8 Emerging Technologies in Improving Occupational Safety

Use Safety Gears
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: July 25, 2023
  • Updated On: July 25, 2023

Work has a significant influence on the community’s health. Each workplace has its own set of occupational hazards, with varying types and intensities. Despite the introduction of numerous legal reforms, the number of occupational injuries is still on the rise. 

Therefore, it has become more important than ever to embrace technology. Technological advancements have become crucial to enhance workplace health and safety. Industries like construction, mining, manufacturing, and transportation require workers to engage in seemingly endless and demanding physical activity.

These sectors demand strenuous physical activity, and the workers work near heavy machinery and dangerous chemicals, making the need for safety measures more crucial.

Understanding the potential adverse effects of these hazards on the employees is the need of the hour. Safety managers bear the moral responsibility to address these issues through technology-driven solutions to protect the well-being of employees.

There are also several courses, such as IOSH Managing Safely, that can help safety managers understand and meet their legal, moral, and financial duties to protect the health and safety of employees.

Statistics About Work-Related Accidents  

According to HSE, 35 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2022 and 2023. And 565,000 working people sustained work-related injuries, according to the Labour Force Survey. Work-related illnesses and injuries caused the loss of 36.8 million working days. While there have been remarkable advances in workplace safety in the last few years, there is still room for improvement.

Technological Advancements in Occupational Safety

Technology in workplaces focuses on improving the worker’s safety. There are numerous advancements on which employers must take notice and continuously educate themselves on the latest trends and how these technologies can enhance employee safety. From hiring new employees to assisting employees in carrying out their routine tasks, new technologies are helping streamline work operations and promoting better safety.

Digital Safety Training

Using technology-based tools for health and safety brings numerous advantages. Firstly, complying with HSE requirements to train employees by providing health and safety courses and maintaining records of training and accidents becomes much simpler and more convenient with digital tools. Digital platforms efficiently store employer records, enabling easy data retrieval when needed and ensuring data accuracy in HSE inspections.

Moreover, digital training platforms offer flexibility in scheduling training sessions, allowing safety trainers to decide the training frequency. Since digital training is accessible on mobile devices, field workers receive training just as effectively as other employees. Additionally, these tools enable employers to monitor employees’ training progress, helping them identify any potential issues with specific individuals.

Digital training helps organisations grow. Safety trainers can easily track the training requirements, completion status, and employees’ understanding of their training materials. It has replaced traditional manual-based training, making the process more efficient, engaging, and effective for employers and employees.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a remarkable technological advancement, serving as a crucial occupational line of defence. It shields workers from workplace hazards and minimises the risk of injuries and illnesses. PPE includes specialised protective gear such as gloves, goggles, helmets, respirators, footwear, etc. PPE must be made mandatory where required, and employers must emphasise the use of PPE by providing health and safety courses.

Nowadays, there are versatile PPE available which are practical but also comfortable and ergonomic. These are widely used in high-risk industries such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare, etc. 

Numerous amazing physical characteristics, such as lightweight, robust material, anti-fog coatings, adjustable straps, and built-in ventilation systems, make PPE more user-friendly. 

In addition to the physical attributes, PPE also has technological integration. Innovative PPE contains sensors, communication devices, and health monitors. These features enable proactive risk management and prevent incidents.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality has become a popular way to train employees in safety training. VR technology makes it possible to put workers in dangerous work environments and experience the risks without putting them in danger. 

With VR headsets, employees can experience different hazards like electrical hazards, chemical spills, or falling from a height. It allows employees to get hands-on training, which is somewhat more effective than learning from a training manual. 

Research has shown that employees retain more information from experience-based training than from classroom-based training. This makes VR a technological hit in the field of occupational safety.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology has proven beneficial for improving workers’ safety. It assists in reducing the number of accidents and injuries as it takes a proactive approach to health and safety. Many employers are using wearable technology to monitor employees’ physiology and movements.

These wearable technologies alert employees of potential hazards like heart rates for those involved in strenuous physical activity.

These technologies include more than just wrist monitors. They may consist of hard hats with a 360-degree monitoring camera, safety vests that reduce the risk of injury, cooling vests, sensors, heat stress devices, and much more.


