Though the number of workplace injuries in California and across the U.S. has seen a slight decline, the same cannot be said for workplace fatalities. In fact, more than 5,000 workers died in 2018, the highest the number has ever been since 2008. Responding to this, the National Security Council has released a report as part of its Work to Zero initiative. The NSC points out several workplace hazards and how they can be mitigated with new tech.
Work from an elevated surface presents several hazards. Employees may fall, objects may fall and harm those below and scaffolding may collapse. Aerial lifts and platforms, self-retracting lifelines for fall protection and, above all, drones could help reduce the risk for injuries.
Then there are times when machinery may unexpectedly energize. Light curtains may come in handy by shutting off the machine whenever a worker interrupts that curtain. Employers may also consider power management systems. Additionally, accidents may occur because workers are fatigued, in which case a vital sign monitor may be beneficial.
Workplace violence is another hazard with assault and violence due to robbery being particular concerns. This can be addressed through mobile apps that give a worker’s location in real time, through body cameras that detect abnormalities through AI and machine learning and through wearable or app-based panic buttons.
Employers have a duty to maintain a reasonable level of workplace safety. Still, they cannot prevent all incidents, which is why the workers’ compensation program has been established to reimburse victims for their injuries. Victims, for their part, may want a lawyer to help them file their claim. If the employer denies payment, then the lawyer may help victims file an appeal.