Modern Technology and Improvements in Workplace Safety
From safety apps to facial recognition, employers have many options to invest in.
- By Yasmine Mustafa
- Mar 15, 2023
In the U.S. alone, there were about 2.7 million work-related injuries and illnesses in 2020. Of those, 4,764 were fatal. It just goes to show that even in stable workplace environments, you can still expect the same level of risk, lethal or otherwise. So, it’s crucial that companies continue to increase the levels of workplace safety, and modern technology can greatly help achieve that.
In this article, you will learn of some ways in which modern, cutting-edge technology can help improve safety in the workplace. Most of this technology is already being successfully implemented in practice. Keep in mind that these innovations can be used across all industries and that their implementation will differ depending on where you work.
Technologies that Help Improve Workplace Safety
Wearable technology/panic buttons. Wearable technology has been a major part of various industries in the 21st century, with the most notable example being construction. This area is quite vast, including pieces of technology like cooling vests, smartwatches, exoskeletons, helmets and two-way communication headsets for safety.
Nowadays, wearable technology is becoming far more integrated and streamlined. For instance, the smart technology of a wireless panic button in the hospitality, healthcare and education industries is proving to be a boon for improving workplace safety.
Safety apps. With more and more members of the workforce owning a smart device, there’s an easy method of helping employees keep safe. All they need to do is install a specific safety app that will help them get through the workday unscathed.
There are lots of safety apps on the market right now. Depending on the app, they can check a variety of conditions and elements, including heat levels, heart rates, posture, the electrical grid, the presence of dangerous chemicals, proper angles for ladder placement, tension measurements for carrying heavy loads, noise levels and fatigue prediction.
Artificial intelligence and facial recognition. Interestingly, facial recognition software is relatively new when it comes to workplace technology that we regularly use. However, it definitely has a lot of benefits if you implement it properly.
With decent facial recognition software, workers no longer need ID cards to enter their workplace. More importantly, intruders will no longer be able to come in unannounced. After all, you can easily reprogram a card, but you can’t do the same with your face.
Naturally, facial recognition needs an advanced artificial intelligence that can tell different faces apart. This type of technology is still developing, but the progress has been steady and its future growth looks promising.
Virtual reality. You can apply virtual reality (VR) in many different ways when it comes to workplace safety. For instance, experts can generate a complete working environment using cutting-edge software. Employees can then utilize VR tools to spend time in this environment. They can test out as many hazardous situations as possible. It’s a safe, efficient way to train employees and figure out what the most dangerous parts of the workplace can be. The best part is that the workers themselves will suffer no harm whatsoever.
3D visualization. The past decades have seen the growth and expansion of visualization technology. Utilizing this technology has been of utmost importance for workplace safety, especially in dangerous working environments such as construction sites.
Using 3D models, experts can map out the entire area and locate potential danger zones in advance. This approach saves employers a lot of money since everything is done in a digital environment, and they don’t have to hire people to locate these zones and charge for estimates. 3D software can also help with remodeling the workplace efficiently in order to save money and improve the productivity of the workers.
Drones. Drone technology has been rapidly growing over the past decade. These devices are being used daily by various industry sectors to improve worker safety and save lives. Since a drone is a versatile machine with a solid range of movements, you can use it to inspect dangerous areas that humans can’t reach. Furthermore, with mounted cameras, they can send information quickly and effectively to the employer.
Vehicles and Robots. Hundreds of thousands die in car accidents, and more than a few of those are work-related. As such, experts have been improving technology to make vehicles as safe as possible for the average American worker. Some of the many technological innovations in this field include:
- Automated vehicles,
- The auto-stop feature,
- Dash Cams,
- Electronic logging devices,
- Telematics and
- GPS systems.
Much like cars for transportation, robots are extremely important for a variety of processes. They include manufacturing, packaging, palletizing and even disassembling products. So, with that being the case, experts are always improving the robots we use. They constantly add new features and make sure the robots don’t malfunction during the set-up, working hours, adjustment or repairs. A faulty robot might not only tamper with the manufacturing process but can also seriously injure an unsuspecting employee.
Adjustable Working Environment. Imagine that you’re working eight or more hours each day in a seated position. Alternatively, imagine that you have to do the same exact body movement for that same amount of time (e.g., shoveling coal or moving furniture from point A to point B). That, in and of itself, can harm the body in various ways.
Nowadays, you can work in an adjustable office space that caters to any of your potential health or comfort issues. For instance, you can work at a desk that converts itself depending on whether you want to sit or stand while working. In addition, ergonomic chairs and computer equipment take away all of the strain on the wrists and make for a more comfortable working environment.
Making the Pitch
By offering these modern technologies and improvements, integrators can seek to gain several benefits. One of those benefits includes broadening their portfolio, allowing future clients to better gauge what these integrators offer. This can also serve to attract new clients due to the wider range of services that can be offered. As the world moves towards a more technologically advanced future, it's important that companies invest in these technologies in order to stay current.
Another benefit of offering these types of solutions is the creation of a new source of recurring monthly revenue (RMR). It can be difficult to sustain a steady flow of income, especially with the given economic changes. Having a reliable source of RMR can provide integrators with a sense of security during these uncertain times.
Some of the solutions offered can be very simple to install. Things like safety apps and wearable technology may seem like small investments to begin with, but a small investment can lead to bigger profits later on, especially if it means clients can work in a safe environment. Bigger solutions like drones and virtual reality are relatively new in this modern era and would require a bigger investment and a lot of trust from the integrator. But, with the direction that this world is moving in, such a large investment could lead to some of the biggest profits, as clients would be able to call themselves innovators on this unknown technological frontier.