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Safety is one of the most important issues in the workplace, which makes it into a field that’s constantly seeing some innovation. Employers all over the world would do well to keep a close eye on it in order to be able to keep up with the latest trends. Employees, on the other hand, need to know their rights and are, therefore, personally involved in this topic, as well. Here are top six innovations in the field of workplace safety that you need to know about.


1.      Wearable safety

Smartphones and smart watches aren’t just a distraction and there are many different ways in which they can be used to improve the overall workplace safety. For instance, in some industries, mobile inspection is used to check out employees who are suspected of risky workplace behavior. Same goes for smartwatches. While this may not be a safety measure in the traditional sense of the word, apps can gather data from numerous incidents and this data can later be used in order to diagnose the problem.

2.      Improved analytics

Previously, we’ve talked about the issue of diagnosing the problem. An employee in question might be reluctant to speak the truth, believing that this would disqualify them from a potential workplace injury claim. The same goes for other eyewitnesses who might not be eager to tattletale on their coworker. With the described wearable technology, the truth will be impossible to hide. This would allow regulators and employers all over the world to make workplaces a lot safer and healthier for work.

3.      VR training

One of the biggest problems in a lot of high-risk industries is the fact that your employees may lack proper training. Simulations that they’re facing may do their best to create a life-like environment, yet, the end result is never the same. For instance, no instructor is ever going to send their fire squad into a blazing building just for the sake of training. With the help of tech trends like VR training, it might be possible to create scenarios that are much closer to real-life scenarios that some employees are going to encounter. This alone could make a major stride in the right direction.

4.      Not just physical safety

In the past, the majority of safety officers and regulators focused exclusively on the issue of physical safety, completely leaving the issue of mental safety aside. Long-term exposure to loud noises can lead to some pretty serious repercussions, which is why more and more employers in fields like manufacturing and construction are introducing mandatory noise protection gear. We’re talking about sophisticated gadgets that provide adequate noise cancelling ear protection to its wearer, acting as a mandatory part of your PPE arsenal.

5.      More sophisticated PPE

The issue of personal protective equipment (PPE) is probably the first issue that people want to discuss when it comes to the issue of workplace safety. In this field, a greater emphasis on comfort, greater durability of synthetic materials and greater investment in designing and manufacturing may create some life-saving features. Nowadays, we already have sophisticated technology like smart safety helmets, which with the help of improved analytics, may help warn a worker in question about some potentially dangerous situations and hazards that they would otherwise miss.

6.      Robotics and automation

Several years ago, Amazon purchased Kiva Systems for $775 million in order to initiate one of the largest processes of warehouse robotization ever seen. At the moment, the majority of the business world was skeptical about the move, yet nowadays, no one suspects it was the right thing to do. One of the side-effects of this purchase (whose primary goal was cost-effectiveness) was a reduction in the number of workplace injuries. This is only natural due to the fact that the machines were suddenly the ones doing the majority of heavy lifting.

Conclusion

There are a lot of people who question the true motivation behind an investment in workplace safety. Ethical entrepreneurs just want to see fewer injuries, while those who are efficiency and profit-oriented probably want to avoid hefty fines and settlements. Either way, the end result is always overwhelmingly positive, which means that innovation in this field makes the world a better place, in general. For this reason alone, it’s quite likely that a development in this field will be a never-ending process.