When most people think of laser scanning, they think of capturing and documenting existing conditions prior to a construction project.
While this is LandAir’s primary use of our laser technology, there are many additional benefits that our clients are beginning to take advantage of from the scans we provide. One of these benefits is safety, a priority for all of us in the construction industry.
Virtual job site
Laser scanning is a great way to incorporate new personnel into an environment. Enabling workers to view a job site prior to physically stepping onto the site is just one valuable resource provided by a scan.
Whether it is identifying hazards on a site like open pits or high traffic areas, or just identifying where the lay-down areas for supplies will be, the ability to immerse workers into a site can protect them and cut down on miscommunications in the field.
Visualization can also assist with language barriers that may be present on a site or tradespeople who don’t understand the entire safety plan of everyone onsite. It can also provide “virtual tours” to interested parties or at least help them identify caution areas before walking the site.
Laser scanning and modeling can also provide virtual training in a 3D space. The ability to identify parts on equipment and look at the space the equipment is in helps workers identify potential hazards and ensure that they have the necessary tools to make repairs or installations.
There are partner companies today who are putting virtual “how to” training guides online that demonstrate anything from changing a tire to repairing valves in a virtual environment. This virtual 3D training not only allows for repairs and replacements to be done faster, which can save money on shut downs, but lessens the time workers are exposed to the elements.
Many times, moving machine parts, extreme temperatures and dangerous spaces are involved with repairs or replacements and cutting down time in the field can help get workers out of harm’s way.
Many times on job sites large equipment is present and cranes are erected. Staging these areas and making sure that the equipment has room to maneuver without colliding with anything else on a site is very important.
Laser scanning can provide very precise measurements of equipment and the surrounding environment prior to being onsite. A crane’s radius can be measured, modeled and dropped into the virtual site to determine where potential clash areas may exist.
In the event an accident does occur, having a laser scan of the site allows the team to go back in and examine the area where the accident took place. It may provide a better understanding of how the accident happened and who may have truly been at fault.
Having a 3D laser scan of the existing conditions may help limit liability and demonstrate an added level of due-diligence. This information could also be used to create a guide for “what not to do” on future sites.
First responders and safety plans
Providing valuable information to first responders is another benefit created by a 3D laser scan. Demonstrating the fastest and safest routes on a job site is something that can be easily demonstrated with a laser scan.
Floor plans can be developed or access to a web-based viewer like Leica’s TruView can allow 360-degree views of the environment. Evacuation routes can also be reviewed and demonstrated with a fly-through video for workers on the site.
The deliverables for 3D laser scanning that we provide are various and based on the needs of our clients. We provide drawings, models, fly-throughs and TruViews.
Autodesk’s AutoCAD and Revit are the two most popular formats in which we deliver drawings and 3D models. Our 3D point cloud fly-throughs are easily shown in Windows Media and Leica’s TruView allows clients to see our scan set-ups in full 360 views from each station.
As the virtual world and building information modeling become more prevalent in the construction industry, new uses for 3D laser scanning that provide increased safety on job sites will hopefully increase as well.
Mitch Dorsett has over 15 years in the building and construction industry and serves as director of business development for LandAir Surveying. Mitch is rapidly becoming an expert in 3D data capture and virtual design and construction, having attended and represented LandAir’s laser scanning capabilities at SPAR, RTC and Autodesk University in 2012. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.landairsurveying.com.