How Can Advances in Technology Help?
As technology advances the construction industry are beginning to see the benefit of integrating it into their health and safety procedures. Development of physiological monitoring systems such as smart watches and jewellery are already being used in mass by the British public, as a way of monitoring your heart rate, activity levels, sleep quality and duration.
Wearable tech is also being introduced in to the work place as a way of improving an employee’s corporate wellbeing, health and safety.
With regards to construction sites, it is not advisable to wear jewellery or watches which can get caught on machinery. Instead devices called ‘hearables’, where the physiological monitor is worn near the ear, have been developed. There is no danger of the device getting caught as it is covered by a hard hat and the position near the ear allows for the closest and most accurate monitoring of your body’s vital signs.
By monitoring an employee’s vital signs while on site, each contractor can be alerted by their device when it is time to hydrate, take a break or put on auditory protection. If, for example a contractor takes a fall the Principal Contractor will be alerted by their phone, so the situation can be dealt with immediately. You can even track the location of the injured contractor in case they are unconscious. The recorded data can then be sent directly to a medical professional if the contractor needs to be hospitalised.
The benefits of this technology are numerous. Employees will take greater responsibility for their own health and safety when they have a device which can directly communicate what their body needs at any given time. It leads to employers having a greater understanding of the physical needs of their employees as individuals and working with them to improve their personal safety. In serious, life threatening situations, these devices could be the difference between life and death.