Companies in Kentucky and worldwide are starting to use Internet of Things, or IoT, technology to improve workplace safety and increase productivity. The technology uses connected devices and sensors to track worker health and environmental conditions.

The International Labor Organization reports that 321,000 people die in occupational accidents around the world each year. Meanwhile, the CDC reports that job-related injuries cost U.S. companies around $220 billion annually. In order to help reduce fatalities and injuries, companies are increasingly giving their employees wearable devices that can monitor their well-being. For example, there are approximately 53 million lone workers employed across the U.S., Canada and Europe. If these workers experience a health or safety issue, they have no one around to help them. However, there are wearable IoT devices on the market that allow lone workers to alert employers and police if they are in danger or experience a health issue. There are also smartphone apps that provide similar safety features.

IoT technology can also monitor an employee’s heart rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen level and brain activity for signs of fatigue or illness. This can be critical information when workers are exposed to extreme temperatures or hazardous materials. IoT is also being used to help companies monitor the safety and efficiency of equipment. For example, sensors can alert employers of failing equipment in real time, allowing them to fix the problem before anyone is injured.

Despite advancements in technology, thousands of workers are injured on the job each year. Most of these workers are eligible to file for workers compensation benefits through their employer’s insurance. An attorney may help an injured worker prepare and file a claim. If the claim is denied, legal counsel might file an appeal.

Source: Tech HQ, “Can IoT help you build a safer workplace?,” June 5, 2018