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According to a new report – “The Future of Workplace Safety Technology Is Now” – just published by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) technology, part 1 of a 3 part report, the workplace, and the role of workers are changing more dramatically today and at a faster pace than ever before.

Along with shifting jobs and evolving workplaces come new and changing exposures to worker injuries. Questions continue to arise about the status and evolution of safety technologies. In fact, some insurers are testing or discussing these technologies, and in some cases, providing them to their customers/policyholders.

Based on interviews with multiple workers compensation insurers, safety technology vendors/suppliers, and insureds, this series is a presentation of perspectives from various stakeholders. In this article, the first installment of NCCI’s series it explores carrier viewpoints on the latest trends in safety technology.

The safety technology industry has evolved since NCCI published its first article on this topic in 2019. The four insurers that it interviewed for this article are currently using or exploring multiple types of safety technologies, including wearables, Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Computer Vision, the Internet of Things (IoT), software applications, and drones.

Key insights include:

– – Insurers are exploring multiple types of advanced safety technologies and are at various stages of implementation
– – Back injury prevention is a common focus for new workplace safety technology; however, applications are available to address many other injury types
– – Manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics industries are mentioned as principal target industries for modern safety solutions
– – An employer culture of “safety and trust” is seen as critical to the adoption and sustainable use of advanced safety technologies
– – Integrating workplace safety and operational efficiency may result in wider adoption of safety technologies
– – More testing and analysis are needed to fully quantify the value of modern workplace safety technologies
– – Safety technologies are deemed to be a “game-changer” by some industry experts; all interviewees see these technologies playing a major role in the future of worker injury prevention

For example, the report said that Drones, also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), can evaluate certain exposures without putting workers at risk for injury. Drones can evaluate roofing conditions and cell phone towers, as well as monitor air quality in confined spaces.

When asked if safety technology is a “game-changer,” the responses varied, ranging from “It can be ” – to “Absolutely.” Safety technology was mentioned as a potential differentiator to offer higher service and value. It was also noted that “safety technology will point out problems but may not point out solutions. But pinpointing the problem could lead to a solution.”

Part 1 of The Future of Workplace Safety Technology Is Now is available at no charge on the NCCI website.