Using Data to Reduce Injuries in the Workplace: 3 Steps

August 06, 2020   |

WRITTEN BY HAYTHAM ELHAWARY, CO FOUNDER & CEO

Workplace injury numbers are staggering: over 12,500 workers are injured on the job daily, leading to 104 million lost production days annually, and costing companies over $170 billion per year. Employers striving to reduce workplace injuries are looking to data for support. 

Innovative technologies, such as wearable devices, are allowing companies to collect and analyze quality safety data that leads to actionable insights and, ultimately, reduced injury rates, lower claims costs, and increased worker productivity. 

Employers considering a data-driven workplace safety solution can follow this 3-step process:

1. Acquire

Collect meaningful data with smart technology

Think of data as insightful clues that can help companies reduce workplace injuries. It’s the who, what, when, and where of risk. When an employer deploys smart technology to help collect these clues, they essentially gain new eyes on the workplace floor. These eyes can observe both individual employees and entire job functions, gathering useful information on who is at risk, at what times, how often, and at what locations.   

For example, industrial employers might collect data on employees performing high-risk postures – such as bending, overreaching, and twisting – since ergonomic-related injuries represent approximately 33% of all worker injuries. With this actionable data in hand, management is able to:

 

  • – Uncover root causes of ergonomic workplace injuries
  • – Identify preventative strategies to improve worker safety

2. Assess

Analyze the data for actionable insights

Once a company is collecting meaningful data, these clues can then be analyzed to uncover driving factors of workplace injuries. Analysis allows employers to identify the why, or the potential causes of high-risk behaviors, resulting in actionable insights that reduce the likelihood of future injuries.

Connected technology can help teams make sense of collected data. Dashboard reports enable management to perform regular check-ins, allowing them to spot patterns and trends in their team’s data. For example, when measuring high-risk postures with a wearable device, insights gained may include:

 

  • – Noticing an increase in high-risk postures during a specific time frame 
  • – Identifying a group of employees that performs the most high-risk postures each day
  • – Determining a certain location where excessive high-risk postures are performed

3. Act

Use data insights to enhance workplace safety

After data has been collected and insights have been gained, employers can put plans into action to drive real results, bringing injury rates down (and in turn reducing claims costs) by helping employees work smarter and safer. Data-driven insights may lead to actions such as:

  • – Workplace changes
  • Employers may find some high-risk actions are unavoidable, but they can reduce their frequency by implementing a change in the setup of a workstation or introducing new equipment.
  •  
  • – Coaching opportunities
  • Management may determine an employee with a level of high-risk postures that is well above the average would benefit from coaching or a safety observation.
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Preventative actions such as these transform workplace safety from a reactive to a proactive process. 

Measurable Results

By adopting innovative technologies to accumulate and analyze rich pools of data, employers can optimize their workplace safety programs to minimize risk and address preventable threats. The results are substantial: companies that have adopted wearable technology to measure high-risk postures among their workforce have lowered injury rates by 58%, and reduced claims costs by 54%. Additionally, they’ve reduced lost workdays by 88%, and realized a 5% increase in worker productivity.

Haytham Elhawary

CEO & Cofounder, KINETIC

2019 KINETIC © All rights reserved.

2019 KINETIC © All rights reserved.