Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - 9


Fall 2015

T

oday's energy and mining
companies face an almost
certain future: Wearable
technology very soon will
become an integral part of
day-to-day operations. As I'm writing
this article, energy and mining companies all around the world use legacy
systems which often fail to prevent
accidents or create a safe workplace
environment.
Less than a decade ago if you said
"insurance companies are going to
place a device in your vehicle which
will provide them actionable data on
which to base your future insurance
rates " you'd tell me that technology is
invasive and will never happen. Now in
Europe that standard is commonplace.
In America, companies like Progressive are implementing it.
The same holds true today with
wearable technology. Insurance
providers are getting smarter. They
realize the power of actionable harnessed from wearable technology. Not
only are insurance providers getting
smarter, but they compete in a market
place with new competitors who have
already begun to incorporate wearables
into their programs. Shareholders are
going to demand results and insurance
companies can no longer afford to
operate on the honor system of today.
Say you have a truck driver who has
worked five consecutive 14-hour days
and he falls asleep at the wheel [resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement] causing a major accident which
costs millions of dollars to settle. This
new era of wearable technology can
tell you before the driver ever sets foot
into the cab if he's safe to drive or not.
Insurance companies are catching
onto this technology - and in a big way.
As you're reading this article insurance companies are looking at ways to

COLUMNS | WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

further reduce their risk to themselves
and their shareholders.
You might be thinking - okay,
insurance companies want to do this,
but is it legal? The answer to that is
overwhelmingly yes. In fact legislative
bodies in the US are already re-framing guidelines to permit the use of
wearable technology in the workplace.
A whole new era of compliance and
safety measures awaits the energy and
mining industry.

It's very easy to manipulate
manual systems or to report that
an employee got that full eight
hours of sleep before getting
on the highway with a gasoline
tanker. But what if they lie? What
if their managers lie for them?
The real question is - can energy
and mining companies afford to wait
for wearable technology or do they
need to be proactive? The answer here
is a bit more complicated. As with
most things, costs tend to be much
higher when a safety or compliance
measure is mandatory vs. optional.
For example, anyone who has tried to
buy their own healthcare in the last
five years has done a double-take looking at premiums. Imagine now you're
looking at wearable technology for the
workplace. Do you want to be doing a
double take on acquiring this technology in five years?
What can I do now to prevent doing a
double take in five years? The first step
- talk to your insurer. Many insurance
companies are considering lower rates
for organizations that proactively
obtain wearable technology now in
exchange for sharing the actionable
data. The second step - look at your
HSE policies and check to see how
closely they are really being followed.

+

The reason I say this is the most likely
reaction you had with step one is "oh
great my insurance rates are going to
go up" but the truth is if your policies
match up - you won't have a problem, if
they don't that's going to be a different
story. Then it's on to step three - enlist
the help of a HSE consultant who can
guide you through the new world of
wearable technology and HSE. These
professionals will prove their value to
you almost instantly.
Besides insurance, integrating wearables into the workplace can provide
additional benefits. Imagine you are
trying to get the very best talent to
work in your refinery, mines, mills,
plants, etc. Let's say you're competing
for this talent against top competitors
who offer state of the art working environments with the best equipment and
safety technology. Where do you think
the workers will prefer? Can you afford
to lose top talent? Hiring qualified
employees is going to become difficult
as older employees leave and the labor
market shrinks. Let us not forget organized labor will catch on to the wearable trend too. How long before your
employees' labor unions move to have
wearable technology implemented as a
safeguard for their membership?
There is an additional benefit when
considering the impact of lost work
time. Better safety technology reduces
the frequency of employment related
injuries and, thus, lost time.
Right now there are workers
working in your refineries, your mills,
mines, plants and on the road for your
company. It's very easy to manipulate
manual systems or to report that an
employee got that full eight hours
sleep before getting on the highway
with a gasoline tanker. But what if
they lie? What if their managers lie
for them? What if they get into an

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015

Contents
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - Cover1
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - Cover2
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - 1
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - 2
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - Contents
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - 4
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - 5
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - 6
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - 7
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - 8
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - 9
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Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - Cover3
Energy & Mining International - Fall 2015 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/emi_vol17issue4
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