After announcing the six laureates of its SEED startup program last week, Leonard is unveiling today the 11 companies joining the CATALYST program, designed to foster and accelerate partnerships between VINCI and startups and scale–ups in their commercial development phase.
This program aims to foster the creation of common projects between innovative companies and the VINCI Group around innovations related to its business activities. The 11 startups selected to join the programme will benefit from:
a special contact in the Leonard team to interact with VINCI entities, from first contact to signature of a contract,
special access to VINCI decision-makers,
being integrated to the Leonard event cycle
for international startups, better conditions of access to French and European markets.
In order to select these 11 companies, Leonard worked hand in hand with its investor, institutional and academic partners in France and abroad, in particular in Spain, Germany, the UK and the USA throughout 2019.
Waycare (USA) enables road infrastructure operators to capitalize on the enormous amount of data coming from various sources such as navigation applications, connected and autonomous vehicles or meteorological predictions to improve traffic safety and proactively manage the infrastructure. The Waycare Platform includes a suite of cloud-based products supporting a variety of applications. With web and mobile interfaces, users can find, report, and respond to incidents quickly.
AOS (France) digitizes and optimizes the call for tender process in the AEC industry. The software simplifies the request, monitoring and analysis of bids and allows technical teams to focus on their core business.
Combo Solutions (France) has developed Vizcab, an automated Life Cycle Assessment service that allows construction and real estate players to master the energy + carbon ambitions of their projects and fully succeed in the turn to the French RE2020 regulation.
Converge (UK) combines artificial intelligence and physical sensors to digitize construction. Its first product, Concrete DNA is a digital tool following the curing of concrete and relying on sensors directly attached to the steel rebar cages to wirelessly transmit information such as temperature, humidity or compressive strength.
Hiboo (France) is a SaaS application that helps construction companies to optimize their field’s operations. Hiboo centralizes the data collected from all connected equipment on a single end point and turns them into actionable insights.
Holobuilder (USA) is a San Francisco-based construction technology company that designs, develops, and sells enterprise SaaS software. HoloBuilder offers enterprise-ready reality capturing solutions for progress analysis and project management. By combining 360° imagery data with machine learning, HoloBuilder provides a fast and insightful solution to document construction projects.
Spacemaker (Norway) – Spacemaker is on a mission to help build better and more sustainable cities. With its game-changing AI technology, Spacemaker empowers development teams to maximize the potential of a building site through rapid generation, analysis and evaluation of the optimal design based on physical data, regulations and preferences.
Kenzen (USA) is a biometric enterprise platform relying on a wearable smart patch to prevent heat related fatigue, and over exertion within industrial and construction workforces. Kenzen is currently works with large industrial conglomerates across the globe in domains such as renewable energy, oil and gas and construction.
Smartvid.io (USA) gives construction teams the ability to predict and prevent safety incidents – saving lives and timely project delivery. Unlike checklists and manual review processes, Smartvid.io’s Safety Suite uses risk-weighted observations with analytics by its AI engine “Vinnie” to better predict risk and reduce incident rates by 30% or more.
CivDrone (Israel) develops fast, smart, and reliable marking solutions on unmanned vehicles. CivDrone’s autonomous layout is 4x faster than traditional surveying. Each stake includes clear construction instructions for the builders. Digitizing and automating the marking process shortens the time of construction and reduces the amount of reworks while lowering its costs.
DIREXYON (Canada) is a highly scalable financial modelling platform that defines the most feasible and financially profitable investment options to reduce the OPEX/CAPEX required by the desired service levels of assets and infrastructures, all in a secure and user-friendly environment, without programming code nor reliance on IT experts.
In our last issue we discussed the ways the body works to process heat, the types of illnesses that can result from overheating, and the best ways to gauge outdoor heat conditions in our recent article, “Mitigating the Hazards of Working in the Heat,” but today, we are going to take a deeper dive into what it takes to stay safe in the heat. As any mason knows, the heat is definitely the enemy every summer, and often into fall, especially in the Southern states.
