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TRUE Solicitors have identified the latest health and safety technology that businesses should look out for in 2019.

Smart wearable technology has grown at an exceptional rate over the past couple years with its popularity constantly increasing. Companies are now starting to look into ways that they can take advantage of this smart tech so that they can work to reduce injuries and improve the health and productivity of employees in their workplace.

Smart PPE

From smartwatches and fitness trackers the world of smart wearable technology is evolving and has recently seen smart personal protective equipment (PPE) come onto the scene. Employers are implementing smart PPE to help prevent workplace injuries, reduce costs and to improve productivity of staff.

Smart PPE can be in any form of personal protective equipment that’s connected to the internet and is able to deliver real-time safety information. The aim of smart PPE is to reduce employees’ exposure to hazards through the data collected that is used to send notifications to adjust internal and external conditions. The real-time effectiveness of smart PPE reporting means that site managers are able to detect exactly when an employee trips or falls, loses their balance or carries too much weight.

Examples of smart PPE include:

Smart helmets

Smart helmets alongside being built to help protect workers have a range of sensors that check stuff like temperature, oxygen levels in the blood, brain activity and the user’s heart rate. The data is tracked and stored in real time, providing management with key information to make them aware of instances where an employee may be too tired or not focused enough to perform tasks safely.

Smart helmets can also allow users to access vital data through their visor. Making it safer for employees to carry out other manual tasks with their hands-free, rather than struggling to balance holding onto clipboards or tablets.

Smart glasses

Smart glasses allow workers and HQ to stay in touch and send important information such as video and audio recordings from the site as well as allowing HQ to send their workers instructions, maps and schematics to help them stay safe while working.

Cold wear

Cold wear monitors the user’s body temperature, perspiration and humidity levels for when employees are working outside in extreme weather conditions. The information is sent to the HQ and allows the management to check on their staffs’ physical condition and safety. For example, if an employee is experiencing dangerously high or low body temperatures they can be called to leave the site that they are working from immediately to seek medical attention.

Location devices

These are particularly helpful when it comes to industries like mining so that it’s possible to have the employees’ location at all times when they’re working in treacherous conditions far underground. Location devices can be embedded in clothing and are extremely lightweight. Being able to track employees exact location can make the difference between life and death in situations when time is of the essence.

Fatigue monitors

These monitors can be placed in clothing to monitor employees’ eye and head movements, which indicate whether employees are becoming too tired to continue their work tasks in a safe manner. Fatigue monitors are great for improving decision making and response times, making them particularly good for staff who have jobs which involve driving for a long period of time. This should result in less chance of injuries and damages to vehicles caused by falling asleep at the wheel.

Environmental sensor clothing

Environmental sensors are embedded into clothing and can detect heat, chemicals and monitor gasses with UV levels becoming more commonplace in 2019. This will help managers’ better monitor the physical health and safety of their employees when they are working in hazardous conditions.

Light-emitting clothing

Helping to reduce workplace accident risks occurring due to poor visibility, light emitting clothing such as safety vests fitted with LEDs help to make staff even more visible on bus construction sites when working during darker hours.

Wearable technology and workplace wellness

2019 will see businesses increase their usage of wearable tech, smartwatches and fitness trackers to improve the health and safety in the workplace. Many companies will choose to implement wellness plans for staff to encourage active working. Research has proven that a healthy and active workforce can lead to increased productivity from employees, along with reduced sick related absences.