The last few months of the year are always a time for reflection but, as 2020 begins to draw to a close, it’s becoming clear that now more than ever before organisations across the board are having to shift their perspective and look at the importance of health and safety tech solutions in 2020 and the next few years.
Health and safety, previously something conducted on the sidelines of ‘more important’ business matters, has now come to the forefront as one of the most integral ingredients for future success.
Remote working has taken over in 2020 due to technology like video conferencing, collaborative work tools and more. The challenge of 2021 will be to identify and enlist the tech that can help workers return to the office safely and securely.
While the health and safety industry is not particularly known for its innovation, the same principles that have allowed the world to work from their living rooms can also give businesses the power to keep their workforce safe from harm.
Even if our working lives revert back to some kind of familiar structure in 2021 and beyond, it’s increasingly unlikely that we can put the health and safety genie back in its bottle.
Employees around the world are now demanding organisations place a greater emphasis on their health and wellbeing, and businesses, in turn, will be forced to invest in this area in order to attract and retain the right talent.
Getting Back to a New Normal
Tools like cloud-based mobile workforce management software, which give employers the power to track and record safety incidents across multiple locations or while workers are out in the field, is a significant innovation in this space and one that will assist with everything from risk management to employee satisfaction.
There are also lone worker alarms, which are now available in the form of downloadable apps as well as standalone devices. This gives users a choice in which devices they carry around with them as well as how they are used.
Lone workers are those who operate without direct contact with colleagues and supervisors, putting them at greater risk from injury, attack and sudden illness.
Personal safety devices give these workers an additional layer of security and protect them from the dangers inherent to their jobs. Features like SOS buttons and alarm monitoring connecting the user with a dedicated contact, or Man Down sensors that detect when they have fallen, all make employees feel safer and focused on the job.
In the past, it has been common for health and safety executives to conduct risk assessments with pen and paper, with very little hard data to back up their conclusions.
As any room for error becomes unacceptable in the age of Covid, real historical data covering things such as past incidents, near-misses and unexpected hazards becomes ever-more vital.
Industries are increasingly turning away from analogue solutions for many of their key processes, and now technology must also be implemented in areas that have traditionally remained stagnant underscoring the role of health and safety tech solutions.
The law requires that employers implement adequate worker protection and monitoring. Still, it has for too long relied on outdated solutions that are no longer fit for purpose in our digital world. Companies must update their thinking now or avoid being left behind.