The construction industry has worked to mitigate labor shortages and make job sites more efficient and safer by introducing new technology and providing opportunities for newcomers and apprentices to learn. These were some topics discussed in a recent webinar hosted by the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) and Trimble, an industrial technology company.

Ian Warner, a construction solutions architect at Trimble, moderated the discussion and  focused on industry construction technology trends and improvements and training programs available for IMPACT contractors.

Warner explained the importance of having the proper tools on a jobsite to save time and keep workers safe. As an example, line, point and rotating lasers, used to replace the need for measuring with other level tools, can help workers be more efficient onsite.

“Rotating lasers are pretty ubiquitous now across most projects,” he said. “Some people are still using builder levels and streamlines, but the rotating lasers literally save quadruple the time, or 10-times the time you might have if you’re trying to run straight lines with others levels.”

Speaking of robotic total stations, which are one-person systems used for surveying and layout tasks, Warner said these have seen notable advances in terms of features and functions. Using these systems and software can save time and keep workers off lifts and ladders where they’re more susceptible to falls, trips and injuries, he said.

There are also ways to incorporate virtual reality into a jobsite. Warner discussed the technology incorporated into the industry that allows workers to experience a mixed reality. This virtual reality can be found in a hard hat and goggles, which can project a 3D model to align with the real world.

“When you put this on a student or a new apprentice, or somebody that’s fairly new in the field and they’ve never really understood the 3D connections and the details, they can look at it and see it in real-time,” he said.