We live in an age of data. Every website we visit, item we purchase and address we program into our GPS is recorded, usually with the goal of improving our experience. But, what if we could leverage the power of data to keep workers safer on the job? That’s where wearables come in.
The main benefit of wearable sensors in construction is that they can help reduce a worker’s risk of injury or stress. They do this by monitoring vital signs like heart rate, skin temperature, oxygen levels and even electrical activity on the skin. It then alerts the worker if a potentially dangerous level was recorded. Some wearables may even sense the environment around the worker and sound a safety alarm if a situation becomes dangerous.
Because wearables are small—a wristband or chest band, for example—they are less intrusive. They allow managers to evaluate workers’ health and safety in real time without relying on people to manually report their status. This proactive monitoring can help to prevent dangerous situations and allow work to be performed with less risk.
Another possible benefit is reduced insurance rates. While this is a new technology, some insurance companies may offer discounts to organizations that adopt wearables as a tool to keep workers safer.
Wearable sensors collect data about a person’s physical and mental state. Therefore, privacy can become a concern. Before implementing wearable technology, companies must put a policy in place to determine what data will be available to management and what will be kept private.
Workers—particularly people who have been in the construction industry for years—may be less receptive to adding this new technology to their work day. It’s important to get buy-in from people at all levels of your organization and to show them how adopting wearable sensing technology will improve construction safety and health.
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