How cloud-based construction tech is decreasing risk

Companies realizing the benefits of cloud-based tech implementing them to great results

How cloud-based construction tech is decreasing risk
Rose Morrison

Every industry contains some amount of risk, but construction faces more than most. It accounts for 20 per cent of all worker fatalities in private sectors [1], more than any other line of work. Thankfully, new technologies are making construction safer.

Construction has historically been slow to adopt new tech, but that’s starting to change. More firms are realizing the benefits of cloud-based construction tech and are implementing them, leading to impressive safety improvements. Here are five ways these services and devices are decreasing risk in construction.

1. Highlighting hazards in preconstruction

One of the most common cloud-based technologies in construction is building information modeling (BIM). BIM provides digital project management tools, including clash detection, which highlights potential errors and risks in a structure’s design or workflows. BIM can help mitigate threats before they arise by bringing attention to these issues before construction begins.

One firm reduced its on-site safety issues by 20 per cent [2] after implementing BIM. The team used these digital models to highlight potential risks and compare different scenarios to find the safest way forward. The efficiency benefits of this technology also gave them 25 per cent more time to focus on addressing high-risk issues.

2. Alerting workers to real-time risks

Cloud technologies can also bring attention to hazards that emerge during construction. Wearables like connected helmets and vests can monitor workers’ heart rate, breathing and more [3]. People can be alerted when these signs indicate someone may be at risk of injury.

These devices send data to a consolidated cloud database where managers can view safety information in real-time. This information will highlight trends that could indicate hazards that deserve attention. Managers can use this insight to adapt their workflows to mitigate these emerging threats.

3. Reducing rework

Many firms use BIM to reduce rework, which increases costs by 9 per cent [4] and extends schedule times. BIM highlights potential errors and lets teams avoid mistakes that lead to rework. This improves productivity and also reduces risk by decreasing the amount of hazardous work teams must perform.

Less time spent on the work site means workers spend less time around hazards like heavy machinery and falling objects. Rework also includes demolishing faulty parts of a structure, which increases these hazards. As a result, construction firms can reduce their on-site hazard exposure by reducing rework with BIM.

4. Enabling better communication

Cloud-based technologies also make it easier for all project stakeholders to communicate. Construction involves so many people, and it’s often easy for misinformation and confusion to spread. This, in turn, leads to some workers not knowing pertinent safety information or mishearing new safety procedures.

Cloud storage enables timely and accurate recognition of safety risks [5] during preconstruction phases. Cloud-based communication tools give all teams a single source of truth for this information that can update in real-time as new hazards emerge. That transparency and speed allow everyone to stay up-to-date on the latest safety developments.

5. Making information accessible off-site

Similarly, cloud-based communication platforms can keep stakeholders updated about project progress regardless of their location. Digital twins update along with the actual building [6], providing an accurate, real-time representation of the project. Remote stakeholders can then keep track of any developments without visiting the site.

Minimizing the number of people on-site reduces risks. Investors or other stakeholders may lack the experience necessary to understand and mitigate on-site hazards. Consequently, they should remain off-site, which digital twins on the cloud enable them to do.

Cloud Tech Can Make Construction Safer

The very nature of construction makes it inherently dangerous, but cloud technologies help mitigate these risks. Tools like digital twins, BIM and wearables provide the insight, communication and efficiency needed to avoid on-site hazards.

Construction may be slow to adopt these technologies, but as more use cases emerge, additional teams will implement them. The industry will then become an all-around safer environment.


[1] OSHA Data & Statistics Commonly Used Statistics
[2]  Autodesk machine learning tool ranks jobsite risks
[3] Wearable Technologies for Improved Safety and Health on Construction Site
[4] Ways to boost crew productivity
[5] Cloud computing in construction industry: Use cases, benefits and challenges
[6] How Technology Reduces Unpredictability In The Labor-Strapped Construction Industry