3 Ways Wearables Can Change Worker Behavior and Reduce Risk

In the quest for enhanced workplace safety, traditional methods often fall short when it comes to changing risky employee behavior over the long term. However, the emergence of wearable devices is transforming the way companies approach safety measures. These innovative technologies have the potential to drive lasting behavior change among employees, resulting in improved safety outcomes and increased productivity

In this article, we’ll explore three key ways in which wearables can impact behavior change in the workplace.

1. Motivation 

Most people have heard how consumer wearables, such as fitness trackers, motivate users to be more active through goal setting, progress tracking, and gamification. Workplace wearable safety devices operate in the same way, motivating and engaging workers to actively participate in reducing risk.

For example, workers wearing an ergonomic wearable device can strive to limit high-risk movements that lead to injury. Employers can give workers a goal, such as 65 high-risk movements or less per day, creating a sense of accomplishment when they stay under the set threshold. Additionally, wearables enable employees to track their progress over time, allowing them to witness their own improvements and identify areas that need further attention. 

This data can also be shared with managers through interactive dashboards, enabling them to identify trends, assess risks, and provide targeted training where necessary. Employers gain insight into areas where they’re improving their risk, as well as what types of jobs are the highest risk and who needs additional training. 

Finally, to enhance motivation, companies can introduce gamification elements, offering rewards and fostering healthy competition among employees. For example, employers may give workers points for every day they wear their device and every day they stay under the high-risk movement goal. Points can then be exchanged for rewards or company swag.

2. Accountability 

In the same way consumer wearables help hold users accountable for new habits through reminders and alerts, safety wearables can provide employees with vibrational alerts when they engage in risky movements. These timely reminders increase awareness and enable individuals to self-correct their posture or actions, helping employees develop safer habits and sustain behavior change in the long run. In this way, wearables serve as continuous coaching devices that reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries.

3. The Halo Effect

The adoption of wearables for safety purposes often results in positive behavior changes beyond the initial goal. Referred to as the “halo effect,” this phenomenon occurs when improvements in one area spill over into other aspects of an individual’s life. 

Wearing a fitness tracker to increase daily steps can lead to healthier eating habits or improved sleep patterns for users. In the context of workplace safety, employees who engage with wearables and witness their own data become more invested in their well-being. This increased engagement fosters a safety-conscious culture where individuals are more likely to make better choices in other areas, such as adhering to proper procedures or reporting potential hazards. 

Additionally, the positive impact of wearables on safety outcomes leads to fewer injuries, resulting in a decrease in lost workdays and reduced disruptions to operations.

The Benefit of Behavior Change

The ultimate goal of behavior change through wearables is to reduce the number of high-risk movements and consequently minimize workplace injuries. This correlation between behavior and injury rates makes wearables a powerful tool for improving safety outcomes. 

By effectively reducing sprains and strains, wearables contribute to shorter recovery times, resulting in fewer lost or modified workdays. In today’s labor shortage environment, this benefit is particularly valuable, as it helps companies maintain their operations without relying on overtime, temporary workers, or the difficult task of finding replacements.

Furthermore, leveraging wearable safety technologies can have financial benefits for employers. Insurers and underwriters often view proactive safety measures favorably, leading to lower premiums and improved experience modification scores. By utilizing wearables to reduce injuries, companies can demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being and create a positive impact on their bottom line.

Kinetic Insurance offers policyholders FREE wearable safety technology that detects high-risk movements and helps drive long-term behavior change among frontline workers, reducing injury rates and related costs.

Learn more about Kinetic’s proven wearable tech and how it can impact a company’s bottom line at https://kinetic-insurance.com/.