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How wearable technology could affect workers comp claims

Wearable technology was a popular gift idea during the holidays for a reason. Whether it is a Garmin watch, a Fitbit tracker or even an iWatch, the ability for people to track their activity levels, heart beats and calorie exertion is poised to change the way people take care of themselves after suffering an injury.

Employers could end up reaping the same benefits as well. Essentially, wearable technology can help in furthering safety measures and provide more information about how injured workers are recovering. An employer can benefit from wearable technology because it could provide alerts about potential abnormalities that could lead to injuries.  

For instance, elevated heart rates could signal that an employee is at risk of a heart attack or may be under the influence of illegal drugs. Similarly, such technology could detect alcohol levels in employees while they are at work. Further, wearables could be used to diagnose and assess injuries so that benefits can be properly distributed.

Finally, since workers’ compensation fraud is still prominent, wearable technology may help to protect employees who are suspected of defrauding the system.

While it remains to be seen when employers will require workers to have wearables as part of their uniforms, but as the benefits become clearer (for safety and security), more employers will invest in them. When (or if) this occurs, it is prudent to consult with your workers’ compensation provider to see if doing so will merit a discount or whether certain risks can be eliminated.

The preceding is not legal advice. For questions about workers’ compensation issues, an experienced attorney can help. 

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