Get Ready for the Safety Management Revolution
Look around any public place and you’re bound to spot several people sporting wearable technology. Watches, fitness bands, fashion accessories, sunglasses and clothing now feature high-tech, fully embedded smart devices that can communicate helpful information with us. It’s a trend growing by leaps and bounds every year and is set to be a $60 billion industry by 2022, according to a report by ABI Research. But it’s not just a health and fitness trend or fashion statement. Wearable safety devices such as smartwatches, smart glasses and sophisticated personal protection equipment are making their way into our workplaces, along with safety management software to provide robust safety protocols for companies.
More than 1 in 6 workers report already using wearables on the job, and it’s creating tremendous opportunities to enhance employee experience and output, and better monitor a worker’s health and wellbeing. Research from Deloitte says smart wearable technology in the workforce is ultimately helping companies operate more efficiently. Their “Workforce superpowers: Wearables are augmenting employees’ abilities” study suggests wearables are creating more effective and productive workers, helping them overcome physical limitations and bridging skills gaps while also keeping employees safer.
How amazing is it that we are now in an era where personal protective equipment (PPE) can literally talk to us? It can alert company personnel to dangerous situations before they are aware of them, essentially providing an opportunity to mitigate an issue. It can replace lagging indicators with real-time information and pave the way to creating safety and risk profiles for every worker. All of this is possible with IoT infrastructures in today's world through programs like Corvex Connected Safety, which is forging these types of transformational opportunities for today’s manufacturers by building smart, sophisticated connected work environments.
Wearable devices can be used to notify employees when their physical safety is at risk—for instance, when they’re lifting something inappropriately or sitting for too long, or if there is a hazard nearby. It can be used to communicate with employees and facility managers when proper safety gear isn’t worn before entering a work environment or send notification to a worker if there is suddenly a temperature spike or a rise in blood pressure on the job, helping prompt a series of steps to reduce an injury or health incident.
Couple wearable technology with smart safety management software, advanced analytics and the use of artificial intelligence, and data can be tracked and analyzed more broadly to share insightful information and workplace trends as well as flag risk management issues, all of which are invaluable for an employer with a goal of increasing safety and wellbeing in the workplace.
This type of digital transformation in the workplace over time can allow for a fully connected worker-powered environment, with communication flowing bi-directionally through the use of appropriate platforms, technologies, software and wearables for a complete picture of safety in real-time. This type of change enables continuous improvement, shorter feedback cycle times and more engaged workers.
It’s a lot of change for some workers but the good news is that most seem open to what the future brings. According to a survey conducted by Clutch, the majority of workers (87%) are willing to adapt their skills for the changing workplace. And more than half are eager about mastering new technology. Just over a third are actually looking forward to their employer implementing smart technology. Most important is to be sure your employees understand how and where you intend to use new technology to help them enhance what they do on the job and they will be much more inclined to embrace it.