Wearable Technology to Track Employees’ Performance and Minimise Workplace Injury

February 20, 20193:10 pm
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National COSH has revealed a list of dangerous companies to work at in 2018. Due to company’s failure in providing safe work environment, employees are the ones who have to pay the ultimate price.  Hence, safety should always be number one priority for every organization in order to minimise workplace hazards. Nonetheless, ensuring safety in the workplace is not solely employer’s responsibility, but also the whole team members. For example, some employees might say they will give ‘all of the 200% effort’ on the job all day long, but we know that it is impossible. Yet, their passion of working drives them to be on top by working tirelessly, not knowing it will only reduce their productivity and performance, not enhancing it.

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As mentioned in a study released in 2017, company is at risk of being sabotaged by workforce retention due to employee burnout and fatigue. Companies’ lack of attention to their employees’ performance and constant efforts employee gave are probably two factors that lead to burnout and fatigue in workplace. Likewise, as cited by National Safety Council, “Fatigue costs employers more than $130 billion a year in health-related lost productivity. In addition, more than 70 million employees suffer from a sleep disorder.” As a result, a firm with more than 1,000 employees could face annual turnover of $1 million. Jessica Martinez, co-director of National COSH, added that “fatigue from overwork, with limited opportunities for rest and recovery, can lead to dangerous workplace injuries, illness, and even fatalities.” That being said, companies need to pay attention to the issue and take necessary actions to prevent and address any issues caused by fatigue or burnout at work.

Using wearable technology in the workforce is among the best ways to address this issue. Researches said that wearable technology can reduce workplace injuries resulting from fatigue. As mentioned in Quartz, a lot of improvements have been made in wearable technology, including safety features such as:

  • Alerting – to warn employees of exposure to risk factors like toxins, high temperatures, or noise levels.
  • Emergency stopping – to alert employees operating heavy machinery when sudden stops are required during an emergency.
  • Body movement and posture – to identify activities that increase risk to the lower back and shoulder in order to avoid strain and injury.
  • Monitoring – to collect real-time data about time and effort required for each task, so managers can use the data to manage workflow and identify additional risks.

Another recent study from ASSP revealed that by using wearable technology in the workplace, employers can monitor fatigue levels of their workers in order to reduce injuries and increase productivity. “By setting parameters, we identified behavioural changes in how people conduct work over time,” said Dr. Lora Cavuoto, the project’s principal investigator. “Wearable technology can uncover precursors to longer problems and help establish safety interventions that may call for schedule breaks, posture adjustments, or vitamin supplements that help the body,” she added.

All in all, wearable technology is a new way for companies to improve their employee’s productivity and prevent turnover. Over half of the ASSP study participants said they’d be in favour of using wearable to track safety risk on the job. It is also a new resolution that can be done in 2019 to fight fatigue and burnout in your office. So, have you brought the technology to your workforce?

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