The Internet-of-things, or IoT, has rapidly spread to a vast range of devices, from doorbells to toasters. But IoT technology is not just a convenience. It can also be a useful way businesses and insurers can reduce the risk of injuries in the workplace. Staffing firms can benefit from exploring IoT devices as part of their risk management programs, for several reasons.
How are IoT devices used in the workplace?
IoT devices use wireless technology, including wi-fi connectivity and Bluetooth, to transmit data generated by a connected object and, in some cases, to send signals back to the object. IoT devices are increasingly becoming a part of the work environment, with technologies such as:
- Clothing integrating sensors that monitor an employee’s movement and vital signs.
- Communications technology to allow discussions across distances or in loud environments.
- Environmental monitoring for airborne toxins, excessive heat, noise, and other hazards.
- Equipment monitoring.
The potential for IoT systems to change the way we work stems from several connected ideas. First, the data gathered by IoT devices allows maintenance teams, risk management experts, ergonomics analysts, and others to study working conditions like never before. Second, an employee’s wearable IoT devices can alert the employee to hidden dangers, like equipment that has a hidden fault detected by the equipment’s remote monitor.
How IoT can improve risk management results for staffing firms
As IoT technology develops, staffing firms can benefit from exploring ways to integrate it into their strategies for reducing injury risk. The benefits can be significant:
- Gain insight into the health and wellness of remote employees. Because wearable technology can track things like environmental hazards, heart rate, and other important data, a staffing firm can directly view the condition of its employees even if they are not under the firm’s direct supervision.
- Communicate risk to employees in real-time. IoT devices can automatically alert employees to hazards, ranging from an odorless gas leak to a forklift backing toward them.
- Gain access to data about accidents. If an accident happens to an employee who is wearing a monitoring device, the device may provide valuable information to analysts as they work to prevent a similar accident from happening in the future.
- Insurers are watching. The insurance industry understands the benefits IoT devices bring to a risk management program, and should be pricing policies to encourage their customers to embrace the technology.
Many clients, especially in high-risk industries like construction, may already be using wearable technologies to monitor their employees. They may want their temporary employees to wear them as well. Staffing firms should have a plan in place for how to handle such requests and how to take advantage of the client’s technology.
Gunnin is the staffing industry’s risk management resource
IoT is already transforming how employers mitigate workplace hazards. In the future, its importance will only grow. At Gunnin, we are always looking for ways to improve the performance of our clients’ risk management programs. We believe our clients can benefit from exploring the benefits of IoT devices as part of a broader strategy to reduce or eliminate injuries. To learn more, give Gunnin a call today.