Wearable Illumination: A Solution to Struck-by Incidents in Construction

Read the full article featured in Construction Executive Magazine written by our CEO Chadwick Keller here.

Struck-by hazards are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in construction, according to data compiled by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). Specifically, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatalities of occupational pedestrians struck by a vehicle in work zones increased nearly 32 percent from 44 deaths in 2015 to 58 deaths in 2016.

Additionally worrisome is that the last impactful study conducted on roadway construction was done in 2003. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s Report 498 resulted in standards and guidelines used today by the Federal Highway Administration for work zone tasks and illumination requirements. The report concluded that “lighting is a key factor in performing construction at night. Illumination levels and lighting configuration directly affect the safety, quality and cost efficiency of the project.”

The 2003 study looked at the lighting around the work zone and considered portable towers, balloon lighting, roadway luminaires and factory-installed lights on equipment. But what it failed to consider was wearable lighting for individual workers, adding safety lighting configured to each work zone, and the ability to easily move and adjust the lighting locations and functions to better accentuate work zone illumination and safety conditions.

More recent data from CPWR’s 2017 Struck-by Injuries and Prevention in the Construction Industry report suggest that “to prevent construction workers from struck-by injuries, specific hazards and working environments should be taken into account for safety and health intervention programs.”

The report noted that of the 384 struck-by vehicle construction injuries between 2011 and 2015, 77.6 percent occurred in the work zone, or near the roadway of the work zone. Passing-by trucks and passenger vehicles accounted for nearly 60 percent of the struck-by deaths during the study’s time frame. Highway, street and bridge construction workers suffered nearly double the number of struck-by vehicle injuries compared to all other areas of construction combined. There were 207 struck-by vehicles injuries in the highway, street and bridge construction sector alone between 2011 and 2015. The next highest ranking construction sector was site preparation at 40 incidents.