The health and safety field is one of the most diverse fields around. “Health and Safety” is basically just an umbrella term covering a multitude of positions in practically every industry.
As such, there are various advances made every day that affect the health and safety field in a multitude of ways; there are medical knowledge advancements, technological advancements, and even economic understanding advancements.
Today, we want to not only focus on technological advancements, but we want to focus on wearable technological advancements in particular.
A wearable piece of technology is, as the name suggests, a specialized piece of tech that you wear on your body somewhere. Outside of the health and safety field, good examples are watches, Life Alert buttons, etc.
The Health and Safety field benefits a lot from wearable technology, and today, we want to go over the different items that are trending industry-wide. This will help you stay ahead of the curve, and you’ll get an understanding of just how advanced Health and Safety has become.
1: Hard Helmet Sensors
Health and Safety Officers service a number of fields. Some of those fields, such as construction companies or certain production companies, can require hard hats. In those scenarios, not only are the health and safety professionals wearing specialized hard hats but so are the main employees.
This is to reduce the risk of head injuries from falling debris and various other hazards.
In the old days, hard hats were pretty simple. They were just hard plastic shells with foam interiors, and that’s probably what you think of if you’re over the age of thirty, not in a field that needs one and thinking about hard hats.
However, they’re much different nowadays.
Modern hard hats implement a number of sensors for a few reasons. First, they can ensure that employees aren’t becoming dangerously hot or experiencing serious health problems. Then, of course, they can protect against debris. This has advanced by implementing proximity and impact sensors that can read how close employees get to being struck, and how hard they’re struck when an accident does occur. This is vital information in a number of workplace accidents.
These helmets are state-of-the-art, and they’re not available at every work site, but they are growing in popularity due to the benefits they provide in both preventing injuries and accessing the damage when injuries do occur.
2: Biometric Data Collection
Now, this is very similar to the helmets detailed above, and it’s probably one of the most controversial things a company can do; understandably so.
Biometric data is information gathered from your body. As such, many people are nervous about letting their employers or anyone else get ahold of this information. There are good reasons for that, too. We’re not pushing you to suddenly accept your employer gathering information for no reason. However, in certain circumstances, it can be useful.
With smart watches and phone apps that are constantly advanced, employers are broadening their understanding of their employees.
These watches and apps can read things such as an employee’s blood pressure when they get dizzy or tired during their shift, when their pulse raises, their temperature, and even their breathing rate of an employee.
So, why does your employee need any of that? That’s a very fair question, and some employers don’t need to know that at all. However, it can be lifesaving in certain situations.
Let’s say you work in construction, and you’re building a high rise. Your smartwatch picks up that you are dizzy, and a health and safety professional immediately calls you down from your post to meet with them. That could prevent you from falling, and unfortunately, seriously harming yourself or dying.
In another situation, let’s say you’re working very long shifts driving a forklift. After a few weeks, your employer notices that, at the eleventh hour of a 14-hour shift, you start dozing off. At that point, you’re unsafe, and so are your coworkers. If your employer is responsible and worthy of being in charge of others, they’ll start making adjustments immediately to avoid letting any of you get harmed.
Biometric data is also capable of helping employers see if they’re pushing their employees too hard. If they notice that a large number of employees are experiencing increased heart rates or breathing rates at certain periods, they can identify what is triggering that and work to prevent an injury or illness.
Let’s say you work at a junkyard, and once per day, you and a team need to quickly load a truck with certain parts in extreme heat. The employer might find that you’re all suffering dramatically increased heart rates during this period and decide to give you more time, provide cooling options, or provide breaks throughout that period.
Biometric data is very confidential, and no, it is not necessary for every job position. However, it can be collected for genuinely good reasons, and it’s important that we, as employees and employers, understand that to ensure that everyone gets to work safely.
So, even if you’re a little concerned about this intrusive tech, take a moment to determine whether or not your employer’s mindset is in the right place before immediately writing it off.
3: Augmented Training
Health and Safety, regardless of which specific position it is, can be extremely stressful, and potentially, very expensive.
Thanks to modern tech, training programs can improve augmented reality lessons that simulate worst-case scenarios to help professionals make the right decisions when they’re in the real deal.
This not only increases the professional’s confidence and understanding of specific high-stress situations, but it lowers the risk of companies losing large sums due to accidents, neglected equipment, and more.
Why is This Important?
So, why should you care about this as a business owner? Well, it can have a major impact on your establishment.
If you know what tech can help you better protect your employees, you not only keep your employees safe, but you protect your pocketbook from lawsuits and worker’s comp submissions.