The number of workplace accidents in 2019 reached 2.8 million, but this number has remained consistent over the past three years. It has also been on a steady decline since 2003 in the U.S. This could be due to the improvements made in health and safety over the years, and the increase in the use of technology to reduce risks. The automotive industry is now using smart technology to gather information about the road ahead, an innovative move which could be used in the driving industries to make workers safer. There are many ways that technology can improve safety at work.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Safety glasses and goggles are now equipped with anti-fog and anti-scratch technology improving visibility for workers in various industries. In the construction industry, helmets are now also being integrated with goggles to make it compulsory to wear both. Even high-visibility vests are becoming more sophisticated, using Bluetooth to track the movements of workers and to detect hazards in the workplace. The construction industry also uses Virtual Reality technology to show sites without workers setting foot on them. All of these combined make for safer workers, particularly in an industry where accidents are common.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELD’s)
Electronic logging devices are a form of technology designed for the driving industry, and record driving hours to prevent accidents caused by tired drivers. ELD’s have been studied for safety in trucks, and it was found that trucks which contained the technology had preventable crash rates that were significantly lower than trucks without the technology. This is a big step for the industry, as there are 12,500 spinal injuries in the U.S. every year, one third of which are caused by motor vehicle accidents. This technology may make driving safer for truck drivers and those who work in logistics, and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure it is used. Should your employer not take care of your safety and you sustain a spinal injury, a spinal injury lawyer will be best placed to help you hold them to account.
The use of drones in the workplace has gradually increased over the last few years. The legal implications of using them has prevented their use in many places, but a new rule states that operators can use them under certain circumstances. This means that they can be used in more sites for workplace inspections. Health and safety compliance officers can now see more activity within the workplace, and therefore pick up on more hazards to the safety of workers. They can use this to give a citation to employers who do not comply with the regulations. Officers are unable to expose themselves to hazards during inspection, but with the use of drones, they will be able to see up ladders and towers, and into hard to reach areas.
Investing in technology for health and safety can improve an employer’s ability to help their workers, and also reduce costs incurred due to liability suits. The improvements in technology are already increasing, and many employers are likely to see the benefits of these in the coming years.