Receiving substantial penalties are a possibility if your business fails to carry out legislations laid out by the British Government in which Health and Safety is concerned. Such legislations ensure that your staff are considered and that they are not at risk of any possible dangers whilst at work in your control.

Projected Image, retailers of Gobo Holders, explain just how advancements in technology are shaping health and safety at work in such a modern age.

How did this come about?

The Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity, Barbra Castle, was the first to raise awareness of employee safety in Britain under Harold Wilson’s Labour Government. A number of people however expressed concern however that it did not discuss fundamental issues of workplace safety throughout, so this act was later disregarded.

In the form of The Robens Report, Lord Robens initiated an enquiry into this in 1972. This came shortly after the United States passed a similar law named the Occupational Safety and Health Act, despite the backlash that Barbra Castle received. This initiated As the Conservatives gained power, the political party created their own bill which was also pushed back by the House of Lords. When Labour returned to administrate Britain in 1974, they succeeded in passing a health and safety bill that year —  known as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA).

What technology has been introduced to the workplace over time?

Although we live in an extremely advanced world when it comes to technological advancements, it seems like such technological advancements are not for everyone. One statistic that highlights this is that only 45% said that they would feel comfortable sharing personal information with a wearable device. 69% said that they wouldn’t feel comfortable due to fear of discrimination from their employer — we expect that this figure to lower as the world conforms to growing digital opportunities. However, due to the world we live in, it’s only natural that technology has an impact on this.

Check-in Technology

An extremely convenient addition to your businesses would be the StaySafe Business Wristband. Such a feature is able to monitor lunch breaks, toilet breaks and potential fire drill attendance. This feature also includes many features such as a discreet panic button for workers who are faced with a difficult situation, a ‘man down’ alert when the button detects a fall or impact and more. However, this can also come in the form of an app depending on company budget — and is likely to become a workplace necessity in the near future.

Projected Safety Signs

Manual jobs such as repainting caution lines and other safety essentials can be expensive and result in business downtime. As a result of this, more businesses are now turning to projected safety to sign to keep costs down. By purchasing a projector and gobo outlines, businesses are able to illuminate the required signs with minimal maintenance.

3D Visualisations

3D Visualisations are a great addition to any business. This includes 3D visualisations which allows workers to become more familiar with the area they are about to work in — allowing them to see what’s involved and make effective judgements on how to complete the job in the safest way possible. This helps reduce the likeness of injuries as workers are already aware of the scenario and know what to expect. Businesses are investing in software to help provide greater insight to the employers.

AI-SAFE

Another advanced feature is AI-SAFE. This feature has overall aims to reduce risk and human error whilst encouraging productivity within a company. Renowned technology organisations Cisco and Cortexia Vision Systems are making the move to improve workplace safety through artificial intelligence, funded by the UK Government. AI-SAFE will ultimately use video cameras above the entrances and exits of different operational areas and detect whether those entering/exiting are wearing the right equipment. This includes headwear, eyewear and footwear, helping to reduce the risk of contamination — which was once impossible to instantly detect. It will then restrict access to those who aren’t compliant and alert the correct authorities within the business.

Autonomous Vehicles

The new go-to addition for businesses across the country are autonomous vehicles. Such vehicles are able to detect its path and make appropriate changes to the route if needed. This vehicle will stop collisions from occurring in tight areas as well as transferring employees from one area to another.

Injuries within the workplace

The Health and Safety at work act was brought into place in 1974. It is fair to say that over time, technology has had a definite influence on workplace safety. Since this act being brought into place, there has been an enormous decrease of 85% of fatal injuries.

Self-reported, non-fatal injuries have halved since 2000, showing a consistent rate in recent years. When looking at the rate of employers who reported non-fatal injuries, the figure was down by 58% since 1986/87.

The rate of self-reported musculoskeletal disorder in more manual focuses jobs has dropped by 40% since 1990. This is essentially damage to the skeleton. By being able to offer more convenient modes of working to help safeguard employees, this is a time in which advancements of technology were growing at a dramatic rate. This highlights that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of technology’s capabilities within the workplace with further advancements expected over the world.

Drones

Drones have seen a recent spike in popularity and are becoming increasingly popular within businesses across the globe. Using drones in the workplace have allowed businesses to access dangerous areas, such as those that are too hot, cold or small for employee access. Reducing the risk to employees, the drones are able to collect the required data and deliver it timely to the appropriate person – helping to prioritise health and safety. They are also becoming popular when it comes to recreational photography and activities.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_and_Safety_at_Work_etc._Act_1974#Background

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Robens,_Baron_Robens_of_Woldingham

http://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/40/robens-report.htm

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37/section/2

http://www.hse.gov.uk/legislation/hswa.htm

http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/history/index.htm

https://www.staysafeapp.com/

https://www.talk-business.co.uk/2017/05/16/technology-improving-health-safety-manufacturing/

https://www.shponline.co.uk/new-ai-project-tackle-workplace-safety-risks/

https://medium.com/@cacheop/advanced-lane-detection-for-autonomous-cars-bff5390a360f

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