How AI and digital innovation impacts site safety


Installation of digital safety features to reduce risks for construction workers. 

BCS site photo.
Credit: Barhale.

Artificial intelligence is making waves in the construction industry, specifically in improving the physical safety of workers onsite. 

BCS Group, part of the Barhale group of companies, has installed human form recognition cameras and a Digital Thumbs Up system on its following excavators

  • Six new Kubota KX030s. 
  • Five Kubota KX080s diggers. 

The human form recognition can be used to: 

  • Identify when a person has stepped into an unsafe area around a machine, 
  • sound an audible alert to warn the person, 
  • and the driver of the machine. 

The system reports incidents by type and frequency. 

The data collected can be used to predicate risk and improve the safety behaviours of workers. 

Digital Thumbs Up uses visual and audible signals that allow machine operators to communicate when it is safe to approach them. 

This improves upon the established thumbs-up procedure, with the added advantages of unambiguous LED and sonic indicators

On-site, this will be used when: 

  • A site user approaches a machine and gives a thumbs-up,
  • when a machine operator sees the thumbs up, they will come to a stop, 
  • press the in-cab ‘Thumbs Up’ button to disable the machine, 
  • the digital shield will then display a thumbs-up to show it’s safe to approach. 

AI solutions company, Safety Shield Global, developed the technology behind these features. 

“We believe this AI technology will benefit sites and personnel by ensuring the people/plant interface is managed in the safest possible way,” Dave Lally, operations director at Barhale

“The system will also give us insight into people’s behaviours, opening the door for further improvements in site safety and process. Adopting this kit on both new and existing machinery puts BCS right at the forefront of plant safety and will give our clients the additional peace of mind of knowing we are taking wellbeing to the next level.”

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