In 2014, the production crew of the film Midnight Rider received permission to shoot at the Doctortown train trestle area in Georgia. Due to unsafe conditions and improper safety procedures, a train accident resulted in the death of 27-year-old camerawoman Sarah Jones and eight others being in injured, according to the Deadline Hollywood article “’Midnight Rider’ Crew Kept In Dark Over Safety, Federal Investigation Reveals.”
Jones’ father subsequently started a crowdfunding campaign to develop a mobile app that would allow film and TV crews to anonymously report unsafe work conditions before those conditions resulted in injury or death.
Safety apps are quickly becoming a mainstay in the workplace, from movie sets to construction zones, factories, school buildings, and healthcare facilities. Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety can expect to enter a field that is embracing the usefulness of mobile device technology.
At first, the presence of mobile devices at the workplace seemed to present more problems than solutions. A 2011 survey conducted by Harmon.ie revealed that 60 percent of work interruptions involved tools such as email, social media, and text messaging/instant messaging.
The same survey revealed that 45 percent of employees work only about 15 minutes in between such distractions. Findings like these prompted many businesses to restrict mobile device usage during work hours.
Fast forward to 2017, and mobile devices are not only acceptable in most workplaces, they are embraced thanks to applications designed to increase worker safety. The Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust offers a list of invaluable safety apps for mobile devices in the “Health And Safety Mobile Apps” section of its website, including:
Metalphoto of Cincinnati lists several other useful apps in “15 Practical Workplace Safety Apps For Apple & Android:”
Continued development of augmented reality technologies, along with artificial intelligence programs, data analytics, and robotics, will make the workplace of the future both more efficient and safer for human beings.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is developing wearable, or Internet of Things (IoT), devices that will increase the safety level at workplaces where work-related safety incidents are common, according to tech writer Steven Max Patterson’s NetworkWorld.com article, “MIT IoT And Wearable Project Foretells The Future Of Industrial Safety.”
MIT’s prototype devices detect falls from distances high enough to cause serious injury or death, sense exposure to dangerous physical or chemical agents, and notify emergency personnel when a worker is down, even if the person is working alone. Respiration sensors, carbon monoxide detectors, combustible gas sensors, and air quality measurement devices are all built into a vest or jacket that can be worn by workers who may come across dangerous conditions.
Mobile safety apps are expected to become commonplace in the workplace of the future, and the number of safety incidents across the country will likely decline as a result.
Eastern Kentucky University’s online Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety program helps students learn how to identify and analyze potential workplace hazards, infractions, and risks. Taught by industry-experienced safety professionals, the program is fully accredited and prepares graduates to become leaders in the field of occupational safety.
Contact Eastern Kentucky University for more information.