Every year in South Carolina and across the U.S., companies and insurers pay out hundreds of billions of dollars in workers compensation claims. Reviewing these claims can be a drawn-out process wherever accurate data is lacking. Worldwide, workplace accidents take the lives of more than 1,000 people every day and injure over 500 people every minute.
A software startup in Iowa may have a solution. Workplace safety managers could reduce workplace accidents and streamline the claims investigation process with wearable technology, specifically wearable bands for employees. MākuSmart has developed bands that can record environmental and motion data while employees are working and transmit it all to a cloud platform.
The data it records includes basic things like changes in lighting and temperature as well as any near-misses. Thanks to machine learning, the software can identify hazardous trends and high-risk areas; it is up to safety managers to use this information and implement the right safety measures. Only when they set up the right equipment or provide ongoing training, for example, can workplace injuries go down.
Insurance companies, for their part, can benefit from the data when creating more accurate P&C policies. Insurance brokers trying to implement risk control strategies and reduce customer turnover could also use it to their advantage.
If workers are injured, they may qualify for compensation as long as they prove that the accident occurred on the job. Under workers compensation law, they could be reimbursed for medical expenses and lost wages for the time that they are not working. They may even receive short- or long-term disability leave. The workers compensation program might also pay out death benefits to eligible dependents after a fatal accident. In any case, having legal representation can be helpful. A lawyer may preside at the hearing, should one become necessary, and mount an appeal as a last resort.