New wearable device could protect workers from accidents

Workplace accidents claim the lives of over 1,000 people and injure over 500 every day around the world. They also put a burden on companies and insurers, costing hundreds of billions of dollars every year in the U.S. alone. Employers and workplace safety managers alike in Missouri may be wondering, then, what they can do to protect their employees. This is where a software startup in Iowa comes in.

Based in Des Moines and specializing in wearable safety technology, MākuSafe has recently developed a band that can be worn by workers and used to collect environmental and motion data in real time. Not only do the bands measure changes in lighting, temperature and levels of radiation and other contaminants, but they also highlight hazardous trends and areas thanks to advances in machine learning.

This can prove beneficial since not all safety risks are foreseeable. Safety managers can use this data, which is stored in a cloud platform and made consumable, to decide what preventative measures must be taken; for example, they can set up safety equipment and tools in those unsafe areas. The devices automatically report every near-miss and hazardous situation.

Insurance companies can use this accurate information when reviewing workers' compensation claims or developing better property and casualty insurance policies. It could even help insurance agents striving to reduce client loss trends.

Not every workplace accident is preventable, even when the employer complies with safety guidelines and enforces them with employees. Employee negligence is to blame for many accidents; fortunately, victims can be reimbursed through the workers' compensation program. They could either opt for weekly payments covering a percentage of their lost wages, or they could aim for a settlement that covers more in one lump sum. Either way, a lawyer might assist with the filing and, if necessary, the appeals process.

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