Flexible workforces and changes in the way and location of work require a shift in the way safety is delivered across organisations.
Innovation is required to stay ahead of the curve and ensure that people are safe and have the knowledge and tools required to stay safe no matter where they work and how they deliver the work.
Technology plays an integral part in transforming the world of work. It is also a vital component for the successful management of health and safety in an organisation and is responsible for creating virtual, online systems to manage how organisations perform across all levels and in particular, on an operational level.
For Remote Working
Being able to monitor the current whereabouts of field personnel through GPS tracking and Geo tagging in real time as well as supporting workflows such as QR scanning, electronic attendance, pick-ups and deliveries, instant messaging and video all contribute to better productivity and allow WHS personnel to monitor and review remote work styles.
For Data Analysis
Capturing information and then using the data to inform continuous improvement such as work styles, optimal times of day for travelling, time spent getting to and from jobs, congested areas to avoid and time spent on performing tasks will empower WHS professionals to articulate clearly the value they bring to an organisation. This value is demonstrated through ongoing development of streamlined workflow processes and increased levels of productivity.
Using electronic data to map and record work activity and processes gives Health and Safety departments the opportunity to review and refine how the operations of the organisation impact the overall business performance. Working with data to gain insights and plan for change shows innovation and agility. Both are essential for WHS professionals who want to stay ahead of the curve and lead the way for the sector.
With the responsibility of creating healthy and safe working environments, WHS professionals can gain support and implement initiatives using technology to combat a range of potential occupational health issues including, heart, respiratory and muscle related problems. Fit-Bits, smart watches and other devices monitor and track health and can identify issues that need to be addressed. Implementing health initiatives in an organisation such as Steptember
or City to Surf
not only promote better health they also develop team spirit and create mateship in the workplace.
Delivering WHS training across organisations with multiple locations can be expensive and very time consuming. There is also the risk of not being able to deliver quickly due to travel arrangements and coordinating personnel. Online webinars and video conferencing make WHS training accessible anytime and are proven to be more cost effective than individual face-to-face methods. Training can happen in real time across all locations ensuring all personnel are informed at the same time and in other cases personnel can access training at times that are convenient to them and a record of their successful completion can be noted.
Augmented reality technology such as Google Glass and simulation training brings training to a whole new level, allowing the trainee to connect with information by putting them in the driver’s seat – literally. Research shows that those using augmented reality technology for training experienced up to 90% reduction in the number of errors in manufacturing when compared to using instructions from a desktop computer. As it allows for a mix of real-world scenarios, the trainee can experience workplace situations and apply skills acquired in training directly to their jobs.
WHS professionals should continue to keep abreast of emerging technologies and trends and how they can work with them to deliver outstanding WHS into their organisations. Consider attending conferences such as CeBIT
to learn about anything new in technology from Industry specific APPS through to e-commerce platforms, sign up to online forums, read blogs and subscribe to publications such as IT New
s. The only way for WHS professionals to effectively use technology in the workplace is to embrace it.
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