Autonomous Vehicles in the Construction Industry May Improve SafetyAugust 12, 2019
According to the National Safety Council, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries when it comes to workplace injuries and fatalities. Construction workers are exposed to a wide range of hazards, including falls, electrocution, being struck-by-objects, and caught-in/between accidents. With the rise of autonomous vehicles, construction experts have been applying the software and artificial intelligence used in autonomous vehicles and applying it to construction vehicles, such as bulldozers and mining trucks. Ideally, these self-guided construction vehicles will be less likely to collide with human workers, making the work environment much safer.
While automated construction vehicles have the capability to prevent serious accidents, it is important to understand that they can only be used in highly controlled areas. They should only be used for specific automation tasks in clear-cut geofenced areas to decrease the likelihood of a runaway bulldozer. These controlled environments ensure that the workers in the vicinity of the automated vehicles are safe.
Advances in the Automated Labor Vehicle Industry
Since Google first introduced its self-driving car over 10 years ago, construction vehicle companies, Caterpillar and Komatsu, have developed automated technology for their construction vehicles. For example, Caterpillar developed haulage trucks with semi- and fully autonomous technology. The company announced that the technology is responsible for hauling one billion tons of materials. Komatsu made a similar announcement, saying that their autonomous vehicles have hauled two billion tons of materials.
Fortunately, the most recent upgrades made to automated vehicles have focused on worker safety. One of the recent upgrades that can help prevent serious, potentially fatal construction accidents is camera-based interference, which will allow the vehicles to get an advanced view of the environment. Collision detection technology can prevent the vehicle from hitting a worker who is in the vicinity of the vehicle. Getting struck by an object is one of the fatal four hazards at a construction site, so this technology will improve the safety of the work environment.
Oftentimes, struck-by injuries occur when a large vehicle is in motion, and the operator has limited or no visibility when going in reverse, or when the operator did not receive adequate training on how to safely operate the vehicle. The use of automated construction vehicles, such as bulldozers and excavators, can help avoid some of these serious construction accidents by eliminating a certain degree of human error. In addition, it can make work sites more efficient and productive.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Construction Accidents
If you were injured in a construction accident involving an automated construction vehicle, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will guide you through the claims process and address all your questions and concerns. Our dedicated team will secure the maximum financial benefits you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients across Maryland.