Wearables can do so much more than count steps and monitor heart rate. Assessment technology can objectively track and measure workers, detecting hot spots for efficiency loss and generating optimal physiological job matches. In this session at the RIMS 2019 Conference and Exhibition, Anthony Harris, Associate Medical Director and Vice President of On-site Clinical Operations for WorkCare, Inc., spoke about the potential wearables have for enterprise-wide improvements in risk management.
New wearable technology allows for simultaneous, individual assessment of workers while they are performing their actual job. These devices include traditional fitness trackers as well as smart clothing. The technology allows us to extrapolate risk for musculoskeletal injuries on an individual basis. Aggregating the data from these individual assessments can help to create “heat maps” for your organization that show areas of increased risk.
With this strategy, you can uncover hidden data and conduct objective, repeatable analysis, which allows for continuous process improvement. Primary objectives for using the technology should be capturing data on worker activity, individual behavior change and organizational behavior change. At the same time, it is important to avoid using data and results to exclude workers from performing a job or ignoring the cultural climate of employee engagement. Be sure that you are championing safety from the start.
One of the greatest benefits of using this technology is shifting from a reactive strategy to a proactive, prevention strategy for workplace injuries. Focusing on prevention and risk mitigation will ultimately decrease costs and increase productivity for organizations.