Construction site sensors score win for risk awareness
In risk management, important lessons often come from incidents caught before they cause injury or property damage. Such was the case with a complex construction project inside a major sports stadium.
Broadmoor, L.L.C., a subsidiary of heavy civil contractor Boh Bros. Construction Co., L.L.C., was contracted to demolish sections in a vast space inside the existing stadium structure to prepare for further renovation. The first phase of the project was to remove ramps to make room for new elevators and other conveyances. Interested in monitoring air quality and moisture during the project, the contractor partnered with AXA XL and Pillar Technologies to deploy specialized sensors that acted as “digital eyes and ears” on the site.
Pillar, a digital construction technology company, administers customizable sensors that monitor conditions on jobsites, including temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide, noise and particulates. In the stadium renovation, Pillar placed more than 50 networked devices to send alerts to designated individuals on the contractor’s construction management team. The work took place across eight stories, each comprising up to five work zones. Pillar installed sensors on every level, with each device capable of monitoring approximately a 3,000-square-foot area.
One day, a sensor instantly alerted the contractor after detecting an elevated temperature in a work zone. Quickly identifying the location, the construction management team went to investigate. They discovered a diesel excavator working in a tight space was heating up the air. The team also learned the activity was emitting a high level of carbon monoxide. It is not uncommon or necessarily dangerous for machinery to work indoors but the incident showed that every construction is unique, with its own set of variables. When those variables change, risks can arise. That’s when the sensor technology is particularly helpful, to keep track of changing conditions before they create safety issues.
In addition to helping the contractor enhance its risk management and safety, the sensor also ensured a safe outcome on a high-profile project.