Researchers at  The Hong Kong Polytechnic University are developing a proactive construction management system to enable construction workers to detect and thus avoid dangers.

Prototype proactive construction management system (PCMS) undergoes testing in a construction site environment. Image: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

In Hong Kong, construction ranks as its most dangerous industry in terms of on-the-job fatalities. In 2011 the industry accounted for about one-quarter of all workplace deaths, with 46 construction workers losing their lives. Research underway at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University could eventually help on-site workers stay safe, not only in Hong Kong but around the world.

Led by Professor Heng Li, the research team aims to develop a proactive construction management system (PCMS) that would provide a “third eye” to construction workers, enabling them to detect, and thus avoid, site dangers.

“Using a PCMS, we believe more lives can be saved and the number of fatal accidents in the construction industry can be further reduced,” says Professor Li.

“Our technology aims at managing the entire construction stage where three major safety hazards exist: falling from heights, striking or being struck by moving objects, and being struck by moving vehicles,” he adds.

“This project is the first attempt to make construction processes computable and construction safety risks monitorable, based on real time location techniques and 3D virtual construction simulation of construction processes.”

So far, the research team has completed the design and implementation of a prototype PCMS and has begun testing the system in lab and construction site environments.

“According to test results, the accuracy of our real-time location technology is within one metre at a distance of 30 metres and with an 85% guarantee rate,” says Professor Li.

In 2014, the researchers plan to conduct pilot studies in two real-life construction projects to evaluate the accuracy, stability and practicality of the PCMS. Further fine-tuning will then be conducted to address any issues identified during the trials. Down the road, Professor Li and his colleagues hope to expand the capability of their technology to help construction companies track the flow of materials and components at building sites.











For further information contact:

Professor Heng Li
Department of Building and Real Estate
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University