While employers are doing all they can to reduce workplace injuries, studies released at the end of 2019 reveal that fatal workplace injuries are on the rise and have reached a peak of 5,250 in 2018, the highest they’ve been in five years. Non-fatal injuries have decreased, and while that may seem like a feather in the cap of employers, even just a single injury is already one too many. For telecom employers, tech can offer a much-needed boost in workplace safety by equipping companies with the eyes and ears to make critical decisions without risking staff.
Eye In The Sky
Scaling buildings and scaffolding to inspect hard-to-reach places may no longer be necessary in many cases, as drone technology can reach those spots and provide high-quality footage streaming to allow businesses instant decision-making. While drones might not be able to do maintenance, it allows businesses to assess what needs to be done before sending workers out in the field. Drone footage might also allow businesses to detect dangerous leaks and spills without risking their employees. This is particularly helpful in areas with high levels of toxins or adverse conditions that are unsuitable for humans. While there will still be a need for linemen, drone footage can reduce hazards for telecoms technicians.
Monitoring Physical Condition
For telecoms workers, it’s not just the height to worry about when scaling high towers. They also need to be in pretty good shape. With the help of monitoring equipment such as fitness trackers and wearables that track biometrics, telecoms workers will be alerted to potential heart rate peaks that are out of the norm. There are also common injuries that can plague these workers, such as rotator cuff, knee, elbow and back injuries. For these workers, having proper insurance in place extends beyond just good health insurance. Their workers’ compensation insurance rates might also be affected by their work in the field, and supervisors will have different workers’ compensation rates compared to those who still need to physically work on the towers.
Simple Fixes That Go A Long Way
One of the major requirements for a telecom technician to have a safe day out in the field is maximum visibility. This isn’t always possible, as fog, smoke and bad weather conditions can make simple tasks hard to perform. Technological feats such as lenses and scopes that feature zero glare or misting can improve the turnaround time for a call out. Visibility lenses specifically designed for low-light conditions are also a great aid to technicians. When paired up with apps and visualization tools, technicians will have a better understanding of the situation, allowing them to come up with solutions faster. In terms of safety, improved visibility can be the difference between knowing when to touch a particular surface or not.
While there is still a large portion of risk for telecom technicians, technology is making vast improvements to workplace safety. For technicians, every task that’s made a little safer can reduce the risk of a potential injury or fatality.