Improving Safety in Work Zones by Using Real-Time Tracking of Worker Field of View and Proximity to Hazards
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This research focused on the use of equipment telematics, sensor analytics, and virtual modeling to positively impact construction sites by providing real-time field of view monitoring of the worker-on-foot and by automating safety warnings on the work site. The automation of safety warnings will allow an alert to be delivered to affected personnel so that changes can be made to improve safety relationships between entities on site. The line-of-sight monitoring will allow management teams to eliminate visibility issues and reduce the numbers of fatalities and injuries due to struck-by object incidents. A construction site where human laborers work alongside heavy equipment will be virtually created in the Virtual Robot Experimentation Platform (V-REP) to enable the researchers to experiment with rules-based systems that automatically deliver safety warnings on the basis of proximity and orientation between equipment and workers-on-foot. This virtually simulated experiment will allow the researchers to determine the type of equipment telematics data that need to be collected to implement a similar system in the real world. Because of a lack of access to proprietary data for construction equipment, the real-world implementation of the system to track equipment proximity and worker orientation was demonstrated by using a hardware system that is made up of an Arduino board, Pozyx board, and a GPS board. This research provides a framework to incorporate the use of telematics and sensor data first in virtual environments to determine parameters before their application in the real world for safety applications, to monitor the field of view of workers on site to eliminate hazardous visibility issues, and to allow management teams to plan for hazardous situations. The use of real-time progress tracking systems is also expected to reduce the number of extraneous personnel on construction worksites and to reduce the travel time required to monitor safety and productivity on large construction projects.