Businesses have been relying on the same methods to ensure health and safety in the workplace for years, but the time has come to bring some innovation to the table. Adopting safety technologies can provide the solution for many of their past and current problems, experts say.
Providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment is an employer’s duty, but also one of the greatest challenges they face. All industries come with potential risks and hazards that could cause significant damages to both businesses and employees. Therefore, workplace safety should be high on the priority list for all business owners and entrepreneurs.
Unfortunately, despite the great advances that have been made in the health and safety field and the constant attempts at eliminating hazards, there’s no such thing as a risk-free work setting. There’s a lot of room for improvement, especially in high-risk industries such as construction, transportation, or manufacturing. However, the majority of business owners still rely on the same outdated methods they’ve been using for years to keep their employees safe, either because they’re resistant to change or because they don’t know what solutions to implement to improve workplace safety.
Ensuring workplace safety is more than a matter of complying with the rules and regulations set in place. It’s an aspect that should be at the forefront of every business, not only for the sake of their employees but also for the proper functioning of business operations. As experts at No Win No Fee Solicitors Co. explain, accident at work claims are quite common, and can cost a business not only a lot of money but also their reputation. Thus, taking the necessary measures to minimize risks is a must for all businesses, regardless of size or industry.
For most businesses, ensuring workplace safety boils down to creating and implementing health and safety policies, training their staff, providing employees with the right tools and equipment, and offering incentives and rewards for safe behaviour. But there’s a new approach to health and safety that goes beyond the traditional procedures we’re already familiar with. It’s an approach that puts technology at the centre of these efforts, helping employers find cutting-edge solutions to reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace and thus keep everyone on the premises safe. Experts believe this can lead to significant improvements in the field, so let’s take a look at some of the tech innovations that are set to change the face of workplace safety.
Wearables and smart PPE
We’ve come to think of personal protective equipment or PPEs as simple pieces of equipment that create a barrier between workers and the potential hazards that they’re exposed to, such as helmets, gloves, safety goggles, and so on. However, with the introduction of wearables, we’ve now got a new generation of PPEs available.
IoT systems have been integrated with wearables to enhance the efficiency of PPEs. They are able to monitor a worker’s vital signs and various working environment factors, warning wearers or supervisors when there’s a potential issue or threat for the workers, so they can address hazardous situations in due time and prevent accidents from happening.
AR and VR training
It’s one thing to talk to employees about risks and hazards and how they could be affected and the steps they should follow to remove themselves from potentially dangerous settings, and a whole different thing to show them how it’s done. Now we have augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) that can recreate a workplace environment and let employees experience for themselves the work conditions they’re going to deal with in real life, but without actually coming into contact with any of the hazards they involve.
This allows for a more realistic training approach that can help workers better prepare for their workplace environment. They can familiarize themselves with the risks and hazards from a safe distance and learn the best health and safety practices to keep out of danger.
If an accident does occur in the workplace, time is the most important factor to take into consideration. The sooner the event is reported, the better the chances of minimizing damages and getting everyone to safety. Once again, IoT systems come into play to ensure timely and complete incident reporting.
Sensors attached to wearables and other equipment pieces can track employees’ activity and communicate threats or accidents as soon as they happen, eliminating delays. Emergency teams can intervene in due time to provide the necessary care and assistance. These technologies can also warn workers about the dangers in their close proximity, so they can maintain a safe distance and call in for help.
It’s important to report incidents and respond in a timely manner, but it’s a lot better to be able to prevent these incidents from happening in the first place. Luckily, technology can provide a solution for this as well through safety analytics.
Tech can help businesses collect and analyse data from their premises in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of their current risks and hazards. This allows them to accurately identify issues, challenges, and patterns, so they can come up with more efficient health and safety solutions for the future and enhance their prevention efforts.
Workplace automation is a trend that’s been adopted by many businesses these days, and although the main reason for this change is for workers to spend less time on repetitive tasks and improve productivity, in some circumstances this also ensures a greater level of safety.
Certain activities that pose a greater risk of accidents can now be handled by machines and devices, so workers are completely sheltered from these hazards. Automation can help businesses save time and money, while also keeping their employees out of harm’s way.
With all the advances in technology we’ve been experiencing lately, it’s only normal for businesses in all industries to turn to the tech world in search of better safety solutions. This trend is likely to become even more prevalent in the years to come, as technology and its applications continue to evolve.