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NEWSLETTER
Construction Risk Advisor

Construction Risk Advisor

April 2019

 

This month's Construction Risk Advisor newsletter discusses a new technology that makes exoskeletons more accessible and an AI system that can predict accidents.

NEW EXOSKELETON TECHNOLOGY INCREASES ACCESSIBILITY

Although exoskeletons can already help construction employees avoid injuries, they often start at high prices that make them inaccessible for most employers. However, manufacturers have started to introduce new types of exoskeletons that don’t rely on rigid frames or motorized systems, which leads to much lower costs.

Many new exoskeletons abandon a full-body frame and use soft materials to help increase muscle support and reduce stress. For example, some systems can lock in place to help employees rest while crouching or holding heavy tools. And, according to advisory firm ABI Research, these new products will help the market for exoskeletons grow from $68 million in 2014 to $1.8 billion in 2025.

AI SYSTEMS ARE PREDICTING ACCIDENTS BEFORE THEY HAPPEN

Software company Smartvid recently announced the results of a three-year case study to test its artificial intelligence (AI) platform in the construction industry. By the end of the study, Smartvid found that the system correctly predicted 1 in 5 safety incidents with over 80 percent accuracy.

The AI system used a concept called machine learning to improve its ability to identify objects and patterns that humans often fail to notice. During the study, a contracting firm provided Smartvid with 10 years’ worth of photos and project data. Then, this data was fed into the system so it could learn the signs of common risk exposures.

According to Smartvid, its AI system and other predictive analytics platforms can help save construction companies millions of dollars every year, as the average safety incident costs employers over $30,000. The company also announced a partnership with nine other major construction companies to help develop its AI system and reduce hazards across the industry.