Researchers develop system to help prevent construction accidents and materials falling from buildings

April 30, 2012

( -- Construction management experts at the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering have developed a system that employs remote sensing technology to improve safety on construction sites by using tracking tags to monitor movements in real-time. Knowing the precise location of people, equipment and building materials will reduce accidents and could also help prevent materials from being placed too close to edges where they could fall.

Civil engineering professor Farnaz Sadeghpour and graduate student Reza Maalek developed the new tool, which uses Ultra Wide-Band signals, a type of .

"Most construction accidents happen because of workers clashing with equipment and people or objects falling off edges. Our system will address both," says Sadeghpour, assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering.

While the tool is still under development, researchers plan to enable the system to trigger an alarm when someone gets too close to a certain piece of equipment or when a worker or a piece of gets too close to an edge. The warning could come in the form of an alert on a mobile phone or an urgent announcement on a worksite.

In 2009, a three-year-old girl was killed when a sheet of corrugated steel fell from a Calgary office tower that was under construction. A tracking system would help ensure materials are properly secured and kept a safe distance away from open thresholds. Other advantages include inventory and theft control. Removing an item from a site without authorization, for example, would trigger an alarm.

Ultra Wide-Band technology is becoming less expensive all the time and it could one day be widely used by industry as a cost-effective way to track important and valuable items.

Explore further: Beating the Thieves With Location Tracking Technology

Related Stories

Beating the Thieves With Location Tracking Technology

July 5, 2004

Police aim to 'design out' crime by equipping valuable items with tracking devices that sound an alert or record their movement. They are being helped by electronic engineers at the University of Leeds who are devising a ...

New RFID technology tracks and monitors nuclear materials

March 24, 2009

( -- Radio frequency identification (RFID) devices have widely been used for tracking for years; recently, scientists from U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have developed a unique tracking ...

Lasers Key to Construction, Manufacturing Advances

July 2, 2004

Lasers, already used for everything from price scanning at the supermarket to eye surgery, now are likely to dramatically change the construction, large-scale manufacturing, remote sensing and defense industries. A new National ...

Using wireless sensors to monitor bridge safety

February 23, 2009

University of Texas (UT) professor, Dean Neikirk, will be field-testing a new bridge monitoring system within the year. The project is a collaboration between industry, government, and academia that will provide real-time ...

Wireless nano sensors could save bridges, buildings

April 9, 2010

Could inexpensive wireless sensors based on nanotechnology be used to alert engineers to problematic cracks and damage to buildings, bridges, and other structures before they become critical? A feasibility study published ...

Recommended for you

Microsoft aims at Apple with high-end PCs, 3D software

October 26, 2016

Microsoft launched a new consumer offensive Wednesday, unveiling a high-end computer that challenges the Apple iMac along with an updated Windows operating system that showcases three-dimensional content and "mixed reality."

Making it easier to collaborate on code

October 26, 2016

Git is an open-source system with a polarizing reputation among programmers. It's a powerful tool to help developers track changes to code, but many view it as prohibitively difficult to use.

Dutch unveil giant vacuum to clean outside air

October 25, 2016

Dutch inventors Tuesday unveiled what they called the world's first giant outside air vacuum cleaner—a large purifying system intended to filter out toxic tiny particles from the atmosphere surrounding the machine.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.