As businesses continue to realise that workers are their most important assets, worker safety has seen a shift in prioritisation. Additionally, a wide range of regulations has been introduced in recent years to ensure that people aren’t exploited at the workplace, with those regulations becoming stronger with each year.
Combine that with emerging technological solutions and new threats faced in the workplace and we’re seeing a dramatic shift in the very nature of worker safety. Let’s see what we can expect from 2023 and beyond.
For much of the last century, mental health was hardly taken seriously, to say the least. However, in recent years we’ve seen a dramatic shift in cultural views towards the subject, largely driven by a growing body of scientific literature.
The result is that mental health is starting to become a dominant aspect of worker safety. Employers are starting to prioritise mental health services for employees, in addition to managing workplace stress to help prevent mental health issues from arising in the first place.
Artificial intelligence is coming to play a dominant role in pretty much all industries. When it comes to worker safety, AI will enable both management and workers out in the field to predict issues, allowing for preventative measures to be taken in many instances.
Predictive analytics can be linked in real-time to devices such as lone worker alarms, alerting workers of the presence of a wide range of different threats. AI can also help to facilitate preventative maintenance, reducing the probability that machinery breaks down on the job, saving money and decreasing the risk of injury.
AR training tech
Training is a key component in worker safety, and innovative technologies such as augmented reality (AR) can dramatically improve the effectiveness of training in key safety areas.
Companies can use AR to create immersive scenarios that help to prepare employees for potentially dangerous scenarios, often for a fraction of the cost it would otherwise be to recreate those scenarios.
The way that things are designed has a significant impact on safety, especially when it comes to chronic overuse injuries. We can expect an increasing emphasis on ergonomic design, leading to the development of products and tools that are human-centric, rather than simply there to facilitate a function.
Whether keyboards that don’t lead to RSI issues in the wrist, or high-end integrated knee supports for construction workers who spend a lot of time kneeling down, these innovations should have a significant positive impact on workers in multiple different industries.
Increasingly stringent regulations
Finally, government-run regulatory bodies across the globe are continuing to strengthen regulations covering worker safety in all industries. As a result, businesses will have to adapt their approach to worker safety, in order to be able to illustrate that they’re meeting and exceeding compliance requirements. This will likely accelerate the adoption of the emerging technologies listed above, in turn increasing the rate of innovation.
There are a lot of positives to be expected when it comes to worker safety as we move beyond 2023. Not only will the technologies listed above have a positive effect on workers themselves, but they’ll also cut costs for business owners while increasing overall productivity – a true win-win situation.