It goes without saying, that utility work can be dangerous. Safety is of the utmost importance. There’s a reason why the sector is named in the annual Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses report. Compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, in the most recent announcement covering 2020, nonfatal injuries in utilities were actually down from 2019.
While it’s not mentioned in the report specifically, the positive momentum is due to an influx of emerging technology. New tech is revolutionizing the industry and improving job site safety and training.
If you thought VR and AR were just for video games, think again. Hoping to increase the safety of their workers, VR gives field crews a way to hone their skills without the risks of a live environment. A massive benefit for workers like electric linemen usually exposed to dangerous conditions daily. Online modules are set up to mimic a variety of scenarios, with workers being put through the digital paces to see how they would address the problem.
A drone can aid utilities in removing workers from potentially dangerous heights and unsafe conditions. For example, a lineman climbing into high voltage areas isn’t necessary when the utility can simply fly a drone instead. Drones can gain visibility in locations where humans can’t go like tight spaces or where overgrown foliage may be a problem.
Uniforms aren’t the only thing that utility workers are wearing these days. It’s commonplace lately to see people don smartwatches and pedometers outside of work. These same people use them at work too. There are wearable devices and sensors for just about everything, including proximity detection, heart rate, even fatigue, and stress monitoring. This type of personalized tracking helps the wearer feel safe and stay informed. Field service companies can tap into smart wearables as a way to monitor health at job sites and reduce overwork.
This one speaks to the old adage that good things come in small packages. Microlearning is a new spin on training in which utilities have pivoted from long, tedious sessions to short, hyper-focused lessons on specific topics. It’s not just the duration of the sessions that makes microlearning a big hit, it’s the presentation. Sitting at a screen for hours, watching shorter videos including 3D animation can bring to life what’s on the screen, making these learning modules a bit less daunting.
The best way to minimize the number of job site accidents is through a concerted effort. Prioritize safety by using the best tools at your disposal. Many utilities are turning to EnSight+ for our customizable field service software. To learn more about what we can do for you, book your EnSight+ demo today.
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