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Smart Technology Tracking in the Workplace

Workplace accidents can result in some of the most severe injuries, causing lasting damage to employees.  Occupational injuries can also result in death.  According to the United States Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics compiled a list of all occupational deaths in Nevada.  The total number of fatal occupational injuries in 2014 alone was 40.  These fatal injuries spanned multiple industries including construction, transportation, government, and even leisure and hospitality.  Employers in both private and public sectors are attempting to mitigate the injuries occurring on the job.  Some employers are turning to technology to reduce the risk to their employees.

 

Smart Technology Tracking

According to NASDAQ, the American International Group (AIG) has invested an “undisclosed” amount of money into a company called Human Condition Safety.  The company makes special work vests with sensors that allow employers to track their employees.  The tracking gives real time placement of each employee while in the work area.  AIG explained that one of the main reasons for such technology is to reduce worksite injuries, citing workplace injuries as one of the major expenses for any employer.  One of the other uses for the technology would be its viability for limiting workers’ compensation fraud.  The cameras and sensors on each employee would have the potential of becoming evidence should an employee claim to be injured in an area where the sensors never show them being.

 

The Insurance Journal lists “smart technology” as one of the top 10 trends driving the casualty market going into 2016.  The article predicts the desire for injury prevention will embrace smart technology incorporating itself into “everything from glasses to watches, vests and hard hats.”  This technology is still relatively new though, so there is no telling when you can expect to receive your tracking vest along with new worker orientation.  Currently Human Condition Safety has a pilot project underway at Citi Field, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Workers at the home of the New York Mets are now donning the sensor-filled vests to collect data on workplace accidents and the factors that give rise to them.

 

Privacy Concerns Related to Tracking

One of the obstacles to the implementation of this technology, as cited by the NASDAQ article, are privacy concerns.  Employees and employee groups may take reservation to being tracked throughout the entire work day.  At some point employers who want to use the smart technology may need to negotiate with unions to successfully implement the tracking.  Even then, the data collected from the employees will likely have to be protected.  Any unauthorized access to that date could represent a liability for the employers keeping the data.

 

In the end, this technology is still in the testing phases. However, it will likely be implemented in the near future. The advantages to employers, both in the areas of reduced workplace injuries and reduced workers’ compensation fraud, will probably be the two most important factors driving the technology.  If you are an employee injured in a workplace accident in Nevada chances are that this technology has not been put into place by your employers at this time. Even if it is implemented, you should contact a licensed Nevada workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to after being injured in a workplace accident.

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