Publications / 2015 Proceedings of the 32nd ISARC, Oulu, Finland

Magnetic Field Proximity Detection and Alert Technology for Safe Heavy Construction Equipment Operation

Jochen Teizer
Pages 1-9 (2015 Proceedings of the 32nd ISARC, Oulu, Finland, ISBN 978-951-758-597-2, ISSN 2413-5844)

Approximately 17% of the 721 fatalities in the US in 2011 resulted from workers colliding with objects or equipment in the work environment. Construction site conditions often create hazardous proximity situations by requiring workers-on-foot and heavy equipment to be in close proximity. Current safety management, incl. industry safety best practices, to protect construction workers-on-foot have proven inadequate. This article evaluates the reliability and effectiveness of magnetic field sensing and actuation technology that brings final change to this problem. Introduced are the design and characteristics of novel magnetic field proximity detection and alert technology that alerts workers-on-foot from being too close to equipment in real-time. Field-realistic experimental trials highlight successful tests to various possible interaction scenarios. Results indicate that the developed magnetic field proximity detection and alert technology provides reliable and accurate warnings or alerts to equipment operators and workers-on-foot at pre-calibrated distances, and even can slow or shut down the equipment if the hazardous situation remains in effect. Technology and experimental knowledge further suggest workers-on-foot and construction equipment operators can be provided with an additional layer of protection by receiving advanced safety education and training from the analysis of near-miss data that is geo-referenced to the construction site layout.

Keywords: Construction workers-on-foot, hazardous proximity situations, injuries and fatalities, heavy construction equipment, proximity detection and alert technology, magnetic field sensing, construction safe