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Will safety wearables become a major part of construction apparel?

How safe a California construction worker is at the worksite can be affected by many things. This includes what they are wearing. For example, what protective equipment they have on during their job activities could be very impactful on this front.

And now, new types of wearable technology are being developed that could potentially contribute to construction worker safety. These are sensor-containing safety wearables.

These wearables could contain a wide range of sensors and could track many things, including where a worker is, the conditions in the area where they are and their movements. The hope is that being able to track these things could help companies, such as construction companies, with keeping their workers safe on the job. The range of work apparel wearable sensors could be incorporated into is wide, including things like: boots, vests, suits, glasses and helmets.

One wonders if safety wearables will someday be a common element of construction worker apparel.

Now, there are questions that arise in connection to such safety wearables and their potential uses in the construction industry, including:

  • How exactly will employers use these devices? This could impact how effective such devices ultimately end up being in improving construction site safety.
  • How secure will such devices be? These devices could collect and store a wide range of information. One could understand why a construction worker wouldn’t want this information ending up in the hands of hackers or other wrongdoers. So, what level of data security such devices have could be of considerable importance.
  • How will these devices affect construction worker privacy? There are a range of privacy concerns that could arise for workers in connection to devices that allow their employers to track information on them. One wonders what sorts of steps will be taken to address these concerns.
  • What impacts will such devices have on workers’ comp claims? One could see situations arising in which the information such devices track about a worker could provide insights on what exactly happened in a workplace accident. Such information could touch on critical issues in a workers’ comp case. So, one wonders what implications such devices and the information they could track could have on the ability of workers to prove comp claims.

Source: Arizona Daily Sun, “Wearable technology could save lives and dollars in construction industry,” Courtney Linder, June 27, 2017

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