Backed by an emerging category of AI called computer vision, today’s solutions protect construction workers outside the vehicle as much as inside, introducing a new era of safety.

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries, and the risks seem to grow by the year. Roughly 1,056 construction workers died on the job in 2022, an 11% increase from the year before. Fatal injuries in construction cost the United States $5 billion annually.

As construction hazards increase, the demand for advanced safety tech grows. AI computer vision, which involves sophisticated cameras and custom AI models, revolutionizes accident prevention and job site safety. 

These technologies seamlessly integrate with existing back-office systems to predict potential hazards, prevent accidents, and ensure maximum productivity. AI computer vision uses advanced algorithms to analyze visual data from cameras, detecting and alerting to unsafe conditions. When workers enter a restricted area, for example, or fail to wear proper safety gear, AI computer vision can alert workers – and managers – to these hazards, potentially saving lives.  

Key takeaways:

  • AI computer vision is transforming accident prevention and job site safety.
  • As hazards increase, the demand for safety tech grows, and construction firms are making substantial investments.
  • 72% of construction leaders say AI is crucial to preventing accidents and coaching drivers.
  • The use of 360° cameras is on the rise in construction, giving firms the visibility they need to protect workers and increase efficiency.

In construction, use of AI-powered solutions is on the rise

As AI drives today’s tech advances, construction companies are investing more than any other industry. Motive’s Physical Economy Outlook 2024 shows that one-quarter of construction leaders use AI at work every day, and they’re seeking to use it in more diverse ways. 

  • 79% of construction leaders want to use generative AI in their work, more than leaders in trucking (71%) and oil and gas (68%).
  • 72% say AI is crucial to preventing accidents and coaching drivers, more than leaders in trucking (66%) and oil and gas (61%).
  • 40% of construction leaders believe it improves worker safety.
  • 32% say it helps in predicting vehicle and equipment maintenance needs.

AI use in construction accounted for the highest market share of AI investment in North America, with job site safety a central focus. The construction market for AI and computer vision investment is projected to grow by 34% by 2031, fueled by AI-driven solutions and services.

Driver safety is progressing rapidly

The most meaningful construction advances are happening in operator safety, where customizable computer vision platforms and 360-degree cameras are preventing injuries on and off the road. At the same time, they’re giving safety managers more control and visibility than ever before. 

AI dash cams have long set the standard in driver safety, but recent developments go beyond road safety. Today’s construction solutions address driver safety outside the vehicle as much as inside, protecting workers wherever they operate. 

360° visibility around every vehicle

Use of 360° cameras in construction grew during the pandemic, when firms sought to document safety and productivity on job sites remotely. Technologies like the Motive AI Omnicam provide complete visibility around every vehicle, every second of the day. 

“At the end of the day, the cameras are a win. And seeing the capabilities of Motive and how the Motive team has provided support every step of the way, it’s a win-win.”

Jon Fontaine, Corporate Fleet Manager, Rosendin Electric

The AI Omnicam is the only vehicle camera with AI-enabled hardware built for side, rear, passenger, and cargo monitoring. When paired with Motive’s AI Dashcam, construction firms get up to six camera angles and unprecedented visibility into everything that happens.

Even when sitting in the home office, managers get full visibility into worksite conditions, allowing them to:

  • Detect falls and on-site accidents in real time.
  • Verify proper use of safety gear like hard hats and vests. 
  • Ensure proper loading and unloading of materials.
  • Enforce compliance with worksite procedures.

Customizable computer vision platforms solve contractors’ unique challenges

All of this has inspired a more customized way of working, one that’s being driven by customer demand. A recent LinkedIn article shows construction firms are using customization to achieve better results, finally gaining the visibility and control they need to perform safely and deliver projects faster. 

Accurately detect job site hazards

The “fatal four” accidents in construction are well known, encompassing falls, caught-in and between, struck by incidents, and electrocution. In 2022, about 38% of fatal accidents in construction were due to falls, slips and trips. Construction accounted for nearly half of fatal falls, slips, and trips among all industries that year, showing that prevention is critical to survival. 

Customized, AI-powered platforms are proving to be the fastest route to prevention, enabling firms to detect construction-specific events like proper use of equipment, obstacles behind vehicles, collisions, and job site injuries.

In conclusion

Operator safety has come a long way, but there’s more to be done. With construction risks on the rise, protecting workers requires new technologies like AI computer vision. Existing safety policies and procedures should be revamped to include these new advancements, ensuring a holistic approach to safety that includes the latest AI-powered safety solutions.  

Learn about all the critical steps you need to take to have the safest workforce possible. Download Motive’s Ultimate Guide: Building a world-class fleet safety program, and don’t leave anything to chance.