AI Special: Improving site safety
In another application of Nvidia chip technology, US company Smartvid.io has developed software that uses AI to help spot health and safety breaches on site. It is being trialled by a number of contractors in the USA, including Skanska. Josh Kanner, founder of the Boston-based firm, says he is also in talks with a number of major contractors in the UK.
Smartvid.io automatically tags files showing people, hard hats, ladders and now gloves, and other things related to safety. It is then easy to search across projects for relevant tags to review already-curated photos and videos and mark any potential risks.
Pictures can be uploaded from any source and auto-sync with software such as Procore and Autodesk’s BIM 360 Field, which Skanska is using in its pilot schemes. Skanska says that it plans to use the software more widely to “help teams get broader safety coverage of its projects”.
The product aims to supplement the work of the site safety team, not replace it. Says Kanner: “Safety teams are spread too thinly to be proactive on all sites and it’s not uncommon to have one safety manager on five to ten active projects. I think it’s a common theme to equate AI with the replacement of people. But what we’re doing augments what workers to do by giving them ‘superpowers’. Without this technology it would take too long and it just wouldn’t happen.”
Another Smartvid.io development is the analysis of site activity to spot defects. UK engineer Arup has been using the technology in tunnels.
Smartvid.io’s software automatically tags elements such as hard hats and ladders to focus attention on potential breaches of safety protocol