Fall from height is causing some of the most severe accidents in construction sites and power plants. Emerging technologies like sensors and drones could help prevent some of those episodes, but a deep understanding of the entire system is needed to shape relevant solutions, that take into account existing environmental constraints, as well as workers' mindsets and workflows.
We conducted extensive research across several kinds of sites (construction site, wind plants and hydro-plants) in order to gain insights from contextual observations and individual interviews. For safety reasons, it's very difficult to have access to all the areas of the plants, but being there is essential to provide a good understanding of the types of challenges (e.g. temperature, distances, etc.), in combination with the descriptions and videos provided by the personnel working at the different sites. On top of mapping the hazards and analysing the safety procedures and equipment, we investigated how workers perceive and react to risks, examining the impact of aspects such as habit, self-confidence, physical exhaustion, stress and communication.
Our complete map of the risk factors was the starting point to identify clusters of opportunities and generate ideas, from augmented safety gears to distributed solutions that can improve risk prevention, detection and reaction. The concepts set the ground to invest in further product-service systems research and development.