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Geofencing technology is being used by the construction industry to improve workplace safety, among other uses, experts say.
Using the global positioning system or radio frequency identification coupled with mobile or handheld applications, workers can receive a notification when they venture into the wrong area or breach a defined perimeter.
Geofencing can be used for a variety of situations including tracking employees’ locations for safety as well as helping to prevent theft and inventory control, said Gary Clevenger, vice president of risk control for CNA Financial Corp. in Kansas City, Missouri.
The technology can also be used to keep workers out of “dangerous” zones or to segregate renovation projects from active building operations at a hospital or school for instance, said James Boileau, risk engineering director of construction with Zurich North America in Lakeville, Minnesota.
The technology could also be used to create lower-speed zones in specific areas of a construction site, according Marco Encinas, marketing and product manager of global platforms at Teletrac Navman US Ltd., a maker of fleet management and other software in Garden Grove, California.
But most of the sources mentioned cost as the main challenge or consideration, as deploying the technology requires some outlay.
Construction firms, aided by their insurers, are deploying a wide range of technologies at different stages of adoption to help improve workplace safety and efficiency on their worksites.