Keeping yourself, your team, and your employees safe is a priority for every HR professional – but having such a daunting task can get overwhelming without a little extra help.
New technologies, data management systems, employee monitoring tools, and security measures are excellent for ensuring workplace safety. Read on for more information on how to use technology for increased safety in the workplace.
Technology Throughout the Human Resources Workflow
Human resources do more than just worker’s compensation and resolving employee conflict. Technology can make nearly every task performed by human resource departments easier (and safer). Below are a few examples of how technology can help the most common human resource duties.
One of the primary HR tasks is hiring new talent. However, many departments get overwhelmed with applications, interviews, and sifting through potential candidates. Hiring new employees takes longer than desired, which can cause catastrophic issues in the workplace if critical roles aren’t filled.
Technologies (usually AI) that sort through candidates, screen background information, and eliminate individuals that don’t qualify for the job allow HR to find the best employee for that role.
So, how do hiring technologies help with workplace safety? They diminish bias. Hiring managers won’t see the name, ethnicity, sex, or other potentially bias-influenced factors until they reach the interviewing process. This technology prevents discrimination, creating a safer environment for everyone while building a diverse team.
Human error is almost unavoidable regardless of how much experience an HR department has under its belt. Regarding data management, these mishaps can be as minor as a typo or as detrimental as a security breach.
Human resource professionals can use technology to ensure their data remains private and secure. This extra protection is vital for healthcare industries and financial firms, as it protects employee information and patient stats. While a data security system may not help physical workplace safety, it prevents employees from identity theft and financial problems, leading to a confident and safe workplace.
Even the simplest jobs need training, and most managers and supervisors don’t have the time to monitor new employees and their progress.
E-learning technology is an excellent way to train employees effectively and save HR precious time. New hires can learn company policies, safety measures, roles, and potentially difficult situations they might encounter on the job.
Most e-learning courses have quizzes and tests to ensure the employee pays attention and can be customized for relevance to the candidate. Courses may also include safety tutorials, especially in high-risk careers or manufacturing companies.
Extensive training on safety procedures can prevent worker’s compensation cases and difficulties in the future and helps new hires visualize their new role and its connotations. E-learning modules make training simple and time-efficient and provide a paper trail.
Daily On-Site Safety
Of course, online data and training are essential for a workplace to function well, but on-site safety is another primary concern for HR professionals.
There are several ways technology helps improve on-site safety. Below are a few examples of safety-improving tech.
Most stores and places with money on-site have at least one alarm system, but recent technology allows for multiple security alerts in multiple modalities. CCTV, tags, and packaging with alarms attached prevent theft or record it without risking employee safety or intervention.
It might seem minor, but having these technologies in place can prevent lawsuits in the future.
When you hear the term panic alarm, you may think of your car keys or the red button underneath a bank teller’s desk – but recent technology has evolved to wireless panic alarm systems that connect to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and provide a more discreet option.
Human resources departments can enjoy peace of mind and receive alerts should anything go wrong.
Technology Types That Benefits Human Resources Professionals
Technology is a broad umbrella that covers everything from cloud management to security cameras, and it can take time to decide which options work best for your HR needs. Below are a few options for effective technology for workplace safety.
Smartwatches and other wearables may seem like everyday accessories, but they work well in the HR setting and prevent injuries and compliance issues.
Examples of wearable tech include:
- Body monitoring – identifies excessive heart rate, oxygen levels, and other ailments to ensure employee safety on the job. Works best for high-intensity workplaces like manufacturing plants.
- Environmental monitors – these wearables detect potentially harmful fumes or materials. Again, most beneficial for factories or plants that utilize dangerous chemicals.
- Tech-improved suits or clothing
Wearable tech best suits HR professionals that supervise a high-risk environment with several employees. The technology creates alerts in case of emergency and makes the workplace generally safer for all.
Robots & AI
Science fiction movies may present robots as dangerous, ill-intentioned villains, but they actually build the cars we drive and perform complex life-saving surgeries.
Several industries utilize robotics to perform risky tasks or repetitive construction. For example, automotive manufacturers use robots to build cars on the assembly line to minimize the risk of human error or injury (creating much less of a burden for HR departments).
HR professionals can designate potentially harmful tasks to robots to improve safety and eliminate the risk of human error.
Like E-learning programs, several industries use VR technology to train new (or longstanding) employees. VR helps individuals feel as if they’re on the job and faced with tasks or problems they may encounter while working.
This method benefits HR professionals by assisting them with onboarding and giving simulated real-life experiences to new hires. HR teams can resolve the issue by implementing more intensive training procedures if the individual performs poorly. Utilizing VR technology assists HR departments by building the safest, most well-trained group of employees possible.
A safe workplace benefits everyone. Employees, HR, and executives perform at their best when a place of work functions effectively and accidents stay at a minimum. Whether installing wireless panic button systems or utilizing VR to train future hires, technology creates a safer environment and a less-overwhelmed HR department.