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Pros and cons of wearable tech for workers

Wearable technology can boost workplace safety throughout New Jersey and be an especial help to lone workers. This technology includes “smart” personal protective equipment, hard hats and vests with proximity sensors and glasses with heads-up displays. Proximity detection in particular can benefit workers in mines and on construction sites, while other wearables can prevent unsafe contact between humans and machines.

Another wearable is an electroencephalogram device that can measure workers’ stress levels. Using this data, researchers can determine which workers are stressed at what times and how this can affect risk perception. Other devices can measure fatigue based on how often workers move their head up and down, how often and for how long they close their eyes and how straight they walk.

However, there is a concern among many workers that such technology can constitute an invasion of privacy. The tech monitors not only safety and health but also one’s productivity on the job. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health proposed an ethical framework for wearables back in January 2017 and suggests that employers should allow employees to opt out of their monitoring program.

Wearable tech is also expensive, and translating its data will require analytic skills. Employers could be able to offset cost by lowering insurance premiums, though. Despite concerns, there are no signs of the wearable tech market slowing down.

Employers can do all that’s possible for their workers, and yet accidents can still occur. In such cases, employees can file for workers’ compensation benefits and be covered for medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages. No one’s negligence needs to be proven, though employers can deny a claim if they believe their employees are to blame. This is why having a lawyer might be a good idea. A lawyer may assist with the appeal if one becomes necessary.