We’ve looked at mobile safety technology like wearables in the past, but there are other types of mobile safety devices that are changing the future of high-risk work.
Some of these are the size of small vehicles, while others can fit in the palm of your hand. The more versatile the safety equipment, the more it’s able to solve problems across different industries and situations.
The goal of every employer is (or should be) to make sure that their workers are as safe as possible while performing their jobs. Not only is this ethically right, but it also improves workplace efficiency and company growth. Keep reading to learn more about the top mobile safety tech of 2019.
Why mobile safety technology is so important
Incident tracking and risk assessments have become increasingly accurate with the introduction of new safety software and analysis techniques. However, even the best programs aren’t designed for on-site action.
Emergency response and protective measures need to happen as close to the action as possible. This means that the technology needs to move with the workers to the areas where it will do the most good.
Robots, artificial intelligence, and innovative new tools have really started to make a difference in workplace safety over the last decade. For a long time, technology wasn’t able to adapt and appropriately respond to on-site accidents. With the IoT and smart technology, we’re seeing mobile tech that can protect workers and improve safety using real-time data. It’s added peace of mind for workers and bosses.
We’ve come a long way towards safer worksites
According to an OSHA study, the number of workers that suffered serious accidents or illness has gone from 11 per 100 in 1972 to 3.6 per 100 as of 2009. That number is even more impressive when compared to the growth of the construction industry over that time period.
This is in part due to the enforcement of widespread regulations and improved communication methods. There are also stricter laws regarding workplace safety that place much of the liability on employers. If something happens, a company can face legal repercussions and expensive setbacks that can stop operations in their tracks.
So, it’s safe to say that any technology that reduces the risk of accident or injury is a welcome addition to any worksite. The first quarter of the 21st century has pushed us into a whole new era of mobile safety tech. Read on for more details!
The mobile safety gadgets that are changing the industry
In reality, the technology that’s driven the majority of worksite improvement has been wireless networks and the IoT. Workers no longer have to worry about a lack of communication delaying help. As soon as there’s a problem, they can use long-range walkie talkies or mobile phones to reach someone.
Safety management software (and we may be a little biased) has also been huge in creating a safer working environment. The data can be collected from incidents immediately and used to predict future problems. A problem we can predict is a problem we can avoid!
Some of the newest safety technology includes:
Bionic builders (exo suits)
If you immediately envision sci-fi special effects when you see the word “exo suit,” you’re not alone. Fortunately, this technology is very real and has a place in the construction industry.
Lifting, bending, and pushing the body’s limits are all things that occur daily on a worksite. Bionic builders are worn by workers to offset some of this physical stress. This prevents injury and allows men and women to work longer without experiencing fatigue.
These are currently worn over the limbs to absorb impact, and can also be fitted with a backpack to provide battery power. There’s still a long way to go before we see exo suits worn at every worksite, but it’s a very real possibility with the development of new power sources. Iron man becomes a blue-collar working man.
Imagine a construction site with “set it and forget it” technology! That may be a century or two off, but the introduction of self-driving vehicles and autonomous robots is a start.
We’ve discussed masonry robots in an earlier article, but improvements in programming are now making self-driving vehicles a very real possibility. This could allow workers to avoid dangerous situations, and to reduce vehicle accidents due to human error.
Whether sensors are worn on the worksite by workers or actually connected to structures and machinery, they can provide valuable information about working conditions.
The sensors use the IoT to transfer real-time data. This can trigger automatic alerts that indicate toxic chemicals, inclement weather conditions, and even unstable sections of the build. In addition to this immediate advantage, sensors also collect long-term data that can help make future worksites safer.
Virtual reality is allowing workers to train in simulated safety scenarios, and giving builders a pre-emptive view of potential hazards. Combined with drones, robots, and wearables, this type of tech is changing the way we assess and mitigate risk. However, we can expect to see even more advanced mobile technology make the scene within the next few years.
Innovation is essential to keeping workers safe
The construction industry is booming and this has led to a serious shortage of workers. However, the introduction of new technology can help bridge the gap and attract a younger generation to the industry.
Even if worksites achieve maximum automation, we’ll still need skilled workers to operate and guide the new technology. Change is coming, and it looks like it will be a good thing.
If you’re interested in learning more about how technology can create a safer workplace, reach out to SafetyTek today! And please comment below or share your high-tech safety stories with us on social media.