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Marukyo Construction Co.

An AI-assisted workplace safety & hazard prediction application that improves employee’s safety awareness

  • Use Case
  • Construction
The application was selected for its ability to improve employee's safety awareness, store risk assessment records in digital format and provide statistics for each job site.

About Marukyo Construction Co.

 

Marukyo Construction Co. was established in 1966 and is located near the source of the Chikuma River in Nagano Prefecture – at an altitude of over 1,100 meters, where the temperature drops to -20°C in winter and the earth can freeze as much as one meter deep.
The company currently operates in a wide range of businesses, including general construction, gravel & quarry plant business and real estate business actively contributing to the infrastructure of the local community.
At a safety promotion convention held on June 7, 2024, HACARUS gave a presentation on HACARUS Workplace Safety for KY, an application that uses AI for worksite safety & hazard prediction activities, which subsequently led to Marukyo Construction Co. beginning to use it.

 

 

 

Interview

 

 

Yasutaka Kikuchi (President and Representative Director)

We are actively using information and communications technology (ICT) and were among the first to implement surveying by drone back in 2018. We actively participate in ICT exhibitions and lectures to keep up with the latest developments, and we also incorporate new technologies such as 3D data creation software, scanners, and pan-global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) into our everyday business practices.

 

 

 

Tomoki Niitsu (Landscaping Construction)

I am in charge of the development of the Kawakami Village Integrated Elementary School, laying ditches and boundary blocks for the sidewalks and driveways, and creating a parking lot. As the structure nears its completion, I find more and more satisfaction and enjoyment in my work.

 

 

 

 

Marukyo Construction Co. ‘s Ethos: Strict safety measures, quality comes first and close ties to the local community.

 

Yasutaka Kikuchi Since our founding, we have been involved in construction work that secures vital lifelines for our local community, such as roads that serve as the bases for daily life. We hope to be a company that is closely connected to, and appreciated by the local community. Our strengths are “safety, quality, and creativity” – but safety first is essential. In order to raise employee awareness of safety and prevent workplace accidents, we hold an annual safety promotion event, which is being held for the 38th time this year.

 

Only when safety is ensured can on-site creativity and quality be achieved. Municipal civil engineering work must meet safety and quality requirements, and each and every site requires a different approach. We hope to gain the trust of the community in our workmanship and further enhance the community’s sense of security.

 

Tomoki Niitsu We are now working on the construction of a local elementary school. In that work we are making extra effort to improve safety and provide a sense of comfort by paying close attention to the fill joints, to prevent minor bumps in what will become a sidewalk.

 

 

Current Safety Measures: Achieving Workplace Safety through the Integration of ICT and People

 

Yasutaka Kikuchi In response to the “i-Construction” initiative promoted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), we are actively investing in new hardware. Additionally, we have installed vehicle operation management software that allows us to check recordings and track locations in order to respond quickly in the event of an accident. By introducing ICT, we are striving to improve safety even more.

 

 

Tomoki Niitsu Yesterday, we used an ICT enabled bulldozer to level a site, and we were paying close attention to safety through the activity. Not only during heavy equipment operation, but there were many points to pay attention to, as many elementary and junior high school students passed by the site. We make sure to communicate with our subcontractors well in advance of the work to make them aware of potential risk and what to consider.

 

 

Safety measures: Further improving the quality of workplace risk prediction activities (KY)

 

 

Yasutaka Kikuchi We conduct workplace risk prediction activities every day, but we sometimes fear that we are getting complacent and, as they are done each day, they get stuck on repeat. Since these activities are the basis of safety management, we request that the workplaces take a firm daily approach but there is always room for improvement.

 

Tomoki Niitsu The same activities may continue in the work site and when you continue to do this every day, you inevitably get distracted – and it is difficult to maintain your concentration. I also sometimes felt that it was inevitable that KY sheets include the same risks if the work is the same as the prior day.

 

 

HACARUS Workplace Safety for KY solves complacency problems with AI that complements KY activities and identifies danger points!

 

 

Yasutaka Kikuchi I was very impressed with HACARUS Workplace Safety for KY, and immediately decided to use it. I knew that the system would improve employee safety awareness and be a strength for the company, since it provides easy-to-understand illustrations of hazard points and examples of work-related accidents – allowing both new and experienced workers to grasp the details of precautions taken.

Another deciding factor was the ability to keep records digitally, rather than on paper, and to obtain statistics for each job site. I believe that taking the initiative to introduce the system from the perspective of eliminating accidents will help protect the safety of employees and partners.

 

 

Tomoki Niitsu After entering the name of the worksite and conditions, the AI provides an illustration of the danger points based on past cases of industrial accidents. When I used the app, it suggested the risk of a drag shovel operator’s clothes getting caught on the rotating lever, and the tool arm then suddenly turning during concrete pouring, which was something that I had never considered before. The site supervisor also said, “I was able to notice dangerous points that I had not previously noticed”.

On the other hand, there were cases and illustrations that were different from what I had imagined, and I sometimes thought this was wrong and rewrote the hazard points by myself.

 

 

The effects using the app are already being felt in the field; initial hesitancy is now replaced with a sense of ease.

 

Yasutaka Kikuchi Although there was some confusion when the system was first introduced at the worksite, two months have passed since and it is now operating smoothly. With the help of this app, we will continue our efforts to enhance safety.

 

 

Tomoki Niitsu Having always done this work by hand, I initially felt that the new system was a hassle, and that paper was faster than inputting on a screen. However, once I got used to it, I realized that it is not difficult, and will be easier to use once you get a hang of it. Our partner companies also use the system, which makes collaboration and getting signatures done easier. It is particularly useful on rainy days – unlike paper, the app screen doesn’t get wet and the text is not lost.

 

Yasutaka Kikuchi As we operate in a location rich in nature which makes us extra conscious of the need to reduce the use of paper. One of the reasons we were interested in HACARUS Workplace Safety for KY was the ability to digitalise our risk prediction activities and reduce paper usage.

 

Tomoki Niitsu Since we started using HACARUS Workplace Safety for KY, sheets are no longer made from paper, with the exception of on-site postings. Data is saved using the Excel format export function. If a local authority asks for the KY sheets, they can be submitted immediately.

 

 

Marukyo Construction Co. Looking Ahead: With a Safety First Approach Automation

 

Tomoki Niitsu ICT is being used in the construction industry more and more, and I feel that the introduction of new technologies has led to both more convenience and enjoyment of work, and the introduction of HACARUS Workplace Safety for KY is a good example of this – it has helped me to make my work more enjoyable, and it has also helped me to make my life easier and more enjoyable.

 

 

Yasutaka Kikuchi In April 2024, the MLIT announced “i-Construction 2.0”. All our employees will follow the three pillars of the new initiative: automation of construction, of data linkage and of construction management. We will continue to put the safety of our employees and subcontractors first, and as a community-based company, we will strive to improve safety and quality of life for all our stakeholders.

 

 

 

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Marukyo Construction Co.
Established: July 1966
Capital: ¥23 million
Head Office: 1218 Omiyama, Kawakami-mura, Minamisaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture
Business Activities: General construction, building lot and building transaction, gravel extraction and sales, industrial waste disposal, petroleum sales and fertilizer sales.
Website: https://www.marukyokensetu.com/

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