Over the past 25 years, the U.S. has seen significant reductions in workplace injury rates while fatality rates are stagnant, even increasing over the last decade. Work-related deaths in the U.S. have reached the highest number since 2007, meaning thousands of families have lost a loved one in a workplace incident. Efforts to reduce workplace injuries do not seem to have the same impact on reducing workplace fatalities. Clearly, the time has come for a new approach to workplace safety.
In a world where we carry supercomputers in our pockets, immerse ourselves in virtual worlds using a $20 piece of cardboard and print human organs with the touch of a button, it is unacceptable people still die at work. At the National Safety Council, we believe every worker deserves to return home safely and technology plays a vital role in achieving this vision.
From drones for inspections at heights to software to reduce worker fatigue, technology solutions exist on the market today to address, or even eliminate, some of the most dangerous tasks and contributing factors facing our workers. Unfortunately, many employers are not aware of their leadings safety risks, the relevant technology solutions or they are not ready to innovate their safety practices.
Industry 4.0 is upon us and early adopters are not only reporting health and safety performance improvements but also increased operational efficiencies. EHS leaders around the world are reporting technology investments have met, and even exceeded, their expectations. But the application of technology solutions to safety issues is no longer reserved for early adopters, as more and more employers are turning to digital solutions. Industry 4.0 is no longer a futuristic concept, it’s here. Is your company ready for Industry 4.0?
The National Safety Council Work to Zero initiative is actively working to prepare employers by serving as a hub of digital transformation in safety. Leveraging a coalition of leading EHS professionals, technology solution providers, academics, and researchers, the Work to Zero initiative will scan the state of the science, investigate best practices and lessons learned, and offer opportunities to gather with the best of the best in safety technology.
Work to Zero strives to deliver science-based, real-world-tested, and easy-to-implement tools and resources to help you make the business case for innovation. We aim to understand your company’s digital readiness, guide you through implementation, and bring you the latest information on technology solutions. Visit nsc.org/worktozero to explore leading workplace hazardous situations and technologies to address them, and access our latest research, tools, webinars, and events.
Technology has tremendous potential to propel the reduction of workplace fatalities. Join us in innovating safer workplaces so every employee can return home at the end of the day.
Director, Work to Zero