Geotechnical Engineering Safety Concerns

June, 30 2020

In geotechnical engineering, the instrumentation is important for helping workers to stay safe. These instruments can help to provide an early warning system for potential or impending failures. This allows for the safe and timely evacuation of a construction site in the event of a serious safety concern and provides engineers with time to implement remedial action to prevent potential site safety issues.

Safety monitoring with geotechnical instrumentation allows for the quick retrieval, processing, and demonstration of data so that project managers and other senior engineering staff can make prompt decisions to ensure the workforce’s safety.

Design verification and quality control

Geotechnical instrumentation can also be useful in verifying design assumptions, and to check that the performance of a structure functions as predicted. Geotechnical engineering consultants often use instrument data from initial project phases to modify their design later in the project.

From a quality control perspective, this instrumentation can inspect and enforce the quality of work on a project, ensuring that it is completed to the correct health and safety specifications.

This instrument data can also be used to provide evidence, from a legal perspective, that a building or structure has been completed to sufficient safety standards. This includes protection, should the owners of adjacent properties claim that site construction has resulted in damage to their premises.

Types of geotechnical instrumentation

Crack propagation sensors

Crack monitoring can be used to measure the precise movement of a structure. These sensors can provide an early indication that a formation or structure is moving, or likely to shift in the future. These sensors can be remotely monitored by geotechnical engineering teams to spot trends that might take days or weeks to find manually.

Slope inclinometer

Horizontal and vertical slope inclinometers can be employed to measure the movements of slopes, foundations, earthworks, and retaining walls. These tools allow engineers to observe potential movement before, during, and after construction work takes place.

Noise monitoring

Noise can be an indicator that a building is not structurally sound. Noise is also a hazard in itself – avoiding excess noise is paramount to ensuring the safety of on-site staff and ensuring that the quality of life of those in neighboring buildings is not impacted by excess construction noise.

Vibration monitorin

Excess vibration can cause damage to buildings and structures. With vibration monitoring in place, you’ll ensure vibrations do not reach potentially dangerous levels, thereby protecting your site’s structural integrity.

If you would like to know more about how geotechnical tools could improve your project’s safety, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We’re here to help maximize the productivity and profitability of your projects in Southern California by supporting you with our geological and geotechnical experience.


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