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Italy: Construction

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Safety on construction working sites Pilot for Bridge 129 by SATA



BRIDGE designs, develops and deploys systems for smart control for the industry, the infrastructures and the services. It is taking into account regulations and highest quality standards.



SATA is a company that studies, designs, prototypes and realises innovative and advanced ICT solutions for different application domains, particularly for interoperability, logistics, enterprise networks and document management.



The pilot aims at the identification of intruders entering the building yard through accesses 10-15 meters wide and without physical borders.

As expected business benefits, the end-user is able to:

  • Increase efficiency of surveillance in control rooms;
  • Immediately realise possible dangerous situations and raise alarms;
  • Comply with new laws concerning worker safety; and
  • experience a positive financial impact as a result of decreasing insurance costs.



Safety in construction working sites is a hot topic given the high accident rates that affect the workers. The degree of danger ranges from light wounds to mortal events, but regardless of the type of accident, its cause is often linked to the lack of observance of safety rules. The exploitation of human-based supervision over the safety rules is not effective, since the sites are widely distributed and the cost to ensure human supervision is too high. For this reason, construction companies have strong interest in adopting new technologies that might tackle this problem in an autonomous manner. The state of the art with regard to automatic systems for ensuring the compliance of the safety rules over the construction working sites does not offer much beyond the plain access control. The information provided by these systems is that only admitted personnel is inside the working site perimeter: this is a very useful piece of information but does not impact the overall security of the site. Moreover, for this kind of access control to work effectively the perimeter of the site must be fenced and there must be specific gates where the workers can be registered. This condition is often un-realistic in wide (sometimes kilometres long) and moving construction working sites (e.g., freeway or tunnel constructions).

For this reason Bridge 129 S.p.A. is investing energies and time on modern technologies in order to offer to the construction companies a new paradigm of products that will ensure security over construction working sites. The system will be based on RFID sensors, enriched with some context cues from vision sensors, and will acquire and process data in a autonomous manner, triggering events (warning, alarms, etc.) when necessary.



The company will use both passive and active technologies. The passive RFIDs will be used at gates, for access control and for enrollment of the workers. The limitation of this technology, even in its UHf version, is the limitation on the reading range that can hardly pass the 10 meters. For this reason, also active RFIDs will be used that are able to read up to 100 meters far. With active RFIDs it is possible to monitor the presence of the workers over the sites in a ubiquitous manner with a limited number of readers.

The main limitation of a wide range of RFID readers is the de-localization of information, in the meaning that the data provided by the RFID readers does not contain any position information (i.e., where the tag is within the reading range). As a matter of fact, position through triangulation is very inaccurate, unless the scenario is completely static and never subject to changes: this condition does not apply to construction working sites, which represent an ever-changing scenario.

The use of specific-purpose devices called Markers can help in the localization of the tags. Namely, any tag can autonomously sense the proximity of a marker (up to a few meters of sensing range) and then signal to the RFID reader not only its own tag-ID but also the marker-ID. In this way, the system enables the localization of the tags.

Markers can be placed in fixed positions (e.g., workers enrollment) or can be attached to any moving component that is known to be potentially dangerous if found within a short range from human operators (e.g., a marker can be attached to the end of the arm of a crane): if the system senses the proximity of a worker close to such a marker, it might trigger warning/alarming events or even force the machinery to stop, if necessary.

UHF active tags

i-B2 S/EU for machines and i-B2 P/EU for persons.

RFID Application

It is an evolution of the current BRIDGE video-surveillance application.

Basic scenario

The control room operator is notified whenever the presence of persons or machines is detected by the IR sensors, and the read tags are shown (person name, machine identifier). Events related to sensors are traced so as to study “ex-post” the scene evolution, also taking advantage of recorded videos.

Advanced scenario

The control room operator is notified whenever the number and type of read tags do not match the number of persons or machines captured by the IP camera (this scenario calls for additional RTD activities).

Overall, the pilot will rely on RFID technology for localization, while few cameras may be additionally deployed to provide some more context cues. Nevertheless, the pilot will not involve any sophisticated visual signal processing.

A system that might tackle such problems is strongly needed and has stimulated the interest of construction working companies, as well as insurance companies.


User profiling and tag association


Monitoring – basic scenario