By {{Article.AuthorName}} | {{Article.PublicationDate.slice(6, -2) | date:'EEEE, MMMM d, y'}}
Emily Beecher  
Director of Business Development 
Baxter Group, Inc.
Chambersburg, Penn. 

If money were no object, I would purchase wearable smart sensors for all of our crew members who are out on the jobsite. These smart sensors can be put on workers’ boots, wristwatches, hardhats and other safety gear such as rooftop harnesses, and they allow foremen to better track workers on the jobsite. 

The hardhat sensor can tell a foreman if there has been an impact on the hat. The harness sensors can alert foremen of sudden drops, and the boot sensors are good for monitoring how long workers have been on their feet. The wristwatch sensors can detect workers’ body temperatures to ensure they are not overheating. This would be especially important in our industry because of workers always having to wear their Tyvek suits during hazardous materials remediation. 

These sensors would be the perfect tool to track health and safety issues that might otherwise go unmentioned and unnoticed. These recorded near-miss incidents could be used as learning tools to better protect employees on the jobsite. 

Evan Ragan  
Project Manager 
Helix Electric, Inc.
Oakland, Calif. 

Augmented reality instantly comes to mind. Though expensive and in its early stages, augmented reality combines what is real and what has been computer generated by bringing it to virtual reality. 

Augmented reality could allow stakeholders to visualize BIM in real time using a headset or other mobile device. BIM modelers could experience their design in real time before their models are used in the field. 

Onsite staff would be able to visualize the BIM models in real time while construction is under way and relay conflicts back to management. 

This information then could be reviewed and sent back to the field with revised BIM models for the employee to view. 
Additionally, augmented reality could be used for design, quality control, inspections and prefabrication. 

In construction, prefabrication work has become the norm. Fabricators working in the shop could virtually see the product they are fabricating before it is built. 

Brandon Mabile  
Texas Region Business Development Manager 
Performance Contractors, Inc.

Virtual reality has the potential to be a game changer with products like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive starting to emerge. The ability to walk a project down in a virtual environment before you even start to construct it could provide enormous cost savings in constructability, workface planning, crane placement, facilities and laydown placement—not to mention the preventative effect it could have on scope changes by visually identifying when a design will not work due to spatial limitations of a jobsite. 

This technology also could make training craft workers much safer and more efficient. The ability to virtually train workers is already starting to emerge with Lincoln Electric’s VRTEX arc welding simulator and the National Association of Crane Bureau’s crane simulators. This technology will become more useful to our workforce development efforts in terms of putting craft trainees in more realistic work environments while maintaining the safe and controlled benefits of a classroom or lab setting.

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