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Bugg, R, Collins, W and Gilbert, C (2018) Applying Radio Frequency Identification Tags to Improve Personnel Safety in Dredging Construction. In: Gorse, C and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2018, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 557–566.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: Construction, Safety, Dredging, RFID
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9955463-2-5
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/bb52a32704af89055005ac6073bc8ce2.pdf
  • Abstract:

    Falling overboard, slips, trips and falls cause most of the workplace injuries that occur in the dredging construction. Some of the factors that contribute to these accidents include: very congested work areas; oil, ice or snow covered decks; worker fatigue; lack of visibility; and rough seas that result in shifting work platforms.  Utilizing RFID technology has the potential to help reduce these on-board accidents. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of radio frequency identification (RFID) tag technology in providing individual personnel safety monitoring on a dredge. Four experiments using passive RFID tags were conducted to test the hypothesis that the use of RFID would create a safer environment on a dredge by providing the dredge captain with real-time monitoring of the dredge crew. This real-time monitoring would provide an immediate notification to the bridge should a crewmember fall overboard or be in an unauthorized mechanical space when the dredge is in operation. This preliminary research compared several types of passive RFID tags to determine which one is the most effective for this application. During these evaluations, RFID tags were worn on a lanyard or on the front of the hardhats of the workers. The RFID readers were located in four locations on the dredge. Based on performance testing, the most accurate combination of RFID tags and readers were Smartrac R6 RFID tags and the Far Field RFID reader which reported crew locations with 92% accuracy.  Future research will focus improving accuracy and installing a  complete RFID reader system on a dredge in order to perform operational testing.  If this future operational testing proves to be sufficiently reliable, this technology has the potential to improve safety and reduce fatalities in the dredging industry and other related marine industries.