Taskforce searches for AI, drone and wearable tech to make construction safer

A new taskforce is searching for companies with potentially ‘game-changing’ technology that could improve safety in construction and industry.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), drones, wearable devices and other technologies could improve safety and risk management in industrial workplaces, said the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The regulator is inviting UK technology companies to join the Industrial Safetytech Regulatory Sandbox, a partnership with non-profit Safetytech Accelerator. The sandbox will bring technology innovators and industrial companies together to explore ‘significant opportunities’ to improve workplace health and safety.

The project has three main aims: explore ways to undertake assessment and compliance activities more effectively; help accelerate the adoption of proven safetytech products in industry; understand and reduce barriers that might delay the development of new life-saving technologies.

The sandbox aims to recruit six technology companies with high-potential products by the end of the month. It will focus initially on innovation around significant areas of risk in construction, including falls from height, vehicle collisions, crane operations and manual handling.

Dr Maurizio Pilu, managing director at Safetytech Accelerator, said: “Thanks to advances in areas such as AI, analytics, augmented reality, wearables, drones and robotics, there is now huge potential to make industry safer. This groundbreaking sandbox presents safetytech companies of all sizes with an opportunity to understand and help shape the regulatory landscape to accelerate life-saving innovation for all.”

Dr Helen Balmforth, head of data analytics at HSE and the leader of Discovering Safety, said: “We are committed to supporting health and safety innovation, and also to exploring ways that we can be innovative in how we approach regulation. We are looking to the safetytech community to help identify the best opportunities for progress and how we can collectively overcome the barriers that limit progress.”

The project is open to UK-based companies with ‘market-ready or pilot-ready’ products that could improve safety and risk management in construction. Visit the website for more information and to apply.