A New York-based safety technology firm named Kinetic has formed a partnership with Nationwide E&S specialty division. Kinetic insurance offers Worker’s Compensation coverage combined with workplace safety technology. The Kinetic Workers’ Compensation offer aims to equip policyholders with wearable technology designed to monitor employee movements and allegedly help reduce injuries and losses while maximizing the policyholder’s workplace safety program.
Kinetic stated its proprietary patented technology is verified to reduce injury frequency by up to 60% and lost workdays by 72%. Kinetic provides this wearable technology at no extra cost to policyholders as an incentive to draw in big businesses. However, policyholders must commit to using this wearable technology. The Kinetic reflex device is designed to help detect unsafe postures and provide workers with real-time feedback whenever a high-risk determined motion occurs. Over time, Kinetic claims their technology improves workers’ movements and posture, reduces workplace injuries, and provides workers with improved well-being.
In addition to employee movement tracking, safety managers can also view risk data in the Kinetic dashboard. This dashboard center can help make targeted changes to the workplace, assisted by collecting workplace data. However, the effectiveness of Kinect’s technology is up for debate. As with any piece of technology implemented for the first time, questions arise, such as whether this form of technology and employee monitoring violates our privacy rights. Some speculate that instead of wearing this technology to reduce injury, this tech could be abused by using its data to enforce company policy. Technology like Kinetic’s wearable safety feature is not new to the workplace. Companies like Amazon have used similar technology to manage and enforce company policy by guiding employees while monitoring their movements. Employees at Amazon warehouses are forced to wear a task managing bracelet that monitors activities to help keep workers on task. The debate on whether wearable technology in the workplace violates our privacy rights is an ongoing topic of discussion.
With the further implementation of technology to assist and aid human activities. It becomes almost unavoidable that technology and its window into the privacy of our lives shift to a more regular part of the workplace. But does this mean that technology created and implemented based on safety does not violate our privacy?
Implications on California’s Workers’ Compensation System
In California, the worker’s compensation process is a no-fault system. Even an employee who acts with negligence may still be covered under the right circumstances. In most cases, when an employee suffers an injury on the job, that employee reports their injury to a superior. Their superior will recommend that the injured worker get treated for their injuries. The employers’ workers’ compensation insurance will help cover the costs and lost wages. In most circumstances the applicant is responsible for proving whether the injury or illness is work related. However, in some occupations, the presumptive benefit of the doubt places the burden of proof upon the employer, who must investigate the injury and either prove or disapprove that it was work-related. These investigations usually cover employee testimonies, camera evidence, and other factors. In general, these investigation by employers provide the burden of proof to either approve or disapprove that the injury was work-related.
By adding Kinetic’s safety equipment across an entire workplace. Employers will now have access to another added database. There they can view and monitor employees and their movements in a fashion that may help determine whether an injury or illness was acquired on the job. While this may be helpful to the employer by offering their management another medium through which they can monitor their employees. This system is also subject to potential abuse at the expense of workers’ rights. In addition, it may also violate an individual’s right to privacy.
Suppose you’ve suffered an injury while working or have acquired an illness because of your job. In that case, you may be entitled to legal compensation. At Sacramento Workers Compensation Attorneys, P.C., Our team of expert workers compensation attorneys has a track record of success handling all kinds of work-related injuries and illnesses. To take advantage of your FREE no-obligation consultation today to see if you qualify, give us a call at (916) 288-9193 or by visiting our website to chat directly with an attorney.