Work related injuries account for about $250 million in the United States, across several industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in 2016. Each incident can lead to lost work, low morale, workers’ compensation claims and other problems for both the workers and their employers. Keeping workers safe is of the utmost priority. However, while many organizations understand the importance of occupational health and safety practices, a lot of them still struggle to maintain it. Even though there are a number of systems available for it, organizations find it hard to decide the effectiveness of one over the other. This is where wearable technology – a.k.a. wearables – can help by safely and efficiently monitoring vital signs and providing alerts. This makes it easier for managers to verify that workers are safe, even when they’re working in remote locations. Just another reason to add that smart watch to your holiday gift list this season!
While you might think of pedometers used to track exercise goals, wearables can do a lot more than simply count footsteps. The latest in wireless wearable sensor technology can measure human movement like never before, to give companies objective, easy-to-interpret data that can be turned into measurable results. Small, wireless sensors are placed on workers as they go about their workday, providing live data that is then combined with high-definition video to pinpoint risk areas of repetitive “red zone” movements that can lead to injuries. They can monitor the wearer’s health status and send out life-saving alerts when anything goes wrong. They can even help prevent risks while maximizing work efficiency. Wearable devices can be especially helpful in the trucking, construction and industries where a high level of physical exertion and risk are present.
Aside from the fact that work injuries affect productivity and efficiency, unsafe work environments can also increase the insurance costs incurred by a company. Moreover, hazardous environments, without possible safety precautions, can affect employee morale in a huge way. Driving down workplace risk means driving down the number of workdays employees miss due to injury, and increases productivity and efficiency. That helps protect family incomes, boost employee recruitment and retention, enhance company morale and improve the employer’s bottom line. That is why it is in the best interest of every organization to invest in improving the safety of workers, and reducing the risks of injuries. Wearables are capable of providing this much-needed safety, by carefully monitoring and communicating human movements as well as other environmental factors, thereby helping to maintain an optimum level of health for them and the overall business.
While wearable technology is still developing, new applications are being discovered constantly. The opportunities for reducing risk and improving efficiency will only grow as the technology improves.
As you evaluate the major drivers for your workplace injuries each year, ask if there are wearable technologies to help you address key issues. In the meantime, Roper Insurance can collaborate and help you identify proactive and revolutionary risk management strategies. Give us a call today at 303-721-1145.