Improve safety and communication at construction sites with mesh networks

Aug 18, 2015

Construction Worker on Phone.jpgCommunication is a vital part of the construction industry. Managers need to be able to keep in contact with on-site workers in order to make sure projects get done as safely, efficiently and accurately as possible. They depend on wireless networks to provide the best connectivity between these parties in order to ensure safety and compliance at the worksite.

In order to ensure communication between workers, managers and other important parties at the construction site, companies should turn to a stronger networking solution than traditional networks can offer. Mesh topologies can provide the answer.

Why mesh?
There are many advantages offered by mesh networks at construction sites. According to MIT researchers Muriel Medard and Steven S. Lumetta, mesh-based topologies may be more suited to change and network growth than traditional ring-based architectures. In a mesh topology, it’s easy to add or remove nodes due to the self-healing nature of these networks: When one node goes offline, the others in the web of access points pick up the slack and reroute the signal, making it more resilient than the one-access-point structure of a ring architecture. Therefore, Medard and Lumetta explained, mesh was a more promising option for reasons of cost and extensibility.

Installing a mesh topology can help construction companies remain compliant with safety regulations as well. Video surveillance on construction sites can reduce danger to workers and keep companies in line with guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. According to Security Today contributor Matt Krebs, video surveillance is also a good idea in construction zones because it gives site managers flexibility to share video with clients and upper-level managers, ensuring safety in case of an emergency or incident. Mesh offers the right amount of bandwidth for cameras to reliably transmit video.

Use case: Dubai
Mesh networks have come in handy for construction companies before. For instance, when the Dubai Tower was being built in 2008, the construction company needed a way to provide a reliable wireless network to workers so that they could stay in touch and maintain safety regulations. Along with Korean telecommunications company Samsung SDS, Firetide was able to install a wireless mesh network that helped the company surmount unexpected communications challenges that resulted during the construction of the 2,275-foot-tall edifice.

The Firetide mesh network was able to enhance communication capabilities in the core of the building during construction after Samsung SDS began to experience delays and unreliable walkie-talkie transmission. Walkie-talkie connectivity wasn’t the only thing that was improved, however.

“Initially, we expected the Firetide network would only solve the walkie-talkie voice communication problem,” said Jerry Jang, project manager for Samsung SDS. “But an added benefit was the ability to use IP cameras and VoIP phones over the network. We now can monitor the safety status of the top floor workers inside our ground level offices.”

Contact Firetide today to see how our mesh technologies can help you and your workers stay safe and communicate more effectively during your next construction project.