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Electronic safety device for construction workers.

Authors
Kulkarni-RV; Coonly-EJ
Source
NIOSH 2004 Apr; :1-12
Link
NIOSHTIC No.
20025223
Abstract
This research included the development of two electronic safety devices: (i) Moving Hazards Warning (MHW) device for eliminating 'struck-against' accidents, and (ii) Edge Detector (ED) device for eliminating 'fall' accidents. Ultrasonic sensors powered by small rechargeable batteries, and controlled by microchips were packaged into two prototype safety devices: (i) A moving Hazard Warning (MHW) Device, and (ii) An Edge Detector (ED) Device. Each of the safety devices can be built into the rear side of the tool-belt or waist-belt. The devices will warn the worker via sound and vibration alarm whenever he/she is closer than a safe distance from the approaching equipment or the edge of the roof/open-sided floors, respectively. A device using radio frequency (RF) sensor was also tested. In all U.S. private industry, 119,250 (4.2% of the total) injuries occurred due to the workers 'caught-in / between-equipment', in 1996. In the same year, 6,112 work-related fatalities occurred. Of these 6112 fatalities, 236 fatalities occurred due to falls, and 429 were caused due to workers caught-in / between equipment. This research developed electronic device prototypes to eliminate these two accident types. In a preliminary survey of workers, 93% of them said that they find the devices useful and will use them. Assuming a 50% utilization of the developed products, the anticipated savings are estimated to be $500 million per year in construction industry alone. The utilization of these products by all private industry, which will happen with time, will save a total of $2.0 billion annually. During field tests in high winds the prototype devices did not give expected and reliable results. A similar but lesser effect was seen while equipment noise was present. More research is required to overcome these environmental problems.
Keywords
Construction; Construction-workers; Safety-equipment; Equipment-design; Ultrasonics; Roofers; Floors; Occupational-accidents; Warning-devices; Construction-equipment; Control-technology; Personal-protective-equipment
Contact
ViTech Systems Inc., 126 Viscount Drive, Williamsville, NY 14221
Publication Date
20040429
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Funding Amount
550761
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2004
NTIS Accession No.
PB2014-106372
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R44-OH-003497
NIOSH Division
OEP
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
NY
Performing Organization
ViTech Systems Inc., Williamsville, NY 14221
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