Developing Innovative Functional Clothing that Supports the Safety and Productivity of Construction Workers: A Feasibility Study
Construction is generally considered a blue-collar, hands-on industry, and the attire of those working on construction sites mostly consists of jeans, T-shirt, and steel-toe boots. Although specific jobs such as welding may require the use of personal protective equipment and specially designed clothing to protect their eyes and bodies, workers usually wear their own clothing with no consideration of job functionality. Most of the clothing products currently available offer no real benefits to the worker. To cope with excessive physical demands in construction, workers often use nonprescribed medical supplies and equipment such as braces, splints, and supports to deal with work-related illnesses and injuries. However, contemporary clothing functions and features, used in conjunction with nonmedical supports, can improve the safety and productivity of construction workers. This study investigated a range of carpenter activities to identify the body parts affected and the consequential injuries typically suffered. A functional clothing prototype to mitigate the physical burden of a worker is then suggested, which it is hoped will establish momentum for the introduction of an interdisciplinary approach integrating construction, fashion, medicine, and biomechanics. The introduction of functional clothing for the construction industry that takes into account job functionality is long overdue.
Attitudes and Behaviors of Union Construction Workers and Personal Fall Arrest Systems
There are several bodies of literature that focus on safety habits of construction workers and fall-arrest systems. A constant evolution in the field of construction shows new systems being put in place with a focus on innovation of safety equipment design and usability. However, companies still have seen resistance with trade contractors in the field when it comes to using equipment effectively. The complexity of the issue has been addressed many times by safety workers, but little information available today has come from the worker’s perspective. A critical part of knowing the “whys” of the problem may contribute to reducing worker-related accidents and improving safety standards. With this in mind, there is a clear benefit from understanding the viewpoints and attitudes of the workers using fall-arrest equipment. In the body of research available today, safety issues have become a popular area of study in construction. Despite improvements over the last several years, the attitudes and opinions of workers need better understanding. This study intends to shed light on the perspective of union ironworkers on personal fall-arrest systems being used in the field today.
How 4D Visualization and Simulation Enhances Work Zone Safety and Traffic Mobility
There are multiple impacts on road users and construction workers due to highway construction activities that vary with time and location. A four-dimensional (4D) visualization of construction work zones has the potential to identify the most significant impacts on the users and construction workers. In addition, it also aides the project planners with a better understanding of work zone impacts and effectiveness. This research demonstrates an application of work zone visualization to support intermittent, dynamic work zone deployment on a state highway project in the United States. Initial reviews of the 4D visualization demonstrate essential analytics and spatial transformations of the project with respect to time and location, which would help in analyzing the diverse situations and possible impacts of work zone configurations with relative simplicity.