Masonry can require a lot of bending, lifting heavy objects, and working in direct sunlight when the shade is unavailable, all of which is hard work that produces a lot of heat. Despite educational efforts and resources dedicated to preventing heat-related illnesses on jobsites, thousands of masons fall victim to heat stress, exhaustion, or stroke every year, and some cases are fatal.
What If There Was No Money?
According to the OSHA website, a majority (50%-70%) of outdoor heat-related fatalities occur within the first few days of working in warm or hot environments because the body needs to acclimate or build a tolerance to the heat gradually over time. Otherwise, a high heat index is a major risk factor for heat exhaustion or worse in non-acclimated individuals. Heat-related illnesses can creep up on a worker quickly and without warning, and are an ever-present threat in outdoor or even certain indoor conditions in the year’s warmest months, but there are several strategies and options that work particularly well for masons when it comes to beating the heat.
Old School Methods
Some of the most effective methods for masons to protect themselves from heat stress on the jobsite are also the simplest, just ask Zach Everett. An experienced Corporate Safety Director at Brazos Masonry, Everett has years of experience dealing with supervising and keeping workers safe from a variety of hazards on the jobsite, and especially from the heat. One of the first things to keep in mind is that removing clothing when temperatures climb may not be a temperature lower measure even though you may feel a little more comfortable.
“Some people like to take off a lot of clothes in the heat, that might be a misconception and can actually make things worse because you have direct sunlight on your skin,” he cautions, “if you start actually getting sunburned that will actually start raising your body temperature as well.” To protect yourself, he recommends wearing light-colored cotton clothing to wick away sweat and to help cool you off a bit. Cooling towels, which can be soaked in cold water for longer-lasting relief, are also a recommended option.
While workwear is the first thought, there are other more out-of-the-box methods for working around, rather than against the heat. As any mason contractor will tell you, productivity drops a little bit during the hotter months. The increased heat requires heightened precautions like more frequent breaks in the shade and better access to water, but these measures can be extended even further. For example, Everett takes the extra step of encouraging his crew to take a slower and easier pace during safety meetings to avoid overexertion and heat exhaustion. While this action could potentially lead to some delays in the overall completion of the project, it might also save lives.
However, for projects on a tight schedule, Everett has a more creative suggestion: working at night. A night shift can make things 10-15 degrees cooler for workers, which is a bonus but comes with the obvious drawback of poor visibility. To combat this, “you have a lot of light towers hitting your work from a lot of different angles so you don’t have a lot of shadows,” which has the added benefit of keeping workers safe in the dark as well.
A final suggestion for mason contractors is to work with the surrounding environment to protect workers. By starting on the west side of the building when the sun is rising in the east, and then moving to the east side of the building during the afternoon when the sun is setting in the west. By doing this, workers remain on the shady side of the building throughout the day, though this is only possible when in permissible locations. Another situationally based solution is to introduce sun shades when working on scaffolding which blocks the sunshine from masons’ backs and further reduces heat and sun exposure.
New School Methods
While the above are simple solutions that can easily and simply be implemented, they all lack one crucial element to keeping workers safe: monitoring. While self-monitoring and the awareness of your peer’s physical condition are important, they are not foolproof methods for keeping masons safe in high heat index conditions. When working in the outdoors, keeping watch for excessive sweating or facial redness, a sudden lack of sweat, headaches, nausea, or dizziness should always be a priority.
It is easy to get consumed in the job in front of you, and not realize there is a problem until heat stress has already set in. However, the recently released Kenzen Patch can keep an eye on working conditions that are now and is accessible for mason contractors everywhere.
As masonry technology moves into the 21st century with the development and introduction of equipment like exoskeletons and AR/VR training, it only makes sense that smart PPE is not far behind. By using smart technology like sensors integrated with cloud connectivity to deliver real-time safety information to both the wearer and jobsite safety supervisor simultaneously. Technology like the Kenzen Patch is able “to keep industrial workforces safe from heat, fatigue, and overexertion on the job through the delivery of real-time alerts,” stated Heidi Lehmann, Chief Commercial Officer at Kenzen. According to the Kenzen website, the Patch is a small, flexible device that helps you better understand your physiology. Worn during the work shift, receive personalized health insights and notifications to help you stay safe in the most strenuous scenarios.
