Could wearable technology influence future work comp claims?
Just like compression pants and leggings are becoming popular for fitness enthusiasts, wearable technology is becoming equally as popular. More people are wearing Fitbit trackers, using apps on their phones, or even syncable watches to monitor their activity levels. More than just for fitness, the ability for people to track how their physical exertion affects their bodies could help employers reduce the possibility of workplace injuries, and change the way workers rehab after suffering an injury.
For instance, such technology could detect current alcohol levels, monitor heart rates (which could be an indicator of being under the influence of drugs) or whether a worker is at risk of having a heart attack. If employers are able to monitor workers’ vitals in real time, they could take steps to ensure a worker’s health, like taking them out of service temporarily so that further injuries or accidents can be avoided.
Wearable technology can also help in providing more information about how injured workers are recovering. Essentially, alerts could be provided about potential abnormalities about a worker’s rehab that could help in correctly assessing benefits for an injured worker. This could help protect employees suspected of defrauding the system.
Currently, Arizona law does not require workers to include wearables as part of their uniform. However, it is conceivable that more employers may ask workers to have them if they see the safety benefits and financial rewards.
The preceding is not legal advice. For questions about workers’ compensation issues, an experienced attorney can help.