The Impact of Wearable Technology on OSHA Compliance and Workplace Safety

Wearable technology is undoubtedly heralded as a revolution that is transforming the workplace. With time, the technology gains more insights and works with even better advancements in helping its users perform and succeed. Pew research indicated that 21% of Americans regularly wear smartwatches or fitness trackers.

The use of wearable technology in daily life is not something new; however, it has made its way into the workplace as well. Smart fitness apps, and productivity gadgets, have been attracting users from all around the world. But considering its far-stretched benefits, the technology is now shaping the construction and manufacturing industries. 

The Role of Wearable Safety Devices in A Workplace 

Wearable technology is everything from sending health alerts to workers to giving them hazardous warning notifications using high-tech sensors. 

From monitoring the workflow to helping users carry out inspections of critical areas, the wearables for hazard detection have been helping in making progress and innovation easier for the experts. 

When it comes to the health and well-being of workers, through wearable health decisions, one can keep their heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration monitoring. As soon as the device finds a drop in the heart rate, real-time alerting and safety warnings are sent to notify the concerned person. 

OSHA Compliance And Workplace Safety

Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been working to educate and guide the employees about safety precautions and workplace hazards. The goal it to establish a safe working environment for all that is beneficial to both – employees and employers. 

The federal agency has introduced two major courses – OSHA 10 Hour Construction and OSHA 30 Construction. Through these courses, they teach from the basics of workplace safety going all the way to the practical demonstration narrated through interactive video tutorials. They provide all the necessary tools, software, and resources that can help learn. 

OSHA knows the reasons for the rising rates of accidents and workplace injuries. Poor quality work spaces, lack of tools, lack of training, and mismanagement of resources have been the major reasons that have caused millions of dollars of penalties to companies and caused the lives of the employees. Hence, the agency has now been working on introducing tech in different sectors. 

Wearable Technology and OSHA Safety Compliance

OSHA wearable technology comes with a predefined regulation and set of policies. The agency never hesitates to collaborate with established tech firms to learn about new technologies and identify a safer use for all. Here are some ways OSHA is getting involved in the tech game by incorporating wearable technology in the workplace. There have been many cases where OSHA has stepped in and collaborated with firms to create new policies and regulations along with improvising the older ones after carrying out thorough research, testing, and conducting public surveys to know what’s more effective and beneficial for both the firms and their employees. 

Regulating Wearable Devices 

Whether it’s about smart PPE and safety devices or even biometric wearables and safety tools, there have to be some regulations to ensure the safer use of the technology. Wearable devices have been uncountably introduced in the industries from fatigue monitoring and safety devices to incredible GPS tracking and safety. Hence, OSHA is making sure that none of the devices can cause harm to the users. 

The mission of the agency is to limit on-site injuries and accidents. Sometimes, when employers introduce such advanced technology they do not pay attention to giving proper training to the employees, and other times they do not know the limit of usage. 

With devices like sensor detection, and radioactive tracing, employees are getting exposed to some critical sites and areas. Hence, OSHA steps in and takes matters into its own hands. They collaborate with manufacturing tech firms and help create proper regulations. This help is leveraging the technology in an effective manner while keeping the health and wellness of the employees safe and secure. 

Benefits of Wearable Technology for Workplace Safety

When it comes to worker health and performance monitoring, Wearable technology comes with an abundance of benefits. Here are some of them listed: 

  • Real-time monitoring

Wearable technology can monitor workers’ health and safety in real-time, detecting changes in their vital signs, temperature, and other biometric data. This can help identify potential safety risks before they become serious.

  • Increased safety awareness

Wearable technology can provide workers with real-time safety alerts and reminders, reminding them to take safety precautions and avoid hazardous situations.

  • Improved communication

Wearable technology can help workers stay connected with each other and with their supervisors. This can be particularly useful in remote or hazardous work environments where communication can be challenging. In this way, they stay notified about the hazards and even can ask for help without getting themselves into any trouble. 

  • Enhanced safety training

Wearable technology can be used to provide workers with interactive safety training, enabling them to practice safety procedures and respond to emergency situations in a virtual environment. They do not have to feel restricted and can unleash endless possibilities to practice, learn and adopt. 

  • Better data analysis

Wearable technology can collect data on workers’ safety and health, which can be analyzed to identify trends, areas of improvement, and potential safety hazards. It keeps track of where the employee has been working, the environment, the temperature, humidity, and the overall impact of the site area on the worker’s health. 

Future of Wearables in the Workplace 

Future directions for wearable technology in the workplace will involve improving accuracy and reliability, integrating with existing systems, addressing privacy and security concerns, providing customization and personalization, and continuing innovation to keep pace with changing needs and demands.

It’s important to understand the technology, identify its loopholes at an early stage and make use of innovation to help overcome such challenges. When it comes to making wearables a part of your organization, you need to make sure you are following all the OSHA regulations. It’s legal, safer, and ensures efficiency. 

Interesting Related Article: “What is a wearable computer? Definition and examples