Publications / 2016 Proceedings of the 33rd ISARC, Auburn, USA

Use of Ultra-Wideband Sensor Networks to Detect Safety Violations in Real Time

Jason Lucas, Joseph Burgett, Adam Hoover and Mehmet Gungor
Pages 250-257 (2016 Proceedings of the 33rd ISARC, Auburn, USA, ISBN 978-1-5108-2992-3, ISSN 2413-5844)

Safety is the highest priority for most construction professionals. However, enforcing the safety requirements and self-regulation of construction jobsites can be difficult. Often, one safety manager is responsible for multiple jobsites and must split their time appropriately depending on the type of work and size of job. This, coupled with large jobsites, makes consistent monitoring of safe working practices a challenge. This paper summarizes a preliminary study that examines the feasibility of utilizing Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) sensors for continuous monitoring of safety violations on a construction job site by placing UWB sensors on personal protective equipment (PPE) and common jobsite equipment. Laboratory experiments were conducted to test the feasibility of current system capabilities by developing a prototype system utilizing known algorithms for sensor localization with an application of relational parameters to test the systems capability of correctly identifying safe and unsafe working conditions. These preliminary experiments revealed the limitations of the current body of knowledge. This paper discusses the concept of continuous monitoring and the identified benefits that UWB sensor networks may be able to provide for construction safety monitoring. The preliminary prototype development and experiments are also discussed with an explanation of the identified limitations. Lastly, future research steps on how to overcome the identified limitations is discussed.

Keywords: Ultra-Wide Band Sensors, Safety, Construction, Network Sensors, OSHA, fall protection