Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

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The Safety Shuttle

How can you make construction sites safer?

The ever-changing environment in construction sites is a dangerous place to have a career. Safety procedures are set in place but are often overridden because they slow down the working pace. How can we create a safe environment that supports and complements the duress of a construction site work culture?

The Solution

Studying products that enable safe and efficient movement at elevated heights, students designed a simple shuttle that clamps onto lifeline ropes ensuring safety. The purpose of the design is to allow two shuttles to bypass each other through a simple geometric rotation as workers move across the line. This would follow as a replacement to products such as harnesses, retractable lanyards and stanchions. This simple tool could be included easily into the existing lifeline system, which includes a host of other tools required for construction.

Iterations and sketches of early design concepts.

On Site
Students conduct user reseach by analyzing tasks and exploring use scenarios

Stress Test
Stress test of the final design


In 2013, MSA Safety patented the shuttle design and soon after launched it in the marketplace.