With technology comes an increase in possibilities, especially in high-risk occupations where real-time information can help reduce injuries. What could PPE technology look like over the next few years?
Use of sensors to alert and reduce injury
With technology, companies can take an active approach towards preventing accidents. By utilizing wearables and sensors, manufacturers improve both end-user experiences and produce insight from data that leads to innovation and growth opportunities. Imagine preventing heatstroke, tracking appropriate PPE attire based on zones, or monitoring chemical/gas levels before the worker enters the location. PPE technology allows the development of sensors that can automate processes and track location, temperature, leaks, humidity, sound, light and other related risk factors. Companies can use this real-time reported information to prevent injuries, hazards, and fatalities.
Valuable employee insight and feedback
Innovation in technology allows the use of smart devices to push safety messages, weather warnings, and surveys. The surveys can help with risk assessments, working environment concerns and overall morale. This tactic empowers the worker to report issues, share their knowledge and give managers and the rest of the company insight into the high-risk jobs. Manufacturers can also use this technology to track valuable feedback on wearability, fit, quality and use of their products.
Quicker, easier training processes
Training is a vital part of the safety process. As requirements change and compliance transforms, safety training and awareness are difficult to solidify because they primarily rely on employees' ability to learn and understand critical safety practices. Employees must be engaged in an active safety culture for their behavior to reflect what they have learned.
It is difficult to retain more than a small percentage of what is taught in a training session let alone apply it to the job at hand. Technology allows for shorter safety training sessions in a fun, interactive way anytime, anywhere. Reminders and pertinent training information can also be pushed via the smart device allowing for quicker retention and less time away from the job floor.
Increased and accurate worker-centered information
Perhaps the most exciting part of the growth of PPE Technology is the valuable information gained. Not only does the technology provide organizations with transparency into the day-to-day, but it also cultivates a culture that is proactive and invested in each worker. The data provided is endless and customizable. Companies can track reoccurring risks and hazards, create individual profiles based on behaviors and performance and predict hazardous situations before they occur. The intelligence accrued can result in reduced injury which equates to a healthier workforce.