Robotics has become increasingly prevalent in various aspects of employees’ work environments, exerting a substantial and continuing influence. Implementing robotic technology can effectively diminish workers’ exposure to prevalent sources of injuries. However, this calls for meticulous planning and stringent measures to guarantee the safety of employees, not only during the active operation of the robot but also during setup and adjustment processes. 

The versatile nature of robotic technology has led to its deployment in several critical areas, including automating repetitive functions, streamlining the palletising of materials, addressing packaging requirements, and fulfilling safety objectives. 

As the field of robotics advances, its impact on workplace safety and productivity is bound to amplify, necessitating ongoing attention to optimising its integration into the work environment.

Machine Guards

Machine guards serve as physical enclosures positioned on or around machinery to provide a protective barrier, effectively shielding workers from potential harm caused by the motion of various machine components. Advanced measures such as light curtains, laser systems, and pressure-sensitive mats are employed in conjunction with traditional machine guarding techniques to enhance worker safety.

In the past, the conventional method of safeguarding workers from power press-related injuries predominantly relied on the use of machine guarding or “pullbacks.” However, a paradigm shift has occurred with cutting-edge technologies, allowing employees to carry out their tasks more effortlessly and with fewer inhibitions. These state-of-the-art devices offer sophisticated safety features, underscoring the need for their proper installation by a qualified individual.

Integrating these advanced machine-guarding systems becomes increasingly critical to maintaining a secure work environment as technology progresses. Combining physical barriers and cutting-edge safety technologies reduces the likelihood of accidents and facilitates seamless workflow, empowering workers to execute their responsibilities with greater efficiency and peace of mind. Nevertheless, it remains imperative that these advanced safety measures are meticulously installed and managed by experts to ensure optimal effectiveness and reliability.


Automation not just reduces the workload but also improves workplace safety. It takes on difficult tasks that may be dangerous for the employees, protecting them and creating a safer work environment.

In automation, companies utilise machines to conduct tasks that would otherwise require manual handling by human workers. This approach reduces the number of human employees exposed to potential hazards. Through automation, companies can delegate high-risk tasks to machines instead of humans. This intelligent division of labour ensures that human workers engage in roles that require cognitive abilities, creativity, and problem-solving skills. So, automated systems take over the repetitive and dangerous tasks, while humans take on roles that require critical thinking. 

Furthermore, automation creates a safer environment by reducing the impact of human errors, which can cause serious accidents, injuries, and even casualties. Since machines run with consistency and precision, they reduce the occurrence of incidents that arise as a result of human fallibility.

Automation reduces physical risks and plays a vital role in minimising workers’ exposure to hazardous substances and environments. For example, in industrial sectors where employees could be exposed to extreme temperatures or toxic chemicals, automation limits the need for direct human involvement.

Office Environments

Office employees spend hours sitting at desks in front of a computer which can cause numerous health issues. It is the employer’s responsibility to promote employees’ well-being. They must provide state-of-the-art workstations, chairs, and equipment to minimise health risks.

Significant office furniture and equipment advancements have been made to address office-related health concerns. These advancements include sit-stand workstations, adjustable workstations, ergonomic chairs, mouse, and keyboards.

Employing these innovative solutions promotes the well-being of staff and fosters a healthier and more engaged workforce. 


Integrating technological advancements in occupational safety plays a vital role in ensuring the well-being of employees across various industries. Embracing these advancements fulfils legal obligations while establishing a culture of care, responsibility, and innovation. It makes employee safety a top priority for any forward-thinking organisation. 

Employers and safety managers must recognise the significance of these advancements and continuously educate themselves on the latest health and safety trends. For this, they must be aware of HSE’s guidelines regarding their duties and take IOSH managing safely courses to learn their duties and responsibilities,

By integrating technology and safety measures, companies can create work environments that optimise productivity and ensure every employee’s physical and mental well-being.

The technological advancements discussed in this blog will help organisations prioritise employees’ safety, reduce accidents and injuries, fasten recovery times, and foster a safer work environment.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.