4 Wearables You Can Use for Workplace Safety
A startling shift in workplace dynamics between bosses and their employees is brewing — and it’s coming in the form of technology barely the width of your thumb. Your employees may already be using them, but they could also increase their performance. They are wearables, or personal technology devices that are worn by the user.
Wearables can track your sleep, track your steps, and even act as your virtual assistant—but they can also be used to keep your employees safer on the job. As companies continue to innovate in wearable technologies for the consumer, more solutions are becoming available for business sector.
Here are some popular wearables that are making a big impact in on-the-job safety.
Apple continues to lead the industry in technology adoption, and with the advent of the Apple Watch it has made many of the iPhone capabilities now available at a user’s wrist. From taking a phone call to note taking, checking emails, to downloads, it puts much of the timesaving functionality on a user’s wrist. Additionally there are now thousands of Apple Watch apps that can also help an employee increase productivity and stay connected on the go, without the need for a laptop.
At first considered just a quirky way to access Facebook (and spam your friends with cat videos), Google Glass has seen increasing applications in the business sector. Some trucking companies are embracing a Glass app that alerts tired drivers before they can nod off on the road, for example. And for firefighters, who have to react as quickly as possible in the heat of the moment, Google Glass can instantly tell them where to find fire hydrants, what a building’s floor plan looks like, and even give them manufacturer vehicle extraction instructions.
SmartCap® looks like a regular baseball cap—but that average exterior is hiding an impressive array of sensors that help prevent fatigue-related accidents. The cap uses EEG (electroencephalography), the same technology frequently used in sleep studies, to detect and warn drivers when they’re getting close to a falling asleep on the road.
Musculoskeletal disorders as a result of improper lifting have long been a problem in the manufacturing and distribution industries. Employees may lift more than they can safely handle, pick up boxes incorrectly, or hold an item in way that causes unnecessary strain on their wrists or back. To help with this, WearKinetic® has designed a wearable that tracks when workers are lifting items incorrectly. The device vibrates when workers wearing it lift a heavy box or other item incorrectly—alerting them that they may need to get additional help or adjust their stance. WearKinetic® also provides a safety analytics dashboard that helps managers see how individual workers are scoring.
Like Google Glass, XOEYE provides smartglasses. Unlike Glass, XOEye® is developed specifically for industrial services, especially construction and manufacturing. The wearable uses video and audio technology to provide a two-way communication channel between workers in the field and a remote viewer such as their manager, a specialist, or even a customer. This enables the remote viewer to see through the worker’s eyes and provide feedback or safety instructions in real-time.