On a regular basis, we highlight content posted on other blogs that we feel would benefit our readers. This week's blog highlights include:
OSHA Releases Safety Guide for small and Medium-Sized Contractors
The benefits of an active safety program go far beyond just reducing or eliminating accidents. These include:
- Improvements in production and quality
- Better employee morale
- Improved employee recruiting and retention, and a more favorable image and reputation.
To help small- and medium-sized contractors, OSHA released this week its Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction, a 40-page downloadable document that provides specific steps and directions for development and implementation of a safety program. An effective program emphasizes top-level ownership, participation by employees, and a "find and fix" approach to workplace hazards. Click on the OSHA link to download the guide. For more background on the guide, check out Shane Hedmond's post at the Construction Junkie blog here.
Termite-inspired Autonomous Construction
At the Suffolk Blog, authors Patrick Kennedy and Jen Howard recently uncovered a construction research project that was inspired by mud mounds built by termites! Noting how the colonies of insects autonomously build the mounds using a few instinctive rules, researchers set out to develop small robots that could work in the same way. Harvard researchers successfully designed computer simulations to perform the task, leaving it up to the physics lab to develop working scale models. Using small (7" x 4.3") robots and interlocking foam blocks, design data for a structure is uploaded to the robots and they go about their jobs, relying on infrared and ultrasound sensors to find their way around. Learn more and watch the attached video here.
Growth of Megacities - Making Them Bigger and Better; Technology Helps
In 1990, there were 10 cities with populations greater than 10 million. Today there are 28 and by the year 2030, this number is expected to hit 41. The challenge to making this happen is to provide housing and services without creating slums. Technology may help in multiple ways, such as having rooftop solar panels to reduce or eliminate the need to run electric lines everywhere. Analyzing data from sensors and city systems is another way technology can help by providing planners with an understanding of real use and needs of the residents to help optimize services. For more information, read Catherine Bolgar's ACE Blog post here.