Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Caterpillar SmartbandMarch 27, 2017
Improvements in technology are making notoriously dangerous occupations safer than ever. The construction industry is particularly injury-prone and is responsible for an estimated one in five fatal workplace accidents each year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Government regulators and safety advocates alike are hopeful that the Cat® Smartband, a Fitbit-like device worn by individual workers, could lessen the occurrence of serious workplace injuries.
The Cat® Smartband works by providing biofeedback on its wearer. Information regarding the worker’s level of fatigue is delivered to a software program which in turn issues an alert when the worker is in danger of causing or suffering a workplace accident. The Cat® Smartband has proven particularly beneficial when paired with a complimentary dash-cam driver safety system (DSS). With the use of DSS, supervisors gain access to not only biofeedback on the physical condition of their workforce, but also a real-time view of how their workers are performing under their current condition.
The dangers of a fatigued construction worker are undeniable. Construction workers often operate heavy machinery including bulldozers and jackhammers, which have the potential to do great harm when used improperly. Additionally, construction workers routinely scale great heights. One false step can lead to a fall that results in catastrophic injuries. Lack of sleep is also shown to cause cognitive impairments. Delayed reaction times can prevent a construction worker from avoiding an oncoming danger. Similarly, fatigue can result in impaired judgment which can lead a worker to take unnecessary risks.
Studies Demonstrate Threat Posed by Fatigued Workers
The need to monitor workers for fatigue is bolstered by research commissioned by Caterpillar Safety Service. According to the study, 100,000 construction accidents each year are attributable to an overtired worker. Those same accidents resulted in 71,000 injuries.
While some workers have expressed hesitation about wearing the Cat® Smartband, the device is relatively unobtrusive. The wristband is worn for 30 days while it tracks not only movements and activity, but also sleep quality. At the conclusion of 30 days, the Cat® Smartband generates a baseline score that can be used to make positive lifestyle changes that promote better sleep. Simple solutions such as eliminating caffeine in the evening may result in improved rest. In some cases, the device may indicate that a worker should undergo a sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Provide Guidance Following a Work Injury in Maryland
Whenever a worker suffers an injury on the job and is unable to return to work, the resulting loss of income can be devastating. Workers’ Compensation benefits can fill the void, providing partial pay and medical benefits until the individual is fully healed. If you were recently involved in a workplace accident, the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will investigate your claim at no cost. Call us at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation at our office in Baltimore, where we proudly serve clients throughout Maryland.