multicultural construction sites – do we want to be accused of not being tolerant? My idea developed into the Anonymous Alert App that would allow workers to report dangerous situations on site without anyone being able to track who sent the alert. The Anonymous Alert App was awarded ‘Best Overall’ idea.

H&S has been a big issue in the construction industry for a long time. I believe using immersive technologies enables designers and contractors to easily visualise issues and present the hazards on the construction site before actual work begins. From a personal standpoint, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for technology in the AEC industry.

Natalia is an Architectural Technician in our Sevenoaks office and is currently studying for an MSc in BIM Management at Middlesex University London.


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