Safety is about preventing immediate hazards on the jobsite, but there are other more insidious hazards that cause injuries only after a long period of time. So it’s important to pay attention to body positioning from many different angles, whether it’s proximity to a hazard or unsafe ergonomics. After all, work-related muscular-skeletal disorders (MSDs) — which can be caused by repetitive movement, improper lifting technique or awkward body positions — are one of the leading causes of lost work time. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that MSD accounts for 33% of all worker injury cases.
So, we thought Vinnie should be trained to identify risks related to body positioning, and the new tags fall into one of three categories:
- Chronic Improper Body Positioning (Chronic IBP): This tag focuses on worker ergonomics and identifies when work is being done in poor body positions. Specifically, Vinnie detects when workers are bending without using their knees, performing tasks on their knees, and working overhead. As noted above, these tags identify risks that aren’t an immediate danger, but cause serious harm over time.
- Acute Improper Body Positioning (Acute IBP): This tag is the counterpart to Chronic IBP, as it identifies workers in directly hazardous positions. Vinnie detects when workers are leaning over edges or railings, placing their feet improperly on equipment or using equipment dangerously.
- MEPI (Machine Equipment Personnel Interface) Issue: When Vinnie applies this tag, a person in the image is located close enough to a piece of equipment to be struck, either as the vehicle moves or rotates. Examples include people within the swing radius of an excavator, under a boom lift or in the path of moving vehicles.
Heavy Equipment Hazards
Worker positioning goes hand-in-hand with understanding what kind of equipment is present on the job site at any given construction activity. An abundance of heavy equipment in the midst of activities where they are not required or in areas with a lot of foot traffic could present significant risks. Safety managers should be aware of them and take remediative action, if needed.
These causes of incidents are categorized under the definition of MEPI where Vinnie can identify when a person is in the vicinity of moving equipment. Currently, Vinnie is capable of detecting the presence of the following equipment types on site:
- Box Truck
- Concrete Mixer
- Concrete Pump
- Front end Loader
- Mobile Crane
- Pickup Truck
With this additional data on heavy equipment, safety personnel can gain an even better understanding of the full scope of risk at each jobsite and can prevent more recordable incidents within the “Fatal Four,” specifically as they relate to “caught-in-between” hazards.
With these new capabilities, Vinnie gives construction organizations a more nuanced view of the safety context. For example, Newmetrix doesn’t just identify potential fall hazards such as a faulty ladder or an unprotected hole. We can now also look at worker behavior, so construction companies can understand how well workers are protecting themselves.
Additionally, with our ability to detect chronic IBP, safety personnel can identify areas where the organization needs to place specific emphasis for education and intervention to change behaviors. Not only will this prevent workers from suffering from chronic knee, back and joint problems later in life, but it will also reduce the amount of time workers cannot work due to injury and save money on workers’ comp and insurance premiums.
Learn how predictive-based safety is helping prevent incidents and can influence your insurance rates. Read it here!