Any employer has his/her particular issues, but some are common and one of the main struggles that any employer goes through is workplace safety. The more you’re looking into it, the more you realize that there are many problems to take into consideration.
Is safety at work a real problem?
Even if construction and mining industries are some of the most obvious examples that come to mind when we talk about the safety of the workplace, all businesses need to take care of their employees, one way or another.
It may sound incredible, but according to the United States Department of Labor, there were no less than 14,000 employee fatalities before the appearance of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). In all fairness, the number has lowered to around 12 fatalities a day, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for any organization to follow some rules for protecting the employees.
Sanitation workers, mechanics, firefighters, construction workers, minors- are highly exposed to health and safety incidents, but this doesn’t mean that anyone working in a tech company, for instance, is safe at all times when at work.
Technology comes to the rescue, helping organizations to provide employee safety. Some safety training is always mandatory, but technology is going to assist the employer in implementing the right policies and tools for protecting the employees at any moment.
Can Technology increase workplace safety?
Whenever one is talking about technology in the workplace, most are going to imagine that it’s all about a complicated IT strategy that protects the employees and increases their productivity. It’s important to mention that technology is used for safety and health concerns, and that is also because the standards and HSE laws that are mandatory for all organizations.
There are many software applications that allow the employers to report any incident, to manage medical problems better, to train the employees, to keep records for OSHA, or for compensating their workers. Gone are the days when technology was only able to reduce the risk for injuries and fatalities at the workplace. Nowadays, technology provides more sophisticated tools and gadgets that turn any work place into a safer and more effective one.
What is 3D visualization technology?
The 3D visualization software technology is going to help the employees get more conscious about their workplace area and the potential dangers. The software creates lifelike images by recording the images from two angles.
This is going to give the employer great benefits as he/she is going to be able to train the employees using 3D visualization software for a specific environment. It’s not that difficult to recreate and visualize the new workplace sites and environments, helping the employees see the dangers and risks.
It also helps the managers pick the safety equipment and materials that the employees are going to need for eliminating injuries or casualties.
The journey Management Software Solution
The perspective of travel work isn’t pleasant, especially if there are some risks in terms of driving, flying or using other ways of transport to a specific location.
A journey management software program is going to help an employer get alerts if an employee doesn’t check-in when he/she is supposed to. There is journey management software that are WHS compliant and help an organization to manage the travel risk practices.
Do real-time data and high speed communication count?
Taking advantage of high-speed communications is another method in which technology can turn a business into a better and safer one. The employees that need to work within isolated and remote environments are exposed to higher risks for injuries. For instance, a sales worker that needs to travel abroad and domestically, has a high risk for going through theft, kidnapping, vandalism or political disorder.
It’s quite difficult for a company to provide safety for the employees in this sort of situations and follow the worker safety and health standards. The employer can use the advanced reporting tools that gather real-time data and transfer information so it’s always updated about the safety and health condition of the employees. There are highly responsive communication technologies that really easy to use and highly efficient for acquiring the safety and health standards.
Are there any risks or issues that technology poses in the workplace?
Even if technology brings plenty of good things to the table, there are still some problems that need to be taken under consideration:
- Employee use of Social Media
Whenever there is a connection between an employer and an unsuitable content posted online by one of the employees, the employee may control the employee and even put an end to the employment. This has become more and more possible, especially if the post has been harmful or potentially harmful to the employer.
Let’s highlight that this situation isn’t valid all over the world. Some employees state that the social media posts should be protected and that no punishments should be applied.
Another sensitive matter regarding the Social Media is the background check which may pose some privacy concerns. Colleting irrelevant information and personal information of third parties must be reasonable and should be carried out according to the privacy commissioners.
Side note: Protecting the Client List
Who’s the owner of the social media account. The online networking is developing fast and an employee may leave the employment with the social media account that works as a client list. This may compromise the contractual non-competition and non-solicitation covenants. In order to eliminate the risk for this situation, the employer need to create corporate ownership of social media accounts that are helping the business to work.
- Data protection and cybersecurity
It’s quite common for data breaches to happen lately. It’s not only the hackers or the external sources that pose that risk. The way the employees are managing the company data raise that risk too. Some training, policies and practices about the acceptable use, retention and storage of employer data, property and systems are more than welcomed.
- Privacy on workplace computers
It’s only natural for the employees to expect a certain level of privacy on workplace computers, especially if the personal use is allowed. The privacy may be limited by the employer’s policies on monitoring the workplace computers. The policies must be clearly communicated to all employees.
The employees also need to be constantly aware of the updated policies regarding the email, acceptable use, Social Media, Internet, electronic devices, passwords and so on.
One final thought
We cannot run from technology anymore. It may help a business to grow, to protect the employer and the employee, but it can also ruin the organization or raise the risk for health and safety of the employees. As long as we know how to get the best out of it, we should be all enjoying these great times of technology in our lives.