Digital monitoring and the path to safer sites

Site safety is the top priority for construction companies, but time and resource intensive monitoring processes are a significant burden when pressures already weigh heavily on operations and margins. Digital monitoring technology could be crucial to upholding the necessary safety standards, while navigating through difficult market conditions that are unlikely to improve anytime soon.

As data reveals that fatal accidents in UK construction have risen by nearly 10% in the five years up to summer 2022, it’s clear that the industry needs to think smarter if it’s going to become safer for its workforce. With resources and team members already spread thin on the ground, site managers are unlikely to be able to overhaul their operations to wrap their worksites in cotton wool. Digital automated monitoring allows site managers to keep a closer eye on their sites and take proactive measures to eliminate hazards posed by structures on or around the area.

Automated and always on

Offering continuous, independent monitoring of key assets, integrated monitoring systems can transform the expensive and time-consuming process of deformation monitoring. By eliminating the need for repeated manual survey work, digital solutions can free up time, resources and team members, allowing them to be invested in other areas of site safety. Advances in survey technology also allow the smallest deviations or changes in stability to be flagged and addressed as soon as possible, meaning site managers can be proactive in eliminating risks before they pose a wider threat to the project or teams on site.

is Topcon’s integrated monitoring system. Using cutting-edge survey technology, cloud connectivity and proactive alarm systems, Delta gathers all the data from surrounding structures and shows stakeholders exactly what they need to know about the impact of their projects.

Topcon’s Delta solution allows for automated monitoring of target locations at user defined intervals over any 24-hour period. This can be undertaken using either the MS Total Station, GNSS receivers or a combination of the two. The cutting-edge  II Total Station gathers data from points of interest, which is then processed and visualised in the Delta Watch platform, with the Delta Link box linking the two ends of the system. Any change in the monitored positions (prism, retro target or reflectorless) is calculated by the software and if it is outside of the parameters set by the user, will send an email or text alert, allowing for prompt investigation. This can significantly improve site safety because it makes continuous and precise monitoring an option for more projects, raising safety standards across the board.

Knowledge is power

Integrated monitoring systems allow site managers to immediately extract actionable insights from the data they’re gathering. It shouldn’t take a data scientist to understand the practical implications a specific change in a monitored asset has for site safety and that of the local community. Being able to measure more parameters to greater accuracy is only an advantage if the learnings are clear and can be quickly implemented. Remote control functionality also allows site managers to take measurements as and when they need to obtain results that can immediately be used to guide decisions made on site.

Improving site safety is crucial to the future of the construction and the health of the people that keep it running. Digital solutions can be a powerful tool for site managers who already have a lot on their plate, and automated deformation monitoring puts real-time information about the health of structures on and around job sites directly into their hands.

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