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How IoT could help reduce workplace accidents

Each year, occupational accidents kill around 321,000 workers and cost companies over $220 billion. The International Labor Organization states that 151 workers suffer from a job-related injury every 15 seconds. Both employees and employers in New York may be wondering what can be done to reduce these numbers; fortunately, advances in technology are making a difference.

The development of the Internet of Things, a network of interconnected devices, has proven to be useful in the protection of lone workers. Companies can now equip their employees with a range of smart devices, such as wearable tags that can alert emergency personnel in case of an accident. Wireless sensors and GPS tracking provide employers with real-time data as well.

This data also includes workers' health status, which is essential in dangerous environments like construction sites. Smart helmets, for instance, can monitor heart rate, temperature, blood oxygen saturation and other basics, alerting employers to any dangerous conditions or any fatigue on the worker's part. The IoT data can later be consulted as employers look for ways to improve their safety programs.

According to Berg Insight, there could be over 2 million IoT users protecting lone workers in North America and Europe by 2020. In the U.S., Canada and Europe, there are currently about 53 million lone workers.

When employees are injured, they will want to find out what they're eligible for under the workers compensation laws. Usually, these benefits cover medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages. In the event of a serious injury, employees may be able to seek a settlement with the insurance company itself. Either way, a lawyer may have medical experts measure the extent of the injuries, and he or she could mount an appeal if the claim is denied.

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