Technology affects many aspects of professional life. Many employers readily utilize the latest devices and software in order to improve productivity, reduce overhead expenses, and more efficiently deliver a cost-effective product or service to their clients. Yet one important benefit of technology in the workplace is often overlooked. Comprehensive safety programs can identify and address critical safety issues in the workplace. A Columbia injury attorney can help employees who have been injured on the job and employers who wish to limit their exposure to liability for workplace accidents.
New Technology for a New Workplace
Occupational Health and Safety reports on the benefits of comprehensive, integrated management programs for worker safety. For example, gas and oil companies often rely on patchwork enforcement of safety protocols in the field, or collecting data from individual meters or safety components at different job sites. With centralized software management programs, these companies can better protect their workers. Safety equipment can be more effectively maintained and inspected as necessary. Centralized safety protocols can also help these companies ensure compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Having a central safety process is more efficient than attempting to implement safety protocols at many different work sites. This can save employers money over time.
Technology can also greatly improve communications around the work site. In dangerous locations such as construction zones, chemical manufacturing plants and mines, communication can quickly become the difference between life and death. Improved communication can also facilitate the efficient use of warnings from portable safety equipment, such as smoke detectors, toxic gas detectors and radiation meters. Many of these critical safety devices are now being manufactured with Bluetooth technology and other wireless features. This allows data from the safety equipment to be quickly uploaded to centralized safety software and shared with all platform users.
The New Federal Mandate for Electronic Logging Devices
Truck driving is among the most dangerous of all professions in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2015, more than 25 percent of all workplace fatalities in America occurred in the trucking industry. Among other causes, this is due to the conflict between federal regulations which limit the number of hours a commercial operator may drive, and pay structures which provide incentive to both drivers and companies to fit in as many hours of driving as possible. Until now, these federal regulations were enforced by means of logs maintained by a driver him or herself. These “pen and paper” logs were easy to manipulate and difficult to prove wrong. Now, a new federal regulation requires commercial trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices, which transmit tamper-proof electronic information about the driver’s hours and mileage. Trucks.com reports that all commercial trucks needed to be equipped with ELDs no later than December 18, 2017.
Regardless of what safety equipment is used on a work site, accidents and injuries will occur on the job. A Columbia workers' compensation attorney can help injured workers determine their eligibility for workers' compensation, disability programs, civil lawsuits and other legal remedies.