Rapid advances in technology are revolutionising the OHS industry and the impact on OHS has been mostly positive. New technologies have made OHS processes easier and more efficient and OHS professionals are able to use these to their advantage. Here are some of the new technologies that are driving this exciting revolution.
Many jobs that were done by humans are now being done by machines. Some of these tasks were dangerous for employees to carry out, meaning that many health and safety risks have been eliminated. Automated technology is making the workplace safer and more efficient, especially with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots.
Mobile devices and wearables
OHS processes are becoming much more streamlined thanks to mobile devices. For example, when a worker is doing safety checks on the job site, these checks can be recorded on a mobile device, shared with supervisors and colleagues, and stored for future reference. A huge variety of wearable technologies have also been developed to improve the safety of workers. These include body-worn cameras, heart rate sensors, smart glasses, and GPS trackers, to mention a few.
Drones are increasingly taking to the skies above construction sites, mines and farms around the world. They are able to identify potential risk areas from the air, and capture images which can be converted into 3D maps.
Virtual reality has greatly enhanced OHS training by creating extremely realistic environments which users can immerse themselves in. Workers can be trained on what to expect on job sites by being presented with the possible scenarios they might face, all from the safety of an office space.
Risk management software
Computer and mobile software programmes have become highly advanced, allowing for much-improved risk management. Technologies such as myosh allow OHS practitioners to manage incident reports, connect with their teams, and save data to the cloud, amongst many other functions.
What challenges does technology pose?
New technologies bring with them new challenges for OHS practitioners. Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that it is sometimes difficult to keep up. Here are several challenges caused by the technological explosion:
- Trusting too much in technology. People may place too much faith in automated systems. These systems still need to be carefully supervised by humans in order to ensure that they function correctly.
- Ethical concerns about employee monitoring. While technology has enabled organisations to better monitor their workers, there are concerns surrounding privacy.
- Lagging standards and procedures. The expanding scope and rapid development of technology means that many standards and procedures in the OHS industry become outdated quickly. Legislation needs to be constantly adjusted to ensure that new technologies are used safely.
- Lack of experience. The majority of people have no experience of interacting with robots. Training programmes need to be adjusted in order to include information related to programming, operating, maintaining and working alongside robots.
Despite these challenges, technology has brought some exciting changes to the OHS industry. Careers in this highly-modernised field will increasingly become suited to tech-savvy individuals. If a career such as this interests you, then start building your foundations with one of Oxbridge Academy’s OHS courses.
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