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Will futuristic wearables prevent workplace accidents?

Every year, thousands of construction workers nationwide, including Texas, seek financial assistance through the workers' compensation systems of their states. They work in a hazardous industry, and workplace accidents are almost par for the course. Now, futuristic wearables for different purposes are being developed to prevent many work-related injuries while also focused on increasing profitability and efficiency.

Visual wearables are optical aids that are attached to glasses, hard hats or visors. Remote viewers can then view images simultaneously with the wearer, such as a field employee, and remote supervisors or technical personnel can help with training, quality control, troubleshooting and problem solving. Tactile wearables serve as exoskeletons that increase the endurance of the wearer and reduce risks of musculoskeletal disorders such as back injuries, sprains and strains.

Wearable sensors come in various configurations, and wearing them is unobtrusive, simple and easy. The devices can also be worn as clip-on attachments to belts, shirts, vests or wrist bands, and they can even be embedded in a worker's footwear as insoles or embedded in the soles of the worker's shoes. Devices can warn workers of danger such as leading edges or moving equipment, dangerous physical movements, nearing exhaustion and other hazards through vibrations or alarms. These devices can also serve as emergency alerts and lead rescuers to an injured worker's location.

The potential reduction in workplace accidents seem significant, but until these wearables become part of required personal protective equipment, construction workers will continue to suffer occupational injuries. When they do, they might have questions about their options to recover lost wages and medical expenses. Carrying workers' compensation insurance is not mandatory for employers in Texas, and the help of an experienced attorney can be valuable in the pursuit of financial assistance.

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