Automated PPE-Tool pair check system for construction safety using smart IoT

Xincong Yang, Yantao Yu, Sara Shirowzhan, Samad Sepasgozer, Heng Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Construction hand tools have been widely used in the construction industry. These tools have changed the building methods and improved the construction productivity significantly, but they have also been recognized as one of the hazardous factors leading to occupational diseases and workplace injuries if they are used without proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This paper aims to develop an automated PPE-Tool pair checking system using the internet of things (IoT) with wireless Wi-Fi modules tagged on the PPE. The distributed system warns the user and safety officer if the tool user does not wear the required PPE items. The sensors used in PPE contain photoresistors, optical sensors, force stretchable resistors, and touch sensors, which are embedded with near real time data processing algorithms for proper wearing detection. The wearing states are then transmitted wireless to an online website and updated real-time in a cloud database in a way that multiple users can get access and visit the states. Simultaneously, alerts with sound and vibration and emergency stops are also sent to the workers through the construction hand tools they hold. The proposed system in this paper has been implemented and tested in a lab experiment. The results show that the average time lag between actual non-wearing actions and corrective warning actions was 1.229 s, which is acceptable and the authors believe that the proposed system is efficient and effective to enhance the safety management of on-site construction activities with hand tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101721
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Construction safety management
  • Hand tools
  • Internet of things
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Wearing sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanics of Materials


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