Blog July 3, 2020

How LumiCon Job Site Sensors Help Reduce Insurance Premiums

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the world, and the risks involved with every new project are immense. Any mistake or accident – including everything from machine malfunction to worker injury – could spell disaster, costing the building contractor a huge amount of money. This fact alone is the reason why insurance premiums – for coverages including and beyond just general liability – can be quite high. Insurance providers will send out inspectors that manually assess the potential risks involved with individual projects in order to determine their premiums. However, because of the case-by-case nature of the insurance industry – as well as the complexity of coverages and policies from insurance providers – these premiums can increase or decrease drastically. 

Take two skyscraper projects as an example. One is being built near sea level in the middle of a densely populated city, while the other is located in a more elevated area with higher wind speeds. Both buildings are being developed by the same contractor and are insured by the same provider, but the project located in the windy area will incur a higher premium based on an increase of risk variables. But what if there was a way to avoid any unknowns and reduce the number of variables? What if – through the use of technology – contractors could gain more visibility in order to better anticipate any imminent risks or hazards, thus reducing insurance premiums altogether?

LumiCon Job Site Sensors now make that possible. 

Job Site Sensors

LumiCon Job Site Sensors provide real-time insights into various surrounding and localized parameters of any construction job site. Job Site Sensors are housed within the ruggedized body of the LumiNode (the transmission node used for concrete sensing applications) and consist of a wide variety of sensing parameters such as temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, air quality, vibration, gas, noise levels, and much more. They can be mounted anywhere at the construction site and automatically transmit data to the cloud, which can be easily accessed by the user directly from the cloud through the LumiCon desktop or mobile application. With Job Site Sensors, project managers can – in real-time – measure and record a wide range of parameters to help them ensure their site meets industry and municipal regulations, a factor that is very important to insurance inspectors and that could result in decreased premiums.

Let’s look at some examples.

Noise Levels

Every municipality has a bylaw for noise thresholds that cannot be exceeded without incurring heavy penalties, and construction is – for the most part – not exempt from that bylaw. This is especially important for projects located within major cities, where noise is naturally amplified as it reflects off neighboring buildings. Generally, anything above 85dB (decibels) is considered to be unsafe for prolonged exposure. Exceeding that limit could result in permanent hearing damage or even hearing loss, which – after a thorough assessment – can be claimed as noise-induced hearing loss. However with Job Site Sensors, contractors can avoid that risk entirely. 

Each LumiCon Job Site Sensor measures the decibel level of its surrounding environment and transmits that data to the cloud, where it’s then aggregated with the other sensors spread around the site. Managers can set up custom noise thresholds in the LumiCon app and get instantly notified when their site is reaching those levels so they can then take proactive measures to reduce potential noise pollution.

Wind Speed

One of the most vital elements in any free-standing building project is the tower crane. These machines can stand hundreds of feet tall and are counterbalanced at the top to allow them to lift and move heavy objects around the site. Tower cranes are inherently top-heavy, which becomes a problem at higher altitudes where wind speed is usually stronger. But speed isn’t much of a concern to crane operators as is pressure. Wind pressure is a square function of wind speed, which means that every time wind speed doubles, wind pressure is multiplied by a factor of 4. For instance, if a crane is operating at wind speeds of 12mph (around 20km/h), and a gust of wind rolls in at 24mph (around 40km/h) which is twice as fast, the load applied to the crane (the wind pressure) is actually four times as much in magnitude. 

In close to all construction projects, tower cranes are bought or rented from third-party manufacturers. For most cases, tower crane insurance plans have very high premiums mainly due to their increased risk factor and damage frequency (recorded damage claims throughout the year from various projects and contractors). Monitoring wind speeds, however, can reduce those premiums through better risk management. LumiCon Job Site Sensors have built-in wind speed measurement systems which allow project managers and crane operators to closely monitor speeds at every level of the project. Just like with the noise thresholds mentioned above, managers can set predetermined wind speed thresholds to ensure the safety of their cranes and crane operators. 

Air Quality and Gas Levels

Dust, debris, and gas emissions are all unwanted yet constant companions of every construction site, and although PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is an absolute must for anyone stepping foot at the site, prolonged exposure to microparticles of dust and fumes can be harmful to the workforce and possibly – if not contained or ventilated properly – any neighbouring residential buildings or homes. This is especially important for heavy machinery and equipment, as most of them operate on diesel fuel which – if emitted or exhausted for too long – is known to cause cancer and significantly drop the surrounding air quality. 

Keeping a close eye on the quality of air that the workforce breathes is essential to not only keep a project running smoothly but eliminate any unnecessary risks that could lead to heavy insurance claims against the contractor. LumiCon Job Site Sensors include air quality monitors that provide AQI (Air Quality Index) measurements in real-time. AQI data can then be consolidated with temperature and humidity levels (another set of parameters which are measured with Job Site Sensors). These three pieces of information give managers a very clear look into the breathing conditions both in and around their site. On top of that, should there be an incident involving a natural gas leak in a certain area, project leaders will be notified instantly, allowing them to take action and get their workers to safety before they’re exposed for too long. 

A Better, Safer Job Site

By providing project managers and stakeholders a multidimensional look into their sites, LumiCon Job Site Sensors can be used as an extra step to show insurance providers and inspectors that the contractor is meeting regulatory standards and taking the necessary steps to reduce unwanted risks. Combining all of these factors together reduces project insurance premiums while increasing productivity and job site safety.

Want to learn more about how LumiCon can help reduce insurance premiums for your next project? Schedule a call today and find out!