Workplace safety is a serious issue, especially in industries where workers perform repetitive and mundane, but exhausting tasks. This combination has the dangerous effect of fatiguing workers, lowering attention levels, and decreasing response time. This causes production mistakes, accidents, and injuries, which increase company production costs and expenses related to worker injuries and workers’ compensation claims.
One company, Marlin Steel, decided to take action and developed an automated manufacturing process that reduced the margin of error, took the labor load off workers, and ultimately created a more efficient process while keeping workers safe. In the end, Marlin Steel expanded their market, and as of 2014, employees had gone almost five years without a work-related injury.
Implementing New Safety Tech
Marlin Steel may have been ahead of their time in their decision to implement safety technology, but their end result has proven that the benefits this technology offers to employers and their employees cannot be overlooked. In fact, today’s workforce may not even be aware that employee safety is increasingly in the hands of the employer.
Providing safety equipment, planning ahead, identifying hazards, and other Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations can often be overlooked – but the future promises new and better options.
For example, new technologies may include:
- Automated forklifts
- Machine learning
- Augmented reality
- “Smart” personal protective equipment
- Risk data
The above list is just some of the safety technology predicted to be available to the workplace in the future, and some of it has already made an appearance.
Smart personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to protect the worker in a variety of ways. Although the capabilities of the protective equipment varies, these wearable devices can often detect environmental hazards and offer the worker both visual and verbal remote communication opportunities. Additionally, some smart PPE can identify and record patterns, which can then be evaluated to reduce risks for injury.
For example, while the future is expected to bring more sophisticated devices, firemen currently have access to gas masks with thermal cameras. Additionally, mining companies currently use smart mining location technology to identify the location of each miner.
Looking to the future, we can expect to see even more advances, including:
- Individually customized plans for the health and safety of employees
- Departmentalized plans for factories
- Large amounts of machine and human movement data used to minimize risks
Where are Companies in Terms of New Data Technology?
According to a safety research consultant, where companies are right now and where they are heading in the future varies greatly from organization to organization.
Going forward, it will be important for organizations to:
- Overcome concerns over data privacy issues;
- Allow safety professionals to define what technology is appropriate for their industry;
- Keep technology costs down by developing a plan for specific company needs; and
- Identify appropriate equipment, hardware and software, to meet goals.
Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Recover Compensation for Workers Injured on the Job
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, contact a Philadelphia work injury lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Our attorneys have experience with workers’ compensation laws and can help with filing a claim, appealing a denied claim, and more.
For a free consultation call 888-999-1962 or contact us online today. We provide skilled legal counsel to workers from our offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, and we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.