Developing a system for health and safety enhancement and automation in construction sites
Sharqi, Rula Ihsan Ali
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The construction industry forms an important element within the economic activities and is known to be challenging and dangerous. Erroneously construction site accidents were accepted as unavoidable. The existing work health and safety protocols goals were not to cut risk but to provide risk assessment by understanding the types of risks associated with various activities and setting out rules and procedures to manage them and cut their impact. This study attempts a proactive approach to construction site health and safety by anticipating the hazards associated with a planned daily work activity and providing on site the relevant training and safety instructions. This was achieved by integrating the project’s digital design with site images processing and analysis. Digital image processing applies signal processing algorithms to images and videos resulting in extracting useful information from them. An essential and critical issue in the field of computer vision is the object’s recognition methods which should be capable of finding the partial occlusion of objects. Knowledge management systems archive and locate the required information and make it available to the relevant destination quickly and efficiently. It can also provide access to information in other construction sites and to the design team. This management system helps to save the gained experience and make it available to the project or other similar projects. The Building Information System was introduced as a system in which the objectives of this study can be incorporated leaving the door open to incorporate other project management activities. The possible solutions for the identified health and safety business problem were analysed in order to arrive at the best solution suitable to the objectives of the study. The end users ‘needs obtained from the distributed questionnaire and the project’s functional requirements were considered in order to create a model that will achieve their goals in an efficient manner. An activity diagram and a user case diagram based on the UML language were generated. Based on them a computerized model (CONSTRUCTION AUTOMATA) was developed to identify risks associated with specific work activities and provide the relevant safety instructions and training to mitigate them. The model automatically produces safety reports to record and serve as a knowledge management base for future reference thus eliminating possible human errors. The computer program was tested with available site images from an existing project and it proved to deliver its outputs according to its design. The developed model was then demonstrated to a selected group of relevant professionals and was seen to score well with ease of use mark of (6.17) and effectiveness as a health and safety tool mark of (6.37) out of a total mark of (10).