Welcome to the second part of our series on Connected Workers. Here we discuss the organizational need for real-time risk management and potential avenues of adoption. To read the first part of our series, click here.
When it comes to workers’ health and safety, often discussions stall at ROI. However, top executives have started warming to the idea of using connected worker technologies to improve worker safety and enhance productivity. They acknowledge that using connected worker technologies will help reduce safety incidents, insurance costs, and add to the bottom line.
Connected worker technologies can also be used to communicate in real-time with remote workers. The organization’s control center could be anywhere in the world and still stay connected with employees. The pandemic drove a sudden uptick in connected solutions. In fact, worker engagement tools increased by almost two to three times compared to pre-pandemic levels.
While the pandemic may have been a watershed moment, a long-term, sustainable plan is still necessary to make sure these technologies become an essential part of workplace safety.
Challenges In Adopting Connected Worker Technologies:
A common issue when driving change in an aging industrial world is that older workers are often reluctant to adopt new tools and processes compared to younger workers. They fear that technology will replace them instead of aid them in their work, struggle with learning and using new technologies in their day-to-day tasks, and have difficulties trusting technologies with sensitive information, such as name and location. But workforce demographics are changing, older workers are starting to retire, and a new workforce is emerging. As new workers are more technologically savvy, technology adoption is becoming more and more critical to both worker attraction and business success.
Worker engagement tools are in demand right now, however, there is still a lack of awareness and engagement concerning the benefits of these tools. Executives are beginning to understand the impact connected devices can have on an organization. But the end-users on the ground are woefully unaware of the potential benefits. This is causing a lack of employee interest and buy-in and an increased resistance to connected device adoption. Workers need to be better informed on connected solution benefits, and how they will make their jobs easier and safer.
Top executives are aware of the benefits of connected worker technology, but there are still many steps to accelerate decision-making and the adoption process. Technology will continue to evolve and respond to worksite changes. It is up to organizations to take initiative, emerge from their “analysis paralysis”, and take that leap of faith. They need to start transforming their current processes, educate and up-skill their employees, test the technologies, and then roll out for impact. For connected worker solutions to work successfully, IT and organizational maturity are critical.
Silos and lack of training
Even if organizations invest in real-time connected technologies, many do not spend enough time training workers. Management must inform and train workers on digital initiatives to ensure that connected devices are used properly and processes are followed. Collaboration and cooperation should be encouraged and siloed cultures discouraged because they impede the adoption and decision-making processes. Organizations need to interconnect assets, workers, and processes to ensure better safety and productivity.
Risk Management for Assets and Workers
According to the International Labor Organization, every 15 seconds a worker dies from a work-related incident. Organizations can no longer delay the process of implementing real-time risk management tools driven by connected worker solutions.
While worksites provide organizations with a lot of unstructured data in the form of real-time video, audio, and telephony. It’s the organization’s responsibility to leverage this data for insights into workplace safety and productivity. Adopting the right connected worker solutions and training employees will then help reduce workplace-related deaths and injuries.
Guardhat is pioneering end-to-end connected worker safety solutions for industrial workers. We offer cutting-edge, wearable technology; a proprietary connected worker platform – unrivaled in its ability to ingest, manage and analyze unstructured data; easy to deploy monitoring and reporting software; and a growing system of partner integrations.
Guardhat enables companies to monitor worker location, health, and work environment to shorten reaction time and help proactively solve safety challenges. We hold 15 patents in real-time location systems, wearable solution design, and connected worker software. If you are interested in our connected safety solutions – including situational awareness, environmental and biometric monitoring, multi-modal communication, RTLS, Covid-19, and other advanced technology solutions – contact us to arrange a demo.