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Wearable bands for workers may improve safety

Employers in Missouri, regardless of the industry they're in, should be proactive in addressing workplace hazards. Workplace accidents cost U.S. companies and insurers hundreds of billions of dollars in annual workers' compensation claims. Worldwide, roughly 500 workplace injuries occur every minute.

Many hazards are simply unforeseeable. However, new wearable technology from MākuSafe, an Iowa-based software startup, could provide employers and workplace safety managers with a way to reduce those hazards. MākuSafe has recently developed bands that are worn by workers and record all environmental and motion data while they're working. This data includes changes in temperature and lighting, levels of contaminants in the air and any near-misses or hazardous situations.

This data is transferred over to a cloud platform, where safety managers can analyze it in consumable form. The platform will even identify hazardous trends and areas. All the managers have to do is use that information to implement the appropriate safety measures.

These bands can also be of benefit to insurers. The accurate data could streamline the investigation of workers' compensation claims, help in the creation of property and casualty policies and act as a collaborative tool between insurers and businesses. Insurance brokers could use the information as they address client loss and risk control.

When employees are injured, they can file a workers' compensation claim and be reimbursed for medical expenses and lost wages, or at least a percentage of them. Victims could aim for a settlement covering more if the injuries are severe and have resulted in a permanent disability. In such a case, a worker may want to consult with a lawyer.

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