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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
JUL 24, 2019
Wear Your Way to Safety
Wearables are making a significant splash in the market. In addition to traditional safety equipment, they present the opportunity to improve safety and efficiency, while reducing injuries and enhancing quality of life for construction workers. This technology is in the early stages, however, it shows tremendous promise for companies seeking to improve critical areas that drive efficiency, profitability and safety.
How wearable technology can improve safety
Wearable technology can improve safety in many ways. For instance, devices can:
Provide audible or vibration alarms to warn workers when they are too close to danger, such as moving equipment or a fall hazard.
Warn individuals of hazardous physical movement, such as improper bending, twisting, reaching or lifting.
Caution a worker when they are nearing exhaustion.
Alleviate muscular and skeletal joint stress by assisting with lifting or working overhead.
Alert first responders in emergency situations and lead rescuers to the injured worker’s location.
Types of wearables
Experts have identified the widespread use of wearable technologies in the construction industry over the next seven to 10 years. Currently, Amerisure is partnering with contractors to run pilot programs that test wearables. Generally, wearables are categorized as one of the following:
Visual wearables — wearables that use optical aids in/on glasses, visors, and hard hats to produce images for remote viewers and/or the wearer.
Tactile wearables — wearables that work as an exoskeleton to increase the user’s strength and durability.
Sensing wearables — wearables that can sense a worker’s biological, environmental and physical conditions. In addition to sensing conditions, the device analyzes data using edge computing, and warns the employee of hazardous situations that can lead to injury.
The big benefits
Wearables not only have value for individual workers — they can enhance a company’s ability to more effectively manage safety, as well. Most wearables feed data to customizable dashboards, which allows company leadership to view and evaluate performance data associated with the entire organization, specific jobsites, job categories, job functions and employees. This data, and subsequent analysis, can help identify specific areas of exposures that have the potential to increase injuries. It also provides the opportunity to alter operations prior to accidents or injuries occurring. In Amerisure’s ongoing pilot program, wearables have decreased unsafe lifting behaviors by up to 38 percent.
The predictive analytics produced by wearable devices, combined with behavioral changes by employees and corrective measures by company leadership, present new opportunities to significantly reduce construction worker injuries.
For more information about Amerisure’s wearables pilot program, talk to an