Over the last century, technology has developed at an extraordinary pace. New medical devices, automobiles, heavy machinery, communication devices, tools, and computers have all changed that way that every industry does business. But many are questioning why, when we are able to build skyscrapers that are over 100 stories high or use machines to lift tons of materials, there hasn’t been a push to use technology to keep workers safe.
Can “ Wearables” Help?
Some companies are hoping to answer that question with “wearables”. The most popular companies and devices thus far include:
Human Condition Safety (HCS)
This startup company has partnered with big name insurance company AIG and Microsoft to develop a series of devices which they hope will identify the risks that workers face every day in the manufacturing, construction, and warehousing industries. As they develop their products, they hope to expand into other industries.
In addition to wearable devices, the company has released a virtual reality program that allows new employees to learn by experiencing dangerous scenarios without actually being in danger.
There are millions of workers across countless industries that lift heavy loads on the job every day. The device that was developed by this company places sensors on the belt of a worker and give immediate feedback to the employee, letting them know if they are lifting in a safe manner or not. It also collects data in order to give feedback to the employer about how the workplace might be made restructured to make it a safer environment.
This wearable, which goes directly on the wrist, aims to protect workers who could potentially be in danger of being electrocuted. It detects any electrical voltages within a certain range and then vibrated to let the worker know if equipment or wiring is energized. In the event that the worker is shocked and falls to the ground, the device sends a notification to a designated person, alerting them that assistance is needed.
These are just a few of the options available to employers and more are being developed every day.
Saving Lives And Money
Of course, saving the lives of hard working New Yorkers should be at the top of any employer’s priorities, but sadly, in many cases, employee safety is ignored in order to save time and money. That’s why many of these wearables are advertised as a way to save employers time and money.
By preventing employee accidents and injuries, employers will not be forced to spend additional time finding and training a replacement employee, a process which frequently costs more than the salary paid to the original worker. It will also reduce the number of workers’ compensation claims made, thereby reducing insurance premiums.
Are Workplaces Really That Unsafe?
Yes. Thousands of workers are seriously injured every single day. The most dangerous industries for workers to be employed in are:
- Waste Management
- Electrical Engineering
The accidents that frequently happen in these industries don’t leave workers with just a bruise or a scratch – the injuries that are commonly sustained can mean that the injured worker is forced to take weeks or months off of work during the healing process or it can mean that they can never again return to their chosen career. So in addition to being in physical pain, there is now the additional worry about paying bills. That’s why workers’ compensation was developed.
Once approved, a workers’ compensation claim can provide up to two-thirds of the employee’s salary so that they can feel financially safe. If the injury is career ending, a Social Security Disability claim can provide similar benefits.
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