In this article for Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, Triax Technologies’ Pete Schermerhorn writes about how new technologies are connecting workers and supervisors as well as managers and executives off site to enable improved safety culture and practices.
Shifting the Workplace Culture
Along these lines, it’s important to understand that these technology tools are just that—tools—and are only one part of a larger safety program that should include education/training, communication, and coaching. Using technology and data to drive down safety incidents must be coupled with a commitment to reviewing and, if necessary, changing corporate culture.
A comprehensive safety program requires management commitment, employee buy-in, and regular communication and feedback. In addition, safety technologies should enable workers to actively participate in site safety, whether it’s the ability to report a hazard or signal distress from anywhere in the field or two-way emergency communication capabilities.
Technology also can be used to help workers check into a safety mindset each time they step on site, reminding them that they have the power to add or subtract from a safe project. Rolling out new safety technology on site also provides an opportunity to kick-start other safety initiatives, such as morning stretch-and-flex sessions when project teams gather to limber up for the day or weekly toolbox talks where site-specific hazards or recent safety events are reviewed.