A proximity warning system to detect the presence of a worker/workers and to warn heavy equipment operators is highly needed to prevent collision accidents at construction sites. In this paper, we developed a robust construction safety system (RCSS), which can activate warning devices and automatically halt heavy equipment, simultaneously, to prevent possible collision accidents. The proximity detection of this proposed system mainly relies on ultra-wideband (UWB) sensing technologies, which enable instantaneous and simultaneous alarms on (a) a worker’s personal safety (personal protection unit (PPU)) device and (b) hazard area device (zone alert unit (ZAU)). This system also communicates with electronic control sensors (ECSs) installed on the heavy equipment to stop its maneuvering. Moreover, the RCSS has been interfaced with a global positioning system communication unit (GCU) to acquire real-time information of construction site resources and warning events. This enables effective management of construction site resources using an online user interface. The performance and effectiveness of the RCSS have been validated at laboratory scale as well as at real field (construction site and steel factory). Conclusively, the RCSS can significantly enhance construction site safety by pro-actively preventing collision of a worker/workers with heavy equipment.
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