Empowering a Proactive Safety Culture: AI Wearables for Safer Workplaces 

Empowering a Proactive Safety Culture: AI Wearables for Safer Workplaces 

Work constitutes a significant part of an individual’s life whether driven by passion or necessity; research shows that a third of a person’s life is spent at work.¹ Considering this, it becomes imperative for companies to not only provide decent pay and benefits but also to ensure their employees are safe and secure when working for them.

But how can companies and organizations invest to improve their workers’ security while on the job? The answer lies in adopting AI, a transformative technology that fosters a proactive safety culture and enhances the overall employee experience.

 

The State of Workplace Safety

For many years, work safety has been a significant concern for both employees and employers. This is especially true for industries that require physical labor and those that expect their people to work with heavy machinery on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recent reports, indicate an 8.9 percent increase in fatal injuries in the year 2021 compared to previous years.² OSHA also found that a significant number of people in transportation, material handling, construction, and extraction jobs are at a notably higher risk of workplace injuries.³

Historically, companies primarily adopted a more reactive approach to workplace safety. They often relied on disciplinary measures for unsafe behavior. For example, even though they followed the law by placing fire extinguishers and first aid stations, many companies didn’t put in enough effort with regard to their employees’ safety.

Additionally, the rise of new technology and machinery also comes with the possibility of different kinds of injuries. This is taking into account how people are still learning about how to effectively and safely do their jobs.

Some employers often wonder if machines can replace their human employees as a more cost-saving solution but this is not a realistic train of thought. The reality is that advanced technology is here to stay but so are people.

So instead of ‘replacement’, organizations all over the globe should begin brainstorming on how machines could be utilized to improve their workers’ jobs and work environment.

Industry leaders began exploring artificial intelligence integration to enhance safety in the workplace to harness the potential benefits technology can offer. For maximum efficiency, these leaders have also set their eyes on the usage of wearables for practical purposes.

Read More: Technical & IT Recruitment Expertise 

 

AI-Driven Wearables and Their Transformative Impact

Fusing cutting-edge technology that exists today with the everyday necessity of clothing and accessories, AI-driven wearables are groundbreaking devices that can improve employee experience using practical means.

Read More: Workplace Automation: How to Prepare Your Team for the Future 

These are tools that can easily be worn on a daily basis. They’re designed to not interfere with any work-related activities since they’re made to improve productivity and not deter it.

 

Examples of AI Wearables for Safer Workplaces 

  • Fitness Bands and Smart Watches can provide employers with real-time biofeedback they can use in monitoring their employees’ well-being.
  • Safety Armbands are wearables equipped with location tracking to ensure people are not in dangerous and hazardous areas. It also allows us to quickly identify an individual’s location in case of emergencies.
  • Smart glasses enhance user safety by providing real-time information and visualizations. It empowers professionals with task-specific knowledge.
  • Detection Wearables are specific accessories designed specifically to detect toxic gases in the environment. They’re programmed to warn employers and employees once hazardous gasses are detected like methane and hydrogen sulfide.
  • AI-powered wearables equipped with obstacle detection systems like smart shoes are useful in avoiding accidents on manufacturing floors. Aside from providing live locations, it also has slippery surface detection, heat sensing, and fall detection.

 

Benefits of Using AI-Wearables 

Although it is not yet used by every company, AI wearables offer many benefits for employers and employees alike. The following are some of the examples of the advantages they can bring.

 

1. Tracking Data in Real-Time

Wearable technology uses sensors to continuously collect data in real time. It can detect information related to both the employee and the environment they’re in. Thanks to this received data, employers can produce important insights that can improve operations and workflows inside the company.

For company leaders, having access to the latest data all day gives them the ability to understand their processes on a deeper, more beneficial level. They can identify friction and bottlenecks in their -processes which would prompt them to create effective solutions to actual problems their people experience.

Think of the manufacturing industry for instance. In gathering data, they can understand which areas of their manufacturing process requires more improvement and higher budget allocation.

AI wearables are beginning to gain fame at work but there are also some workers who don’t like it. Since these new techs gather real-time data, employees sometimes feel they’re being pressured to always be doing something from nine to five but the truth is the opposite of this.

Having tools to track employees’ progress is mainly for their own benefit. By having a measurable basis for their performance, employees have ownership of their productivity. They have the chance to show responsibility and accountability for their working process.

 

2. Monitoring Overall Productivity

As previously mentioned, having real-time insights regarding their working habits and progress can give employees the chance to be accountable for their own pace. This also means that they can use data to gain insights into their work habits and performance. They can improve their workflows which would lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency.

On the other hand, having insights about the way their team work can allow companies to offer needed support and adjustments. For example, an IT company notices that a specific team often faces delays in software development. Through utilizing wearable trackers, employers can analyze working patterns and offer targeted solutions to improve the team’s productivity.

 

3. Enhancing Workplace Safety

The best advantage AI-driven wearables can offer is their ability to enhance the safety of people inside the workplace. With built-in sensors, these wearables can actively monitor both employees and their surroundings to ensure safety and security in all work-related aspects.

Focusing on people, AI wearables can keep track of statistics linked to everyone’s health and well-being. They have the ability to continuously track vital signs and different health metrics like body temperature and heartbeat per minute. This is an important feature since it can help companies quickly detect and address health issues before they fully hinder an individual’s personal and work life.

Other than preventing physical and mental strain, AI-driven wearables can also reduce risks and dangers that can be inflicted by their wearer’s working environment. For example, some can detect real-time hazards like toxic gases and high temperatures.

Although they can’t solve the issues found, they can alert both their wearers and important company stakeholders to swiftly mitigate risks and dangers. In the chances that emergency situations do occur, most AI wearables are equipped with real-time location tracking which would make search and rescue more effective.

Read More: 2023 Industry Trends: A Spotlight on the Industries Transformed by AI 

 

PRIORITIZE WORKPLACE SAFETY THROUGH MODERN SOLUTIONS

At DAVIS Companies, we understand the importance of continued improvement. When discussing workers’ safety, traditional means are no longer enough. There is now a strong need to keep up with the times and harness what modern technology can offer.

Since 1985, we’ve provided professional staffing and recruiting services driven by our desire to help people build meaningful connections. Whether you’re a company leader looking for experts to improve workplace safety or you’re a candidate hoping to find companies who value your well-being, we’re ready to make the connections for you. Learn more about the solutions today!

 

References 

1 “One Third of Your Life Is Spent at Work.” Gettysburg College, Sept. 2023, www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=79db7b34-630c-4f49-ad32-4ab9ea48e72b.

2 OSHA. “Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs.” U.S. Department of Labor, Sept. 2023 www.osha.gov/safety-management.

3 OSHA Data & Statistics. “Commonly Used Statstics – Federal OSHA Coverage.” U.S. Department of Labor, Sept. 2023 www.osha.gov/data/commonstats.

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