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Could smartphones lower the risk of workplace injuries?

When many New York City residents think about bodily harm in the workplace, they envision serious accidents involving heavy machinery, construction sites or other high-risk jobs. In reality, however, workplace injuries can take place in any type of work setting. For example, people who work in jobs where they are required to complete repetitive movements can encounter a number of different injuries. Recent research suggests that these injuries might be reduced with new technologies that make use of smartphones.

The research and development focused on factory work, where employees are required to complete repetitive actions in a very rapid manner. The man behind the proposed technology believes that a smartphone has the capabilities needed to analyze worker patterns and determine where changes need to be made. Because today's phones combine a fast processor, a capable camera and the ability for cloud-based computing, it may be possible to develop an app that can be used to reduce workplace injuries.

Such an app would work by using the phone's camera to take video of a worker's movements. That data would then be analyzed to look for areas where an injury seems likely to occur. When patterns of unsafe movement are noted, the app could alert management, who could then step in and make changes to increase worker safety.

Of course, these types of apps are still in the research and development phase and are not currently available for use. For workers in New York City who have sustained repetitive stress injuries or similar workplace injuries related to repetitive motion, it is important to understand all available legal options. In some cases, a successful lawsuit is the best way to secure the funds needed for long-term medical care and rehabilitation efforts.

Source: news.wisc.edu, "Smartphone technology could combat workplace injuries", Lexy Brodt, March 15, 2017

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