What are the key safety tech trends for 2024?

National Media

Monday, 25 March, 2024

What are the key safety tech trends for 2024?

Promoting and protecting worker safety is a critical objective for Australian businesses.

Smart sensors, wearables and artificial intelligence are among the latest technologies that organisations can use to improve health and safety outcomes.

Another trend in safety is personalisation — tailoring safety training and wellbeing programs to individual employees, for the best outcomes.

“Cloud-based programs, virtual reality programs, mobile apps and customised systems facilitate this personalised approach. It goes without saying that cybersecurity and data security will be top of mind for any organisation that’s investing in these platforms,” said Stephen Blackie, Commercial Director, National Media — the organisers of the 2024 Workplace Health and Safety Show.

“Many of these tech tools enable real-time monitoring, data collection and predictive analysis, making it possible to predict and prevent hazards and risks.”

Not only that, but some of these innovations and tools enable workplaces to adopt a more holistic approach to safety, by addressing the mental wellbeing of workers.

“Noting that the rate of mental illness-related workers compensation claims is rising fast, we anticipate that psychosocial safety is going to be a hot topic for Australian workplace leaders in the coming months,” Blackie said.

Remote, round the clock safety monitoring is another positive side effect of the advances in technology. Virtual inspections and safety protocols can be carried regularly and consistently, raising safety standards.

Three tech innovations shaping workplace safety

  1. Smart sensors: This includes sensors that track individuals, vehicles or heavy-duty equipment and alert safety leaders to possible safety risks such as collisions or maintenance-related faults, as well as sensors that monitor environmental factors such as lightning, high heat or even dust levels.
  2. Wearable tech: This includes wearable sensors that detect movement, stress or environmental factors that present potential risks, and collect data for analysis and reporting. Exoskeletons that protect workers from physical risks and prevent movement-related injuries are also being developed for industries such as mining and construction.
  3. Artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT: AI and IoT-enabled tools can automate the monitoring, reporting and predictive analysis of safety risks, and also the response to potential hazards. AI tools that analyse video data and automatically alert safety managers to potential issues are helping organisations to achieve improved safety outcomes. IoT-enabled sensors that facilitate the seamless connection between safety monitoring systems, reporting platforms and emergency response teams, for example, make it possible to prevent or address hazards faster.

Getting across the latest in workplace safety

Staying up to date with the tech innovations, latest trends and new safety legislation is a major challenge for safety professionals. “This is why we’re so pleased to present this year’s Workplace Health & Safety Show, designed to empower visitors with the latest OHS resources, knowledge and tools,” Blackie said.

The show will be taking place in Melbourne from 22–23 May and in Sydney from 23–24 October, and will feature three theatre stages, covering everything from the latest in safety technology and resources to mental wellbeing and psychosocial legislation, as well as dedicated sessions on safety in construction.

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