Every week, we bring you the latest headlines from the world of safety and keep you updated on the issues that matter most.
Technology analysts from Bosch predict the wearable market will become a $250 billion market in three years. And experts say safety in the workplace will be the driving force for much of that demand.
“Wearable technology, once the domain of professional athletes and sports physiotherapists, is now being used in construction to make data-driven decisions and assess on a micro-level the way workers are moving every day,” said Andrew Ronchi, CEO of dorsaVi, an Australian-based biotechnology company. “Safety managers are paying more attention to methods for reducing injury and costs while improving productivity, the safety culture and education of workers.”
The safety wearables landscape is changing rapidly as technology improves. In the industrial space, for example, wearables meant to monitor a person’s condition in real time can include bracelets, hats, gloves, industrial hygiene samplers, or even clothing. Trucking companies can now use a wearable that looks like a regular baseball cap but doubles as a monitor for fatigue. The caps collect information that can be sent to a device in the truck’s cab, or even an external location, to alert the driver (or someone monitoring the worker) that the driver is becoming sleepy. Experts say the ability to send information to a worker through augmented reality and video is the next frontier. Imagine a hologram popping up in your wearable work glasses to show you how to do a task safely.
DEKRA gave attendees of the Safety in Action conference this past March an up-close look at the future of wearables. You can read this blog for some of the technology items that were highlighted.
If you have an innovative idea on how to make industries like construction and agriculture safer, the state of Oregon wants to hear from you. Oregon’s state-run occupational health and safety agency (OSHA) is seeking grant applications for workplace safety innovations right now.
The grants are geared towards high-risk industries and are aimed at assisting companies monetarily with the development of innovative safety and health programs. The state may hand out up to $40,000 per grant project. The agency encourages projects such as mobile apps, videos or online educational games to engage the workforce.
Past grant project examples that have been submitted to the agency’s program include:
The federal government is also offering grant money to improve safety. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced the availability of over 10-million dollars to fund training and education that helps companies identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards.
The grants are available for nonprofit organizations including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes, and colleges and universities. Recipients will create in-person, hands-on training and educational programs and develop materials for workers and employers in small businesses; industries with high injury, illness and fatality rates; and vulnerable workers who are underserved, have limited English proficiency or are temporary workers.
Applications for the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Aug. 28, 2017.