The Patch is appropriately named as that is exactly what it is. When placed either on the arm or on the chest, the Patch was designed to be comfortable and worn the entire day. It feeds real-time health information directly to the wearer, the jobsite safety supervisor, and EHS corporate by sampling data like temperature and heart rate every five seconds, resulting in a whopping 1.3 million data points per worker per day. This information is used to keep track of current physical activity levels and allows workers to monitor their own heat responses instantly. This is especially useful as “physiologically” we are all different.
Additionally, the Patch is said to take each individual into consideration so it is personalized for them. “Even if everybody is in the same situation and doing the same type of work, one individual might overheat or be up towards heat injury where everyone else might not be,” explains Lehmann. The individualized data processing is said to allow the Patch to be intuitive and instantly alerts users when they are approaching heat exhaustion.
Some have concerns about the sharing of their personal health information, and this is often one of the first issues raised when users begin adopting the Patch system. This concern was not treated lightly by Kenzen, who designed the entire system with user privacy in mind. Lehmann states, “the worker is the only one that sees all of their health data in real-time, and retrospectively, the safety manager is only going to see if a worker is up for heat injury, has dismissed alerts and needs an intervention, so all they see is in the moment ‘do I need to intercede to keep this worker safe.’”
There is also a separate feed that goes to corporate management, but that information is completely used for risk analysis and management. With the ability to visualize sweeping data trends across jobsites, corporations can then make recommendations to shift work times or put additional heat safety protocols into place, like lighter PPE or additional equipment. With so much information available on both the individual and managerial levels, it is no surprise that smart PPE is quickly becoming the way of the future for masons working in high heat index conditions.
Whether you have embraced old school heat safety techniques or are interested in adopting more advanced technology to keep yourself and others safe on the jobsite, the fact remains that every year work conditions seem to be growing hotter and the heat must be addressed. From clothing, to shift times, to new smart PPE like the Patch, more and more options are available for masons to protect themselves from dangerous outdoor working conditions.
Ultimately, it is up to every individual on the jobsite to practice proper heat safety precautions, and the key to preventing heat stress injury starts with education. If you’re interested in how you can keep yourself and your employees safe in hot temperatures, be sure to stay updated on the best ways to do so at masonrymagazine.com.
Every safety product must meet minimum standards, set by OSHA, and may meet optional standards set by ANSI. Standards should be the starting line, not the final goal, when building safety products for today’s workers. Since the purpose of safety products is to save lives, it always makes sense that innovation teams at product design and manufacturing companies continue to push the boundaries of what a product can do more of and/or better.
More lives saved is the incentive that fuels the drive of product innovators in fall protection. Is there a component that can be made from a different material to make the product stronger, i.e. able to hold more weight in more extreme environments or scenarios? Is there a reconfiguration that will make the product more comfortable for the user, so that it is more likely to be used and appreciated?
When design teams push the envelope to bring products to the next level, standards are updated, fewer injuries occur and, ultimately, more workers return home safely from their jobs.
Beyond the standard PPE of vests, glasses, and hard hats, wearable technology can further improve safety for construction workers. Here are six construction safety wearables for 2020 that address the dangers of heat exhaustion, fatigue, and lack of visibility, among other job site hazards.
Kenzen’s body heat sensor system
Kenzen’s body heat sensor system
Kenzen’s real-time worker heat monitoring system includes a wearable device worn by workers on their arm which alerts both the worker and their supervisor when core body temperature is too high. Real-time alerts allow for immediate intervention and worker safety from heat injuries.
Kenzen’s multi-level alerts are sent to workers via device vibration, iOS or Android app notification, and to supervisors via web dashboard alert signaling that the worker should take a break and allow their temperature to return to safe levels. Alerts are accompanied by actionable recommendations such as advising the worker to take a break, find shade, drink water, or remove any excess clothing and equipment to decrease body heat. A second “back to work” alert then indicates when the worker’s core body temperature has returned to a safe level.