Work to Zero: Making Innovation Accessible to Mitigate Fatality Risks in the Workplace

By Doug Matthews in collaboration with the National Safety Council

Over the past 25 years, we have seen significant reductions in workplace injury rates while unfortunately, fatality rates have climbed. In fact, in 2020, the latest year of available data, there were nearly 5,000 fatal workplace injuries, meaning thousands of families are losing loved ones in workplace incidents. Clearly, the time has come for a new approach to workplace safety.

In an environment where we carry supercomputers in our pockets, immerse ourselves in virtual worlds using a headset, and use drones to get optimal pictures, it is unacceptable that people still die at work. At the National Safety Council, we believe workers deserve to return home safely every day and technology plays a vital role in achieving this vision.

From drones for inspections at heights to software to detect fatigue in workers, there are technology solutions on the market today that can address, or even eliminate the risk of hazardous situations and other contributing factors leading to workplace fatalities. Unfortunately, many employers are not aware of their critical risks and how digital technologies can help. Further, many employers are unsure about their readiness for innovation or how to get started.

Industry 4.0 is upon us, and early adopters are not only reporting health and safety performance improvements but also increased operational efficiencies from implementing technology. EHS leaders from around the world are reporting that technology investments have met, and even exceeded their expectations. But the application of technology solutions to safety issues is no longer reserved for early adopters, as more and more employers are turning to digital solutions. Industry 4.0 is no longer a futuristic concept, it’s here. Is your company ready for this reality?

The National Safety Council Work to Zero initiative is actively working to mitigate fatality risks in the workplace by making innovation more accessible for employers. Leveraging a coalition of safety professionals, solution providers, academics, and researchers, the Work to Zero initiative is focused on delivering evidence-based tools and resources to help organizations on their safety innovation journeys. Our growing suite of resources and tools are designed to help employers:

  1. Better understand fatality risks
  2. Explore technology solutions
  3. Assess digital readiness
  4. Make the business case for innovation
  5. Pilot and implement technologies to save lives

That’s why I’ve joined the Work to Zero advisory board to witness this “research-to-practice” firsthand. I invite you to as well, joining business leaders, EHS professionals, and innovation experts at the Work to Zero Summit and Expo, April 13-14, 2022. Here, we will highlight lifesaving technologies in action and provide guidance as organizations progress on their own safety innovation journeys to eliminate workplace fatality risks.

About Guardhat

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.


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