Safety is an essential aspect of any organization, and it is crucial to ensure that employees are always protected from harm. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on safety in the workplace, and several new trends have emerged. These trends include the use of technology, such as AI and IoT (Internet of Things), to improve safety, the increased focus on mental health and wellness, and the adoption of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives to promote inclusivity and equity in safety.
Additionally, there has been a shift toward remote work following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to new challenges in ensuring workplace safety for remote employees. The focus on ergonomics
, and the use of robots in safety are also gaining popularity. These trends are shaping the way organizations create safer and healthier workplaces for employees.
Check Out the Top 2023 EHS trends:
- Workplace Safety for Remote Employees
With remote work here to stay, how does this impact remote workers? Organizations are establishing guidelines for ergonomic workstations to prevent injuries and discomfort. This includes proper chair, desk and computer setup, and breaks schedule. It’s also key to regularly review and update workplace safety policies, including emergency procedures, to ensure they are up-to-date and appropriate for remote employees.
- Stressing the Importance of Ergonomics
Ergonomics experts help decrease workplace injury by identifying and assessing potential risk factors for injury in the workplace. They then use this information to develop and implement strategies to prevent injury and improve overall safety. By implementing strategies, ergonomics experts can help to reduce the incidence of workplace injuries, improve employee productivity, and decrease healthcare costs associated with workplace injuries.
- Using Modern Technology to Report and Track Recordables
Electronic reporting systems allow companies to easily record and track incidents, injuries, and near-misses. These systems can be accessed from any location and can provide real-time data on incidents and injuries. Many of these systems have mobile apps that help provide additional detail and easy access to provide additional data points.
- Working with Wearables to Improve Employee Safety
Wearable technology, such as smart watches and fitness trackers, can be used to track employee movements and activities, which can help to identify potential hazards and prevent injuries.
- Mental Health Focus
Mental health wellness in the workplace addresses and prevents issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout. An employer can help encourage positive mental health by creating a positive work culture, providing resources and support, and encouraging a healthy work-life balance.
- Employee Well-Being
Employers should take steps to address and prevent workplace stress, such as providing training on stress management and promoting a healthy work-life balance. Promoting wellness in the workplace can improve employee well-being, reduce absenteeism, and increase productivity.
- Rise of Freelance EHS Workers
In recent years, there has been a trend of people moving toward independent contracting instead of full-time employment. This trend is driven by a number of factors, including flexibility, control over income, variety of work, desire to be an entrepreneur, and the ability for remote-only work. Independent contracting can be a good fit for some individuals, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making the decision to move towards independent contracting instead of full-time employment.
- Robots Entering the Safety Scene
Robots are increasingly being used in the field of safety to improve efficiency and reduce risk for workers. Robots equipped with cameras and sensors can be used to inspect and monitor hazardous environments, such as nuclear power plants, chemical factories, and oil refineries, where it would be too dangerous for humans to go. They can also be used in search and rescue operations, such as after natural disasters, to search for survivors and provide information to first responders. These robots can be controlled remotely, which allows workers to stay out of hazardous areas and still carry out tasks that are too dangerous for humans to perform.
- Reprioritizing Benefits for Employees
Paid time off, including vacation time, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave is important for employees to take time off for rest and recovery, and to attend to personal and family matters. Flexible working hours allow employees to balance their work and personal life, which can improve job satisfaction and reduce stress. Providing employees with professional development opportunities, such as training and education programs, can help employees to improve their skills and advance their careers.
- Advancing DEI Initiatives
DEI initiatives in safety can include increasing representation of underrepresented groups in safety-related roles and positions, such as safety managers and trainers. Creating safe spaces for employees from underrepresented groups to share their experiences and concerns is vital to providing feedback on safety-related issues. These initiatives can help to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace, which can improve employee engagement, productivity, and overall safety.
- Investing in Quality PPE
Investing in quality PPE ensures compliance with safety regulations and standards, which can help avoid fines and penalties. Quality PPE also provides the necessary protection for employees, reducing the risk of injuries and illnesses. This can lead to a reduction in lost work time and medical costs. Quality PPE can also help increase employee productivity by reducing the risk of injuries and illnesses and by providing employees with the necessary tools to perform their job safely which also helps build trust in an employee/employer relationship. Comfortable PPE can help reduce fatigue and improve employee’s morale.
- AI on the Rise
AI has seen a rise in popularity and production over the past couple of years. Some of the top uses include predictive analytics, monitoring & surveillance, automating safety checks, and remote control of robots. AI can help to improve safety by providing real-time data, identifying patterns and trends, and providing recommendations for how to mitigate risk. It can also automate repetitive tasks and provide an accurate analysis of data and images.
There are also companies building entire platforms around AI including industry favorite CompScience, who backed by AI and data science are transforming EHS with predictive analytics proven to lower workers’ compensation costs.
- Rise of EHS Apps & Software
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