Rapidly advancing technology has brought about many changes in traditional workplaces. While many of them aim to improve production and profits, more and more industries now focus on employee safety. These are the business owners who recognize the fact that fewer workplace injuries can benefit their bottom lines.
Are you one of the employees in Pennsylvania who has become used to interactions with robotic coworkers who now do the boring, repetitive jobs, or those tasks that involve handling toxic chemicals? There are more changes to come, and you will likely have to get used to all kinds of technological changes aimed at improved employee safety.
Smart personal protective equipment
Streamlined safety protocols have become as crucial as streamlined operations, and personal protective equipment and operational training are evolving into something akin to science fiction.
These gloves can protect you from exposure to hazardous substances. They have built-in sensors that detect airborne toxic substances that could threaten your health. The sensor materials cause the gloves to respond to the presence of such substances by changing color.
Hardhats are mandatory on many job sites, and the newest technology in head protection promises significantly increased benefits. Before too long you might wear a helmet that offers the following:
- It is a comfortable, soft, baseball-like cap that transforms into a shock-absorbent, hard helmet upon the impact.
- The helmet has ear protection fitted for when you are in areas with excessive noise.
- The earpieces allow integration of communication systems in the helmet.
- Some of these protective helmets can monitor electrical brain activity through built-in sensors. Employers can receive transmitted information that will indicate fatigue in the worker, and alert employers of impaired workers.
Wearable technology can limit back injuries, which are some of the most frequently reported injuries across all industries. If your job requires a lot of bending, lifting, carrying and pushing, a supportive vest might provide the following benefits:
- It will have a warning light that illuminates whenever you move irregularly.
- Its integrated electronics will power the built-in actuators that will assist you with learning proper movements that will prevent excessive back strain.
- Your body’s kinetic energy will power the electronics integrated into the lightweight, flexible and soft fabric of the vest, which will not limit your movement but provide support.
Virtual reality training
While traditional hands-on training often exposed workers to dangerous environments, new training methods use virtual reality. Similar to flight simulators that teach pilots safe navigation of a plane without endangering their lives, you might soon learn all about the hazards of your job by experiencing them without risking your safety.
In the meantime…
Although innovative new technology might limit the risks, it will likely be a long time before the elimination of all workplace hazards. In the meantime, the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation insurance system will continue to have your back. Following any workplace injury, you can file benefits claims to cover all your doctors’ bills and other medical expenses. You can also seek a wage replacement package to make up for lost wages if your injuries caused absence from work. Resources are available to provide legal support and guidance throughout the process.