Health and safety in the workplace are an ongoing challenge that all employers are managing on a daily basis. The landscape of connected devices has changed the landscape in the workplace, and it is also having an interesting shift in safety on the job site. Understanding how wearables could lead to fewer workplace injuries takes time and investment in bringing the device mesh into use on the job. Here’s a look at what that could mean for your business.
The Device Mesh
The device mesh is best described as an ever-expanding set of endpoints currently being used to access information or connect with people and businesses. This modern-day technological experience includes mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, but also wearable devices, consumer and home electronics, automotive and environmental devices. Wearables are a huge aspect of the device mesh and how workers may be able to become more connected and their data better tracked.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has created an environment where formerly separate people and objects are now so deeply interconnected that information is constantly flowing from one device or person to another. As the device mesh evolves and everything becomes increasingly more connected, current day use models for this vast amount of information will expand and more cooperative interaction between devices will become the norm. How that information is used is currently being evaluated and as the growth continues more people will have better access to the data they need to be more productive and effective within an ever-competing job market.
Workplace injuries are often the result of carelessness on the job, poor ergonomics, or even fatigue. Wearables can collect data around position and movement in ways that can actively help warn and prevent injury. One example of such a wearable is the SoterSpine device, designed to help industrial workers reduce the behaviors that increase risk exposure. The device is meant to be implemented as more than a simple warning system, but a training program to build awareness and embed safe working behaviors, long-term risk mitigation, even rehab to help workers returning from an injury. The most connected element of the device is the dashboard it feeds data to, which enables managers and health and safety departments better understand the issues they are up against out on the floor.
A solid safety culture is built on these key organizational values: strong leadership, high standards, and a sense of vulnerability. Constant vigilance and worker empowerment to handle safety issues should they occur will help to establish effective communication, mutual trust, and timely response to safety issues and concerns. Monitor performance on a regular basis and hold those who make mistakes accountable for their errors, but also give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. In the case of an accident, the best way to handle the backlash is to learn from it and teach from it. While it is the responsibility of corporate leadership to establish effective safety guidelines and procedures, at the end of the day safety is everyone’s responsibility.
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