Four Ways AI Is Making Life Safer For Contractors

By Lynn Pearcey, MBA, Copywriter, AIA Contract Documents

February 22, 2024

Whether you like it or not, have reservations about using it, or don’t believe it can be trusted, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here, and from the looks of things, it’s here to stay. If you stop and think about it, nearly every facet of our daily lives has felt the impact of this generational technology in some way, shape, or form. Shopping, facial and voice recognition, smartphones, and smart homes, all of these and many more are powered by AI.

Add construction to the places where the pervasive solution of AI is taking root and making a real difference. We’re eons away from robots driving forklifts, pouring concrete, and hammering nails into frames. Still, with each passing year, the viability of AI as a construction resource is becoming increasingly undeniable. The impact of AI is especially true for contractors, where the challenges can sometimes be large, but the margins for error are always comparatively small. Using AI allows contractors can perform at maximum levels and deliver a higher quality of standards by leveraging this tool in several different ways, including safety.

Increased Safety and Protection

Safety is always at the front of the minds of any contractor. Construction sites are extremely busy, and if mismanaged when it comes to strict adherence to safety protocols, they can quickly become dangerous. When danger due to negligence or inattentiveness occurs, the prospects for injuries or worse arrive. AI improves construction safety through a plethora of arms designed to protect the most valuable resource on any site — the people.

Safety Monitoring With AI

In the past, the only eyes monitoring a construction site belonged to contractors, foremen, and project managers. But even with all those eyes and others on the scene, unsafe and dangerous patterns weren’t always detected. With cameras driven by AI technology, construction sites can be monitored in real-time. The software that drives the solution identifies dangerous behaviors and trends that jeopardize the safety of the workforce. Upon detection, supervisors are alerted and prompted to take the necessary actions to avoid a costly accident or injury.

The Power of Predictive AI

 In life, hindsight is always 20/20, meaning if someone knew something harmful was about to happen, they would likely take preventive measures. For contractors, predictive analytics powered by AI is their version of the 20/20 vision. Using this technology, contractors can review past projects with similar profiles to detect dangerous trends or outcomes. With this information, contractors can either eliminate or reduce risks on current projects and create better safety protocols moving forward. On a more granular level, new AI technologies also allow contractors to monitor the safety behaviors of individual employees. Similar to the project monitoring component, this technology lets contractors, site leaders, and managers build employee safety profiles and detect any dangerous habits that might put them at risk.

Reporting in Real-time

With AI, contractors don’t have to wait to hear what went wrong. Using AI, contractors and site leaders have immediate access to the data they need to manage their construction sites successfully. This technology means there’s no waiting to hear which employee barely avoided injury, which part of the project was in jeopardy, or which safety protocols were at risk. The power this kind of functionality brings to a project can’t be overemphasized, and it adds immense value to all levels of a construction safety program. Say, for example, an employee makes a mistake that almost caused her serious injury. Having real-time access to that information allows the manager to redirect that employee and avoid high insurance costs and downtime or losses in efficiency that might occur as a result.

Improved Response Times

AI diminishes the risks associated with construction sites, but it’s important to understand that the technology doesn’t remove them from the equation. With that, injuries and emergencies are bound to occur, and when they do, AI technology significantly improves communications, an essential component of any construction site. Improvements in this area lead to more effective use of safety resources, faster remedies, and a safer environment for contractors.


AI touches so many facets of the day-to-day lives of contractors, and no area is more important than safety. Every contractor, regardless of their firm’s size, scope, or focus, should place a premium on this arm of their business model. With that, infusing AI into their safety program makes perfect sense. Using AI, contractors can monitor behaviors, predict outcomes, build profiles and reports, and improve response windows. Most important of all, AI gives contractors the ability to protect their most important resource – their people.

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AIA Contract Documents has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors.